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Raemi Evans honored at Livingstone banquet

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY – Raemi Evans has received recognition for her community and civic involvement over the years, and on Oct. 2 she was among eight people honored for preserving historical documents and artifacts of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Livingstone College and Hood Theological Seminary.

Evans and the other honorees were recognized at a 7 p.m. banquet sponsored by The Walls Advisory Board to help raise money to transform Heritage Hall, located on Livingstone’s campus, into a grand facility for genealogical and academic research to be used by people throughout the country.

The banquet was held at Livingstone’s School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts on Jake Alexander Boulevard and featured Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. as the keynote speaker.

Evans was honored, in part, because for decades she has served as historian for Soldiers Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, of which she’s a lifetime member. A former educator in Salisbury-Rowan County Schools, Evans taught English Composition as an adjunct professor at Hood Theological Seminary for 28 years before retiring in 2014.

“Mrs. Evans is a woman who has served outstandingly as a community leader,” said Reverend Dr. Barbara LaToison, who presented the honorees. “She has given herself to the AME Zion Church and to Hood Theological Seminary…”

Evans’ son, Fredrick Wellington Evans, his wife Yvette and their son Fredrick Jr., as well as Evans’ granddaughter, Adria Marie Davis, accompanied her at the banquet as did her sisters, Dr. Carol Meeks and Harriet Graves, her brother-in-law Hubert Graves and many close friends. Evans’ daughter Janine Davis and granddaughters Kristen Maria Evans and Lauryn Janine Davis were unable to attend.

“I would like to thank the community for selecting me for this honor,” Evans said. “I would like to thank my family and my friends for coming, and I’m hoping the transformation of Heritage Hall will be successful…”

Evans is actively involved in the Salisbury community and is a past recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. She’s also a granddaughter of Dr. James E.K. Aggrey, after whom Livingstone’s cafeteria is named.

Though she appreciated being honored, the banquet was bittersweet for Evans. In June she lost her husband Freddie M. “Jake” Evans, to whom she would have been married 52 years in August.

“My mom’s love for history, particularly African-American history as it relates to Rowan County and Salisbury, is something she prides herself on and works diligently to ensure is passed down through the generations,” said her son Fred, an attorney. “She inherited her love and passion for history and writing from her mother, Abna A. Lancaster.

“Although mom was the one who got the recognition on Friday night, she and my dad were a team,” he continued. “They always attended events and participated in functions together over the years, so it was difficult for her to attend the banquet without him by her side. That’s why it was important to have so many of her friends and family members there to support her, and my sister Janine and I are very thankful for the committee’s recognition of our mother’s dedicated work.”

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