Dr. Leonard Henry Evans “Pug”, 77, of Hamilton, unexpectedly passed away on June 24th, 2021. Pug was born on November 7th, 1943, in Walla Walla, WA to Lewis and Ann Evans, one of eight living children. He grew up active, and running outdoors, chasing his older siblings, and friends he kept for his lifetime. Pug was full of fantastic stories from a childhood full of adventure and at times mischief.
Surprisingly, he did not excel in school during his formative years, but always had a curious and brilliant mind which led to a career that excelled in learning and teaching. Pug’s great interest in science led to a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Oregon Health Sciences University, with postdoctoral studies at UC Berkeley.
On a blind date, New Year’s Eve in 1968, he met the love of life, Patricia “Pat”, and they married in 1969. They had numerous adventures, one of the most reminisced about was the tent at the Portland Farmers Market where they sold homemade Monster Cookies and Indian Tacos, recipes he continued to make.
In 1980 the couple moved to Hamilton, Montana, where he joined Rocky Mountain Laboratories and served as Chief of Retroviral Molecular Biology Section. Just a few months after their move they completed their family and welcomed home their daughter, Julia Ann. Being a devoted father, and later “Papa”, became one of Pug’s greatest joys and talents; what many will remember him for.
Pug loved the outdoors; fishing, camping, boating, the ocean, and throwing big parties were some of his favorite past times. People and food were a passion, as in any good Italian.
Pug also loved and enjoyed spending time with people. He was kind, generous, loyal, and used his brilliant mind to help those in his life. When Pug’s first wife, Pat, suffered kidney failure, he built his own dialysis machine and dialyzed her daily for several years until she succumbed to heart failure in 1991. Pug threw himself into the role of two parents, making sure that his daughter was loved and cared for better than most two parent homes, and every summer weekend you would find him loudly cheering poolside at swim meets. Additionally, Pug was a beloved mentor to the scientists he trained, and he later visited them in their homes in France and Italy.
In 1996, he married his second love, Janice “Jan”, whom he met through a childhood friend. They traveled the world and shared many wonderful years of laughter and memories. Together they shared the love of the outdoors while entertaining loved ones.
Later that year he also welcomed his 1st grandson, Caden Andrew, into his life. Both Pug and Jan then devoted themselves to the role of exceptional grandparents; traveling and opening up their home for weekend stays and teaching them all that they knew and loved.
The past year and a half changed life and when the pandemic hit, and travel was not an option, Pug switched his studies to finding therapeutics to treat COVID-19 and worked long hours alongside his beloved friend and coworkers.
Pug is survived by his wife, Janice Dalton-Evans; daughter, Julia (Stacy) Lockhart of Kauai HI; siblings: Don Lewis Evans, Jeanette Marie Evans Luther, Patricia Camp, Barbara Evans Schnell, and Ronald Evans; grandchildren: Mason, Kaymi, Kyah, Chloee (Daniel Sherman) and Chase; great-grandson, Everett Cade; and all of his stepchildren and grandchildren.
Pug was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia; his grandson, Caden Andrew; brother, Edward Everett and sister, Delores Ann.
A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, July 1st at 11:00am at Daly-Leach Chapel Community Room. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in Pug’s name to the charity of donor’s choice. Condolences may be made to www.dalyleachchapel.com
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