- December 2, 1954 - March 16, 2017
- New Orleans, Louisiana
of Robert's Passing
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Robert George Evans Jr., 62, died in New Orleans of pancreatic cancer on Thursday, March 16, 2017. A lifelong New Orleanian, he graduated from Archbishop Shaw High School and the University of New Orleans, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management in 1976.
Both business and pleasure brought Rob to most continents multiple times throughout his life. He started traveling with his family at age nine, forming a lifetime appreciation of art, architecture, and history. He explored the world with relish, meeting new people everywhere who, because of his kind and gregarious nature, soon called him a stalwart friend. Rob built a legacy of love and laughter with family and friends around the world. He was an avid Saints fan, an overly optimistic golfer, and a terrible driver.
Rob was no stranger to hard work. From the age of twelve, he assumed various tasks at the family steel drum business, Evans Cooperage. After college, he rose to the position of Vice President, eventually serving at several Evans locations in Louisiana, Texas, and Missouri.
In 1983, Rob founded Con-Tech International which began selling industrial steel drum parts and related items. It has grown into an international corporation supplying steel and hundreds of custom manufactured parts to various industries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. For years, Con-Tech has been featured in the City Business Top Private Companies in New Orleans. True to his roots, Rob stated in a recent interview, “New Orleans is our home and we prefer to bring in and ship products from New Orleans whenever possible.”
Rob loved New Orleans culture, food, and people as only someone with his generous heart could. Following Hurricane Katrina, he devoted hundreds of hours every year to improving New Orleans public schools and the lives of the children attending them. He advocated tirelessly for the inner-city students attending Lafayette Academy and Esperanza Charter School, the K-8 public charter schools operated by the Choice Foundation. He served as a Choice board member, Vice-Chairman and Executive Committee member, directing school management and focusing both attention and resources on educational reform. Whether in the classroom, the boardroom, or the Capitol, Rob touched many lives with his zeal to leave New Orleans schools better than he found them.
Rob believed that economic reform would bring a New Orleans renaissance. He was a long-time board member and Vice Chairman of the World Trade Center, an organization devoted to regional economic development through international trade. He had been slated to be its next Chairman. Rob also joined the Executive Committee of the Horizon Initiative, organized to study and implement the best practices for regional economic development. As Co-Chair of its Education and Workforce Development Committee, he relentlessly advocated for educational reform as the cornerstone of economic progress in New Orleans. On the statewide level, he served on the Education Council of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Rob is survived by his wife of 34 years, Barbara Ryniker Evans; their daughter, Kathleen Ryniker Evans and her spouse Oscar Alvarez Jr. of New York City; their son, Robert George Evans III of New Orleans; his twin brother, Ronald James Evans of Gretna; his sister, Janice Evans Hamilton of Gretna; their families and treasured friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert George Evans Sr. and Janice Roberts Evans of Gretna; and his brother Jeffrey Michael Evans of Gretna.
A visitation will be held from 8:30-10:30 AM with a 10:30 AM funeral mass to follow at Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 1802 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112-2246. Memorials may be made to Choice Foundation, 1651 N.Tonti Street, New Orleans, LA., 70119. Donations can also be made online directly on the Choice Foundation website at https://donate.esperanzano.org/donate-now. Rob’s family would appreciate any digital tributes at his online guest book - http://tinyurl.com/mw5qad3.