Monday, July 29, 2019
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Fiercely independent with a streak of rebellion, Mark Evans was a loyal, loving, protector of the family he loved. He cherished his role as a hard worker and strong provider for his wife and children. His natural born ability to take things apart and put them back together, led to a lifetime of auto repairs, a mechanical career, and countless projects, including building his own dune buggy! Compassionate and caring, perhaps the greatest legacy that he leaves behind is the family he so loved.
The 1960s were characterized by great social changes. Known as the era of optimism, many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. At the beginning of this promising decade in our nation’s history, Richard and Mary Ellen (Lisk) Evans welcomed home their newborn son, Mark, on January 10, 1961, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Born the oldest of his three siblings, his birth gave them much hope and happiness.
Growing up in Comstock, Mark lived a typical childhood of the times. The family owned a large piece of property where the kids were known to ride go-carts and mini bikes in the backyard until they tired themselves out. Being the oldest meant that many summers Mark was left to look after his siblings. His younger brother, Scott especially took interest in following him around and mimicking anything that Mark was doing! Fascinated with fast cars, he owned a Mustang in high school and developed a love for them throughout his life. Mark was also interested in football, wrestling, auto shop, and camping.
He worked at Burroughs Manufacturing Company during his high school years and after graduating with the Class of 1979, he went full time with the company. During his twenty remarkable years there he helped build automated prototypes including the check-out lanes at Meijer. A loyal worker who was known not to take any time off, he later landed a position with McNally Elevator Company as an elevator technician where he remained for nearly twenty years. Mark thoroughly loved his job and was seen as a mentor by his coworkers.
Not to be forgotten was the woman who would change the course of his life forever, Susan Eileen! They met on the sidelines of the hockey rink where their sons both played. Serving on the board of the hockey league together as well as sharing many commonalities led them to join in marriage on September 27, 2008 in the beautiful Kindleberger Park in Parchment. Joining together his children: Mike and Samantha, with her son, Scott, they shared a wonderful life together.
As a father, Mark was always encouraging. When the kids were younger he worked as part of the Ski Patrol at Timber Ridge and introduced them to the world of winter sports. They also shared fond memories of playing cards with him for loose change around the house! Anytime they were together, there was never a dull moment! He wanted nothing but the best for his children and was actively involved in their many special interests. Always there to cheer them on or to take a turn with coaching their sports, he treasured any amount of time he spent with them. Little did he know how much his heart would melt when his first grandchild, EmmaLynn Vi Ann Sulka joined their family in March of 2018. Nicknaming her EmEm, he was immensely proud of being referred to as her Papa.
Never one to remain idle, Mark lived his life to the fullest. Although he was reluctant to take any amount off work, Sue managed to plan fabulous trips for the two of them over the years. In addition to visiting Mackinac Island, they toured Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where they enjoyed climbing and deep sea fishing. On a trip to Texas with Sue for a stem cell transplant, they took an afternoon to sightsee and found themselves in the mix of a Mustang cruise, which was a perfect distraction! For many years, Mark played both hockey and softball and spent time at the local gym as well as built some of his own equipment for use at home. He wasn’t especially the best at either sport but rather loved the bond he created with his teammates over the years.
Mark was always working on projects around the house, and built himself a large pole barn that housed a special vehicle lift for working on cars. A majority of the time he spent at home, he could be found out in the pole barn plotting his next project or repair. Each hunting season he ventured up to his brother’s cabin where he relished in the time he spent with the hunting crew. Not particularly an avid hunter, he found more satisfaction sharing time together making memories. He also enjoyed fishing over the years and despite whether or not he was successful in landing any fish, he loved to fill the day with laughter!
Mark modeled a lifetime of always being the better person. Trustworthy as well as generous, there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t offer to do to help someone in need. When challenged with a problem or a difficult situation, Mark always looked on the bright side of things and persevered until he would find a solution. Known for his unending wisdom and guidance, his wonderful sense of humor, and his unconditional love, he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Mark John Evans, age 58, of Battle Creek, Michigan, died peacefully on July 24, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family whom he adored. Surviving are his wife, Sue; children: Michael (Katy) Evans, Scott (Lexi) Sulka, Samantha (Nick) Novakoski; granddaughter: EmmaLynn Sulka; siblings: Scott (Gayle) Evans, Janette (Tim) Hendrix, Paul (Sara) Evans; several nieces and nephews; and his faithful Chihuahuas: Nacho and Lola. Mark was preceded in death by his parents. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments from 5-8 PM on Monday (July 29) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900 where services will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday (July 30). Cremation will take place following services. Visit Mark’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.