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Evans C. Willard died Oct. 16, 2002, at his home in Haines. He died four days shy of his 71st birthday with family members at his side.
He was born in Haines to Mildred (Hotch) and John H. Willard on Oct. 20, 1931. His Tlingit name was Yadacla and he was of the Raven tribe, Ganaxteidi clan, from the Whale House in Klukwan.
He was reared in the traditional Tlingit custom where an uncle raised the nephew. David Hotch was the custodian in this case. The close bond between these two exemplified what a successful relationship should comprise, the family said.
Family members said that the three loves of his life included his family, fishing, and basketball. They will remember him for his longevity as a harvester in the fishing industry, having fished in Bristol Bay for more than 40 years.
He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, member of the Elks Lodge, and a Klukwan Inc. stockholder.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers "Butch" Sparks and Wes Willard, and sister Margaret Thomas.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dorothy; daughters Janet (Dan) Harrington, Nancy (Bill) Coleman, Margaret Totland, Evangeline Hoy, Donna Murphy, all of Haines; two sons, Raymond of Wasilla and Danny of Haines; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; brothers Ronald Sparks of Haines; David Light of Anchorage; and sister Irene Sparks Rowan of Anchorage. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Haines Presbyterian Church.
Pallbearers will be Andrew Totland, Larry Totland, Luck Dunbar, Corey Murphy, Bill Coleman, and Evans Sparks.