CHICAGO—It is with great sadness that we inform our readers of the recent passing of former 21st ward alderman, Jesse J. Evans, who passed away, Nov. 17 at Little Company of Mary in Evergreen Park.
Evan’s leadership skills interlaced with care and compassion catapulted him to first run for 21st ward alderman only to come in third place. Evans’s career in politics flourished when he took on the role of block club president and soon thereafter, he managed two precincts in the 21st ward. However, on his second run for political office, he won by a slim 14 votes. After a successful win, news headers read: “Postal clerk beats the Democratic machine.” Evans served the 21st ward from 1987 to 1997.
Prior to his aldermanic roles, he worked at the United States Postal Service for number of years. He also served an auditor for the State of Illinois.
In 1997, Evans and a group of African-American aldermen in Chicago became targets and victims of the infamous Operation Silver Shovel political probe which not only ended his political career but several of his colleagues’ career in politics. He will be remembered for his dedication, benevolence, and compassion for his family and the residents of the 21st ward.
Born, May 27, 1937, in Helena, Arkansas, Evans was a devoted father, husband, and community activist. He and his family moved to Chicago when he was young, and he later married his high school sweetheart Betty Cobbs in 1959. The couple was married for 61 years. He leaves behind his wife, Bettye Evans, two sons, Minister Karriem Muhammad and Ronnie J. Walker, a granddaughter, and a host of great-grandchildren.
Alderman Evans was a lifelong Christian and life-time member of Third Baptist Church on 95th & Ashland. In 2008, he suffered a stroke which led to additional health challenges. Funeral services are pending.
A Go Fund Me page has been established for Alderman Evans. To send donations to the Go Fund Me project please log onto; https://www.gofundme.com/f/remembering-alderman-jesse-evans?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&ut_campaign=p_nacp+share-sheet&rcid=43be6a47c829459abc4cfaaf0f43b02