Gardening 11

Shelby Smith Evans

August 31, 1952 ~ December 24, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old


Shelby Smith Evans of Deep River, CT, passed away December 24, 2023, after a protracted battle with Alzheimer's disease.  Shelby was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who always put others ahead of herself.  A smart, gentle, and caring person with a great sense of humor, she will be missed enormously.

Shelby was born at MacDill Air Force Base, (Tampa) FL, to the late Frances Shelby Smith and Col. (USAF) James Murray Smith (WW II B-17 pilot). As a child, she lived in Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Nebraska, Guam, and Spain.  Shelby was a cheerleader and homecoming queen at Andersen AFB Guam High School.  A descendant of the original surveyor of the University of Texas at Austin "Forty Acres", Shelby graduated from UT where she studied history and government.  She had a long career as a commercial insurance underwriter, which sometimes required her to translate documents between Spanish and English.  On New Year's Eve 1977, she married James Christopher (Chris) Evans.  Shelby and Chris lived in Arizona, Florida, Colorado, South Carolina, and (for 23 years) Minnesota, before moving to Connecticut in 2022.  Their son Andy was born in Florida; their daughter Sarah, in South Carolina.

Shelby enjoyed traveling, camping, biking, cooking, puzzles, mysteries, My Fair Lady, the X-Files, Star Trek, 1960's rock and roll, iced tea, and ice cream with Kahlua. Her green thumb was legendary, and she carefully and lovingly always nurtured a jungle of house plants and outdoor gardens.  A champion at trivia games, she seemed clairvoyant about pop culture facts that she truly had no opportunity to know about.

Shelby's optimistic attitude was epitomized by her frequent offer, "What can I do to help?".  She had the amazing ability to put everything into perspective and often her advice was simple: "don't worry about it."  Most importantly, she loved her kids with her whole heart.  She was a veteran of many swim meets, baseball games, band and orchestra concerts, tennis matches, and scouting activities.  Shelby somehow always knew how to untie an impossible knot whether in a pair of sneakers or in the hearts of her loved ones.  Her warmth and kindness were obvious to everyone who knew her.

Shelby is survived by Chris, her husband of 46 years; her daughter Sarah Elizabeth Evans of Houston, TX; her son Andrew Christopher (Andy) Evans, and his wife Julia Cynthia Evans of Madison CT; Andy and Julia's children--Charles Oliver Evans, and a daughter due in January 2024; her brother Gen. (USAF) Michael Lynn Smith, and his wife Rose Ann Golobic of Colorado Springs, CO; her brother James Patrick Smith, and his wife Trish Smith of Lakeway, TX; nieces Summer McInerney and Elaine Bosch; nephews Robby and Ryan Smith; and numerous other relatives and dear friends.

Family and friends are invited to a lunch in celebration of Shelby's life on February 10, 2024, 12:30-2:30 PM at The Brushmill by the Waterfall (129 W Main St.; Chester, CT 06412). Colorful attire is encouraged in honor of Shelby and her gardens.

In lieu of flowers, please see "Donations" below.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Shelby Smith Evans, please visit our Tree Store.


Celebration of Life
February 10, 2024

12:30 PM
The Brushmill by the Waterfall
129 West Main St.
Chester, CT 06412


Alzheimer's Association
225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago IL 60601
Tel: 1-800-272-3900


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