If you asked Lea Evans about her proudest accomplishments, she’d answer in a heartbeat: being a mother, a grandmother, a military wife and serving the community.
Teresa Lea Evans (nee Patterson) passed away from cancer Sept. 9, 2021, in Columbia, MO. She was 62. She was born on December 16, 1958, in Wichita, Kansas, the eldest child of Marvin Lee Patterson and Shirley Sue Patterson.
Lea attended David H. Hickman High School and graduated in 1977. While a student there, in 1975, she met Eric Scott Evans on stage in a production of “Anything Goes.” The high school sweethearts later married on May 2, 1982. They had one child, Jason Patrick Evans, born in 1987.
After high school, she attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, from which she graduated in 1981 with a degree in housing and interior design. She was active in university life, including being a member of Kappa Delta Sorority from 1977 to 1981. Her love for music (she played the clarinet in high school) continued in college, where she was a member of the university’s Concert Chorale.
A Mizzou fan through and through, Lea and Eric were season-ticket holders, and Lea often posted about her beloved team on Facebook, even if they lost.
She worked as an office manager for a RE/MAX Boone Realty team. She was an Army Service spouse from 1981 to 2018 and was the leader for the Family Readiness Group during Eric’s deployments. She worked with the Missouri Theater and Symphony Society during the restoration of the historic theater.
But it was her community work, in schools and for local charities, which kept her busy and engaged in her lifelong home of Columbia. She volunteered countless hours for many local groups, including serving as “band mom” for Rock Bridge High School Band, where son Jason played the saxophone.
She worked on fundraisers for Columbia Public Schools Rock Bridge Elementary and was the treasurer for the Columbia Public Schools Foundation. Lea’s innovations at the Rock Bridge chicken barbeque doubled profits for the school. She made many quilts, and a special quilt for auction to the Ronald McDonald House.
A dog lover, she was a monthly donor to the Humane Society, where she and her family adopted all of their dogs, to include their pets Max and Zack. Lea was a dog person and even trained a few.
Lea was preceded in death by her father, Marvin Lee Patterson; and grandparents, Vera and Reed Patterson, Elberta and Munn Markland, and James and Peggy Blakemore.
She is survived by husband, Eric Evans; son, Jason Evans and daughter-in-law, Brianna Evans; grandchildren, Apollo Casey Evans and Hallie Sue Evans, all of Columbia, MO. In addition, she is survived by her mother, Shirley Patterson, of Columbia, MO; brother, Lance Patterson and sister-in-law, Jill McEntegart, of Atlanta, GA; brother-in-law, Michael Evans and wife, Tara of Sierra Vista, AZ; sister-in-law, Kelley Evans Davis and her husband, Tom Davis of Tamarac, FL; nephews, Michael Lance Patterson and his wife, Paloma, of Madrid, Spain; Nathan Richard Patterson and his wife, Erin, of Buffalo, NY; and Andrew Reed Patterson, serving on active status as a United States Marine.
The family will receive guests on Saturday, September 25, 2021, beginning at 12:30pm at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W, Columbia, MO 65202. A celebration of life will follow at 1:45pm in the funeral chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lea’s name to the Central Missouri Humane Society, c/o Kari Winkelmeyer, located at 616 Big Bear Boulevard, Columbia, MO 65202.
Out of respect for the health and safety of those attending the memorial service, the family asks that you wear a mask while attending.
Online condolences may be shared at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com