Meet Sam and Billie Evans, Parkway Place October residents of the month. Billie was born and raised in Wichita, Kan. Sam was born in Tulsa, Okla., but moved to Wichita in his senior year of high school. After graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Navy aboard the Battleship Tennessee at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They met at Wichita State and Billie jokes that she was instantly smitten with Sam, asking him for a first date to a sorority dance. They married in 1949.
Sam graduated with a degree in geology and accepted a job with Sunray Oil Company which would bring them first to Alice, Texas, where daughter Jennifer was born, next to Corpus Christi where daughter, Janice, arrived, and then to Tulsa, where the youngest, Julie, completed the family. In 1960, they moved to Houston where Sam worked for various oil companies and for himself. Billie was a busy homemaker, enjoying all the activities that went along with raising her girls.
In 1961, Billie was introduced to sculpting with clay by a neighbor’s daughter who was completing a school project. She soon enrolled in a night school class at Spring Branch to learn basic techniques in sculpting and was hooked. She spent the next several years studying under some nationally known sculptors and developing her craft.
Billie became a well-known sculptor herself, with life-sized bronze sculptures on display in several Houston locations as well as other parts of the U.S. The closest bronze is of Pope John Paul II on the grounds of the school of the same name near Parkway Place. In 1986, Billie started a company called “By the Garden Bench” where she designed sculptures for the home and garden that were sold nationwide. After selling the company in 1993, she devoted her time to doing commission work of varied subjects including children, religious figures and animals.
Sam and Billie lived in the Memorial area in Houston. They shared an interest in traveling throughout the western states, especially enjoying the Colorado mountains. A trip to Europe also remains a favorite memory. They feel blessed that their three daughters live in Houston so they can see their nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
The Evans moved to Parkway Place in May, and have been very happy here. They find the personnel exceptionally helpful and are impressed by how well the dining room is managed. They especially enjoy meeting new neighbors each day in the dining room.
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