Cover photo for Lydia Duckett Evanson's Obituary
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Lydia Duckett Evanson

May 10, 1946 — April 19, 2024

Arkadelphia

Lydia Duckett Evanson

Lydia Duckett Evanson, age 77, of Arkadelphia, Arkansas died on Friday, April 19, 2024, at Apple Creek Skilled Nursing in Centerton after over a year-long struggle with health issues. Lydia was born in Conway Arkansas to John Brady and Pauline Evans Duckett.


Lydia was valedictorian of her graduating class of Sylvan Hills High School in North Little Rock, Arkansas in 1964. Graduating with cum laude honors, she received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Henderson State University in 1968, where she met and married the great love of her life, Wendell. In 1978, she completed the Master of Music Education degree at Ouachita Baptist University. She went on to receive her Doctor of Arts in Music Education degree from the University of Mississippi in 1992. Her music teaching experience encompassed all levels, from kindergarten through university, starting out as a music teacher in the Arkadelphia public school system. She went on to serve as Assistant Professor of Music at Henderson where her teaching duties included elementary and secondary vocal music methods courses, applied voice, voice class, and choral ensemble work. She was a proud sponsor of the Collegiate MENC at Henderson State University, worked to further the cause of music education in the state of Arkansas. After retiring from Henderson, she returned to the public schools in Malvern as well as to the Child Services Center at Henderson to put all of her doctoral learnings into practice. She and her   husband traveled throughout those years and after her official retirement in 2005. In September of 2011, Wendell suffered a fall that would leave her as his full-time caregiver until his passing in November of 2020. 


Dr. Evanson was widely known for beautiful soprano voice and was a frequent soloist at the First United Methodist Church in Arkadelphia. And she was also known for making a mean batch of baked beans for countless band social events for her husband. Much of his success was directly the result of her unwavering dedication and support to his work as he built the music program at HSU.


Dr. E., as the HSU child services students called her, found enjoyment utilizing the early childhood music education practices of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze and Zoltan Kodaly with this delightful group as well as with her students in Malvern.  


Preceded in death by her parents, John Brady and Pauline Evans Duckett, and her husband, Wendell O. Evanson, and her brother-in-law, Doug Wright and brother-in-law, Larry Ross. Dr. Evanson is survived by her daughter Lori (John) Adams; son Kirk (Lucy) Evanson; grandchildren, Jonah and Tess Evanson;  step-grandchildren Rebekah (Jeffrey) Juillerat and Andrew (Jami-Lee) Adams. She is also survived by her siblings and their children: Johnny (Susie) Duckett, Kathy (Bob) Elliott, Martha Wright, Paul (Tammy) Duckett, Cindy (Keith) Paxton, and numerous nieces and nephews.


A service celebrating Lydia’s life will be held at First United Methodist Church on Wednesday April 24th at 2:00pm. Pall bearers will be: Johnny Duckett, Paul Duckett, John Adams, Wesley Branstine, David Rollins and Tim Harrell. Visitation will be prior to the service at 1:00 p.m. in the church's parlor.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in Lydia’s name may be sent to the Wendell and Lydia Evanson Band scholarship fund at Henderson State University or you can call (870) 230-5347.  Music meant so much to her, and she would be gratified to be memorialized by helping the students who are as passionate about music as she was.


 Arrangements are entrusted to Smith Family Funeral Home Arkadelphia, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923.  www.smithfamilycares.com
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Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

107 N 9th St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

107 N 9th St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Rest Haven Memorial Gardens

4647 Pine Street, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

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