County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Judge Thomas (Tom) R. Evans

August 17, 1958-May 2, 2022


Judge Thomas (Tom) R. Evans died peacefully, May 2, in the loving presence of family.  He had never fully recovered from a stroke suffered late last year. 

Tom was born August 17, 1958, to R. Wayne and Mabel Evans.  He grew up and attended school in Beaverton, where he graduated in 1976.  He earned his undergraduate history degree from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University.  In 2005, he was appointed Chief Judge of the 55th Circuit Court for Clare and Gladwin, by former Governor Jennifer Granholm.  He was elected and reelected four times, serving until his death. 

For Tom, the law was not a career; it was a calling.   His service included law clerk, private practice, public defender, Gladwin County Prosecuting Attorney, and legal instructor at Kirtland Community College.  He had consummate analysis, persuasion, and debate skills (skills he began honing as soon as he learned to talk – there was never any doubt he would be a lawyer).  Most importantly, Tom had a fierce love of justice and was filled with abounding compassion.  These traits guided all aspects of his professional and personal life.

Tom was an avid student of history, with a profound understanding of its lessons.   Tom loved hunting, travelling with his wife Trish, and sharing his love of reading with children.  He enjoyed deep discussions, with anyone who wanted to talk. 

Along with Trish, he was a long-term member at Holy Scripture Lutheran Church in Midland.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents.  He is survived by his adoring, and adored, wife of 12 years, Patricia (Trish) Morris.  Also surviving, are his stepson John Bergtold with his wife Alexandra, and their children Arianna, Emily, and Lucas.  He is also survived by two stepdaughters Katie and Maggie, from a previous marriage; five brothers, Wayne (Jayne), Robert, Dave (Sharon), Larry, and Tim (Renee); one sister, Sandra (Rick) Calhoon; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services will take place Saturday, May 7, at 11:00 AM, at Holy Scripture Lutheran Church in Midland.  Burial to take place in Old Calvary Cemetery in Midland. Family will receive friends at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler Street, Midland, Friday, May 6th  from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. A time a remembrance and sharing will be held Friday at 7:00 PM after the visitation at the funeral home.

Memorials can be given to The Second Amendment Foundation, the Friends of the Gladwin County Libraries, or the charity of your choice.