Elaine Lucille Evans, a career teacher who with her husband bought a house in Springs almost 60 years ago, died in her sleep at home in Brooklyn on June 17. She was 84.
A Brooklyn native, she and her husband, Charles, visited the East End with friends in the early 1960s, finding it so beautiful that they bought property around 1964. “They loved how pristine the area was in those early years — the dense woods, the gorgeous bay and ocean beaches, the small-town stores of East Hampton, and the views of the manifold farms in the area,” wrote her son Gideon Evans of Brooklyn.
She was born on May 9, 1939, to Morris Pitt and the former Sara Sapir. She grew up in the Marine Park neighborhood, and later lived in the Fort Greene and Midwood neighborhoods. She graduated from James Madison High School in Midwood before earning a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, in English and education, at Brooklyn College.
She started her career teaching high school English, and for many years taught special education at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn. Later, she was a health coordinator and supervised the paraprofessionals at that school. She was a devoted teacher who fought for the rights of her students, some of whom had profound and complicated issues, her son wrote.
She and Charles Evans were married on Dec. 24, 1961. Mr. Evans was a philosophy professor, and later chairman of that department, at City College of New York. Both educators, the couple had summers off to spend in East Hampton. Mr. Evans died in 2006.
Over six decades here, the couple made many friends, many of whom had children of similar age to their own three kids. Mrs. Evans kept the children entertained with tie-dye parties and taught them to catch marine life with a seine net at Albert’s Landing so they could set up a saltwater fish tank at home. If she saw a box turtle in the middle of the road, she would stop the car and help it to the other side, her son wrote. She took her children, and later her grandchildren, to the duck pond on David’s Lane in East Hampton Village.
She enjoyed visiting art galleries, sometimes buying art, and doing her own painting, working in oil or acrylic at Louse Point in Springs, Bridge Gardens, and other places on the South Fork. She and her husband organized cultural events including showing residents a documentary about Israel, a cause that was close to her heart. She attended the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton and Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor. She was also a member of LongHouse Reserve here, Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, and the Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association.
Over the years, she spearheaded traditions among friends including a women’s dinner, a potluck party that husbands were sometimes allowed to attend. With friends, she and her husband helped organize an annual end-of-summer picnic at Two Mile Hollow Beach in the village complete with a fire, a huge pot of steamers, clams, and mussels, toasted marshmallows, and the singing of camp songs.
After her retirement, Mrs. Evans spent more of the off-season in Springs. She would watch sunsets at Gerard Drive and Clearwater Beach, go to arthouse films at the Sag Harbor Cinema, and spend hours in her garden.
In addition to her son Gideon, she is survived by a daughter, Hilary Evans, and another son, Seth Evans, both of Brooklyn. She leaves four grandchildren, Sara and Anna Graziano and Kali and Milo Evans. A brother died before her.
A memorial service was held on June 20 at Sherman’s Flatbush Memorial Chapel in Brooklyn.