Joseph Benjamin Evins, 93
Joe B. Evins grew up in Edinburg, Texas, the son of Mary Jane Beck and John Evins. He was one of eight siblings. At a young age he began contributing to the family income as a migrant farm worker; working as a fruit and vegetable grader and packer locally and across Texas.
Joe graduated from Edinburg High School where he was active in football, baseball andGolden Gloves boxing. After high school he enlisted in the United States Army and served as the head of a tank crew in General George Patton’s Third Army during World War II. He was involved in the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of France.
When Joe returned to the Rio Grande Valley he met the woman who would become his wife of 72 years. It was love at first sight for Joe when he spotted Lila Ann O’Rourke at Cascade Pool in McAllen. Lila likes to say, “He chased me until I caught him!” They married August 1, 1947 and had two daughters, JoAnne (Larry) Reddell, and Linda (Tim) Mappin, and a son, Joseph Benjamin, Jr. Together Joe and Lila survived the loss of their son. “Bubba” as he was known by friends and family lost his life at 28 years of age.
Joe took a job delivering milk for Golden Jersey Creamery while attending Edinburg Junior College. A quote that appears alongside his 1948 Edinburg Junior College yearbook photo states, “Though he’s little and undersized, he fits right along side you big guys.” A statement that proved true throughout his life.
Education was of the utmost importance to Joe. With Lila’s support he furthered his education by attending the University of Texas Law School, Class of 1954 and returned to his beloved hometown of Edinburg to practice law. Joe became active in local politics serving as a Justice of the Peace and Hidalgo County Commissioner. In 1973 he was appointed by then Governor Dolph Briscoe to the newly created 206 State District Court, which he presided over for 25 years until his retirement.
If you had the opportunity to witness Judge Evins on the bench it was not uncommonfor him to stop court proceedings, insist you stand up and engage in a one-on-one conversation,especially if you were a student. He never missed an opportunity to emphasize the importance of a good education. He was known to say, more than once, “They can take away your house, they can take away your car, but they can’t take away your education.”
Family was the most important element of his long life. A portrait of his mother hung on the wall behind his desk in his office throughout his career. His favorite past time was to take Lila on long drives through the backroads of Hidalgo County. He enjoyed visits with his surviving brother, James “Jim” Evins. His children; grandchildren - including Eryn (Stephan) Wingert; Layne (Carlos) Maganda; Devin (Michael) Lee; Colton (Sarah) Chapman; Kevin Chapman; andSiobhan (Neil) Palmquist - and his 12 great-grandchildren, will always remember how “Pepe”, in his distinct South Texas accent, never failed to ask, “How you doing? You doing alright?”.
The funeral for Joe B. Evins will be held in New Braunfels, Texas followed by a burialceremony in Edinburg. A private family viewing will take place Thursday, January 16 at noon.
The family will receive visitors at 1pm and the service will begin at 2pm at Lux Funeral Home, 1254 North Business IH 35, New Braunfels. A burial service will take place Friday, January 17 at noon at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Edinburg.