Evan E. House, Jr., son of the late Evan E. House Sr. and Alice Harvey House, passed away in Carrollton, GA on May 12th following a stroke at the age of 90. A loving and beloved father, grandfather and friend, he lived a remarkable and varied life, one full of curiosity and learning, from studying in a one-room schoolhouse to a long, fulfilling career in aerospace. He effortlessly crossed generations, appreciating, encouraging and celebrating people for who they are. Thoroughly independent, he celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends in December of 2019.
Evan was preceded in death by his wife Carol and his son Lt. Thomas House. He is survived by his sons Jeffrey House, Richard House, daughter Kimberlee House, , granddaughters Candy Shyer and Brittany Mederos and their children and Tom’s widow Darleen Rouin and her children Patrick, Kaileen and Maggie.
An avid reader, Evan had an insatiable curiosity and was a lifelong collector of thoughts and sayings, which he would use as his touchstones, whether from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Kahlil Gibran or Gary Larson.
Evan was born at his aunt and uncle’s house in rural Missouri weeks after the stock market crash of 1929 and grew up on his grandparents’ farm with his sister, Ann, while his parents were away during the Great Depression (his mother worked for a time on a riverboat casino). “Buck,” as he was known on the farm, began his education at a one-room schoolhouse – a rare instance of actually “walking miles in the cold” to school each day, although he was never one to complain.
During World War II, he and his family moved from Missouri to Portland, Oregon, where his parents worked in the shipyards. The family initially lived in the newly built town of Vanport before moving to SE Portland. Evan Sr. founded a commercial painting company, painting schools, bridges along the Oregon coast, and more, and Evan Jr. eventually earned his trade union card.
While in high school, Evan bought the first of his many classic cars, although he did run into some trouble as this was before he was legally able to drive. Ever independent and strong-willed, he briefly forged out on his own to work at a lumber mill before returning home. Following high school, he joined the Navy, serving as an ordinance man on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War.
Evan met Carol Voiss after returning to Portland, and they were married in 1955, beginning a loving marriage of nearly 47 years. The young family moved to California, where Evan studied Chemical Engineering at San Jose State while also supporting their young sons.
After graduation, he went to work for Rohr Aircraft Corporation in Southern California, beginning his career in aerospace that took him across the country and around the world, including relocating the family to London for a year in 1966. At Lockheed in Atlanta, he made a key contribution to the C-5 Galaxy, the largest plane in the world, creatively solving a critical issue with the epoxy in the wings.
In over 20 years at Boeing, he received multiple commendations for his work, which included cutting edge innovations in high performance materials and advanced composites, structural test development/analysis and failure analysis (such as troubleshooting safety issues in missile silos, for example). He came out of retirement to work on the SeaLaunch program, a groundbreaking international effort that converted decommissioned oil rigs to floating commercial satellite launch platforms.
His life in many ways exemplified the American Dream, demonstrating that talent, hard work and dedication can carry a person from the modest beginnings of living off the land on the family farm all the way to distant horizons, sending planes into the sky and rockets to the stars. He will be greatly missed.
Hutcheson's Memorial Chapel and Crematory of Buchanan was honored to serve the House family.
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