A LIFE OF IMPACT ON FAMILY AND FRIEND W. Laurence Evans passed into the presence of his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, peacefully on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital. He was 82 years old. Laurence, born July 10, 1929, was the eldest child of Wilfred and Gladys Evans (both deceased) and was born and raised on their family farm on Marsh Hill Road in Epsom. Laurence was married to Olive (nee Wilson) in May of 1951 and together they raised 8 children in Uxbridge, Larry (Janice), Joan (Dwight Wideman), Brian (Luanne), Nancy (Darcy Wallace), Susan (Harold Kloosterman), Margaret (Tej Minhas), Mary (Rev. Tim Dickau) and Linda (Greg Jaster). The family continued to grow with 34 Grandchildren and now 7 GreatGrandchildren. Laurence was fully aware before his passing that the arrival of new family members is planned for late spring and summer this year which will make 74 total family members…so far! He was brother to Ross (Barbara), Floyd (Grace), Mildred (deceased), David (Shirley), Doris (Allan Hockley) and Doreen, (Thomas Pickett, deceased). Family, not only his immediate but his extended family was important to Laurence. These were loved ones that he cared about and chose to be with often.
Laurence grew up on the family farm and learned early to appreciate and care for livestock and work hard. By the age of twenty, Laurence had bought his own farm next to his parents and began a mixed farming operation while also developing a dairy herd and shipping milk daily. Within a few years, he sensed the call for Christian ministry and after selling his farm to his brother, moved towards the preparation for greater lay ministry in the Church.
Some of his descendants had been founding elders at Claremont Baptist Church, Uxbridge Baptist Church and Sunderland Baptist Church. It is not surprising that because of his strong faith and spiritual passion, Laurence and Olive were instrumental in the commencement of a new work in Newmarket that became known as the Victory Baptist Church and continues today. Laurence was a very active member of the Uxbridge Baptist Church from his teenage years. Also, in the early years, Laurence helped to organize Youth for Christ events locally and Youth work among Baptist Churches throughout the Trent Valley and Toronto region. He attended Central Baptist Seminary and Dominion Business College in Toronto. He would often be sought after to preach in church pulpits and special services through out the region. In 1980, Laurence became the President of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec after many years of various service and ministry positions in this Baptist organization. He was called upon to travel through out these provinces to speak and encourage many congregations. His family would often attend these functions with him to provide music. As a member of the Gideon’s for 16 years, Laurence met with and distributed Gideon New Testaments to the Grade 5 classes of Elementary schools through out the Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock regions. His level headed approach to business affairs kept him busy as a volunteer on several committees and Charity boards over the years, including the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Board.
For 13 years, Laurence worked at Williamsons Motor Sales when the business was located at the corner of Brock and Main Street in Uxbridge. He pumped gas, managed the inventory of repair parts for the dealership and distributed Atlas tires to service stations all over the area. In 1965, Laurence became an Insurance Agent with Great-West Life and started Evans Financial Services which continues today, almost 47 years later. Active in the business community of Uxbridge for many years, Laurence also was a founding member of the Optimist Club in town. For several years, Laurence participated on the Uxbridge Township, Committee of Adjustment and then after retirement on the Land Division of Durham Region.
However, Laurence was probably best known as the neighbour and friend who always took time for people. People he met on his walks, at the arena, in the restaurant, while visiting at local hospitals and wherever life lead him. As he once preached, “The church isn’t a building. The church is the people of God living out their faith daily wherever life takes them.”
In the Holy Scriptures, the Words of Life that were life to Laurence, we echo the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7…Laurence has “fought the good fight, has finished the race, has kept the faith. Now there is in store for him the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to him on that day, and not only to him , but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” Laurence, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Brother and Friend will be sadly missed…only until we meet again!
A Celebration of Life service is planned for Tuesday, March 13th, 11:00 AM at Uxbridge Baptist Church, 231 Brock Street West. Visitation opportunities with family, also at the Church, are planned for Sunday, March 11th, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM and Monday, March 12th, from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The family has suggested memorial donations be directed to The Gideon’s or the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Foundation.