Evan Rogers was born on July 6, 1955, in Mitchell, South Dakota and was thankful to have been adopted two weeks later by Ralph and Hazel (Laffey) Rogers. He lived with his family in Stickney, South Dakota for the first four years of his life. Following the death of Evan’s father, he relocated with his family to various areas of the country throughout his childhood. These moves exposed him to the Pacific Northwest that always held a special place in his heart. During school, Evan was an avid athlete. He enjoyed participating in football and later, cross country and track. He was a four-year letterman in three sports. Evan graduated from Mapleton High School in 1973, and went on to further his education at the University of Minnesota where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Mortuary Science in 1981. He would later describe his funeral internship as when he “spent a lifetime on the iron range during one year” in Virginia, Minnesota where he worked amidst the hardships that had recently struck the area.
Once he earned his mortician’s license, he relocated to New Ulm, Minnesota where he began working for the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home. Here he met Cynthia Schnichels who just so happened to return to the area for work as well. She caught his eye at the local café and on New Year’s Eve of 1983, Evan asked her to join him at a very memorial Vikings game two days later. On December 22, 1984, Evan and Cynthia were married at The Brig in Mitchell, South Dakota; a date commonly referred to as Cynthia’s anniversary. On June 29, 1985, their Nuptial Mass was held at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Searles, Minnesota, to be more commonly known in the future as Evan’s anniversary. The couple made their home in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota as Cynthia grew closer to the end of her college career. In September of 1988, they relocated to Tyler, Minnesota where Evan began working with the Utoft Johansen Funeral Home. Evan found true meaning through meeting with families and guiding them through their time of loss as a funeral director. Each feeling Evan had, he felt deeply and empathy was no exception. Evan shared his caring nature with the people and animals he worked with in his next beloved career, which he began in November of 1999 with Christensen Farms. He later went on to work at the swine research facility operated by Ralco prior to his retirement in December of 2018. Though work brought Evan and Cynthia to Tyler, the people kept them here. They were blessed to have many great friends with whom they shared their lives together. On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, Evan died unexpectedly at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 64 years, four months, and seven days.
Evan was a bit of a Renaissance man, as happy in nature hunting or fishing as he was traveling the world and experiencing cultures, food and the arts. Just prior to his death, Evan was thrilled to check two tasks off of his bucket list, visiting Australia and seeing the Southern Cross. He loved every minute spent on family trips to Ireland, France, Hilton Head, Canada, and many, many other locations. His family will always treasure the 14 annual Father’s Day camping trips they made. Evan made annual traditions something to be looked forward to, such as their New Year’s fondue parties since 1991, and especially the annual Valentine’s Day dinner that Evan and his best friend, Reid Jorgensen would skillfully put together for their wives after hours spent studying cookbooks from the library or internet. Evan appreciated all things Scottish and Irish, and was a fan of all sports. The definition of a Subway Alumnus, Evan followed his Fighting Irish of Notre Dame with much fervor. His passion for cars began at a young age and he was blessed to have several loves of his life, including but not limited to his ’68 and ’78 Firebirds, ’02 and ‘08 BMW’s, and a ’73 Corvette (the dream of every little boy born in the ‘50’s).
Evan believed that we choose our families, and thus is survived by a family beyond counting or fully naming. He will be remembered by his beloved wife of almost 35 years, Cynthia Rogers of Tyler, Minnesota; son, Regis (Terra) Rogers of Cincinnati and their grandchildren, Regis and Reagan Rogers; parents-in-law, Mathias and Avis Schnichels; siblings-in-law, Brenda (David) Drill, Phil (Rochelle) Wagner, and six nieces and nephews, dear friends, Stacy and Reid Jorgensen and extended families. He is also survived by three children, Danielle, William and Melissa, and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; Hazel and Ralph Rogers.