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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pat Evans, a life well lived.

Thank you John Pope for the article below published in the Times Picayune.
Pat Evans had more than one conversation with the folks who started up NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association.

"Pat Evans, an energetic political consultant and longtime advocate of women's rights who not only managed Mary Landrieu's first successful statewide campaign but also was the first director of the Louisiana Governor's Office of Women's Services, died Thursday at her Treme home. She was 81.

In addition to working in political and social campaigns in Louisiana, Ms. Evans operated on an international scale. She produced documentaries and was an adviser to Margarita Penon in her campaign for the presidency of Costa Rica. In the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, she worked in countries that had been part of the Communist bloc as they struggled to establish democratic governments.

"She was an advocate for social justice," said Richard Burford, her son-in-law. "She always fought for the underdog."

In a statement Friday afternoon, Landrieu called Evans "a passionate and effective advocate."

"Since the early 1970s, she advocated for social justice, championed equal opportunity in employment and fought for women across our state," Landrieu said. "She had a tremendously positive impact and will be greatly missed."

A lifelong New Orleanian who was born Patricia Terrell, Ms. Evans was known to everyone as Pat. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a degree in education and started her broadcasting career as "Miss Pat" on "Romper Room" in Baton Rouge.

Ms. Evans formed a consulting company bearing her name. Clients included Landrieu, now Louisiana's senior U.S. senator, when she won the office of state treasurer; Melinda Schwegmann, when she was elected lieutenant governor; and Diana Bajoie, when she was elected to the state Legislature from New Orleans.

In 1976, Ms. Evans led the Louisiana delegation to the first Conference on American Women in Houston, and she convened the first Governor's Conference on Women.

In 1985, Gov. Edwin Edwards appointed Ms. Evans director of the Governor's Office of Women's Services (now the Governor's Office on Women's Policy). Under her leadership, it grew from a gubernatorial advisory board to an agency with an $8 million budget that designed and implemented programs, in cooperation with the private sector, on topics such as welfare reform, family violence, teenage-pregnancy prevention and counseling for displaced homemakers.

Ms. Evans also worked for legislation on family violence, rape, community property and equal credit, and she helped organize support in Louisiana for the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

She designed programs for the lieutenant governor's office, the state Office of Elderly Affairs and the state Department of Labor.

Ms. Evans helped organize the Center for Women and Government at Nicholls State University and was a founding member of the center's Women's Hall of Fame.

She was a former president of Odyssey House's Board of Directors.

Survivors include a son, Matthew Evans of Arlington, Va.; a daughter, Debby Evans of New Haven, Conn.; a brother, Paul Terrill of Amite; two sisters, Bert Tulley of New Orleans and Mary Miller of Winston-Salem, N.C.; and two grandchildren.

A Mass will be said May 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Augustine's Catholic Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.

Burial will be in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2."

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