sadness, I must inform you that E. Burke Evans, MD passed away
on Thursday, April 12, 2012. Dr. Evans devoted over 63 years to our department, institution, and profession. In the
process, he not only became a pillar within the medical school and
the Galveston community, but the face of everything that is good
about being a physician. He was a great leader, a compassionate
caregiver, ardent scholar, and humble gentleman who was truly
beloved by all…patients, colleagues, students, family, and
We mourn our great loss. Ronald W. Lindsey, MD Professor and Chair
first met Dr. Evans when he repaired my mother's broken hip - and then
again, when he repaired her second hip fracture. He was a kind,
intelligent, and caring physician to a woman he had never met before. I
then was fortunate enough, as a faculty member, to be the beneficiary of
his philanthropy when I was appointed as the Betty Lee Evans
Distinguished Professor in Nursing. I was always so impressed by how he
valued nursing and his interest in everyone he met.
guess I have known Burke for about 25 years, first through my work with
Dave Simmons, and then through our mutual interest in burn patients at
Shriners. We always had lively discussions with Burke always acting as a
gadfly. Through all these conversations it was always clear that he had
an incisive mind and was always pointing out weaknesses in my
hypotheses. I always had to be on my toes when discussing things with
him. We also both had an interest in the arts and both of us, at least
for awhile, were members of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. This gave
an added dimension to our periodic conversations, which were always
lively. Finally, we both served on the Orthopaedics Research Committee,
where his input always gave us a sense of perspective. I was in China
when Burke passed away. I read the email from Cary Cooper in utter
disbelief. I could not imagine a time when Burke would not be with us.
And it does occur to me that even though he is no longer physically with
us, his personna will never leave UTMB.
When I came as a young pathologist to UTMB in '77, I was impressed with
Dr. Evans' ability to cross department lines in the cause of learning
and stimulating academic progress. He often used his extensive
connections to bring in world class bone experts for lively and friendly
exchanges of ideas. I only later came to know him as an East End
neighbor, and to realize his considerable contributions to community
life. He will be sorely missed at the school, and on the island.
Dr. Evans and I have known each other for over thirty years, ever since
I was the Administrator for the Department of Surgery in the 1980s. He
was my mentor, colleague, friend, and consultant for all these years. He
taught me many lessons that have benefited my career, my social life, my
culinary skills, and my appreciation of arts and culture and history.
His influence on me has been remarkable and sustaining, and I am forever
grateful to have known him. I am honored that we have been friends for
so many years. Burke was the first who helped me to appreciate cooking. He was the
first who taught me how to make salad dressing from scratch. I learned
from him that food tastes better when served on heated plates. It was a
joy to watch him cook in his kitchen and I learned many of my cooking
skills from him. He gave me the best professional advice that has served me very well for
many years. He told me that as long as you keep in mind what the other
person wants, you will do well. Even though I have left Galveston for many years, we have managed to
stay in touch and our social visits were always memorable. He was very
generous in sharing his friends and I have met many fascinating and
accomplished people. He was most generous with his time and professional
consultation when on occasions, my elderly parents had orthopedic
problems. He introduced me to several artists that I have never heard
before. My small art collection was enriched by his introductions. Burke was such a supreme person in his kindness, generosity, and smart
no-nonsense approach, I often cited him as an example for me and my
friends as to what we should do with a problem. He was an Angel in my life and I will always miss him.
had known Dr. Evans since I started at UTMB in 1970. Had the pleasure of
working with him in the OR. Even when I retired in '07, and didn't see
him as often, whenever our paths crossed, he never failed to say hello.
Such a wonderful soul. I will also miss his "little white jacket" which
he always wore.
Evans hired me as a junior faculty fresh out of my residency. He was my
surrogate father. He treated my wife and children as if they were his
own family. Two favorite memories: First, Saturday morning round when
the residents presenting to him were more concerned about appropriate
grammar and syntax than Orthopaedics. Second, his listening to patients
proclaiming a litany of complaints, mostly hypochondriacal, then his
taking their hand, looking into their eyes and saying, "I understand." I
wanted to be the physician that he was, but never quite made it.
share the sentiments of hundreds of orthopedic surgeons and thousands of
patients as I morn the loss of this great man. He greatly influenced my
career choice and was constantly supporting me as I moved through this
career. His kind demeanor sometimes masked his toughness and resolve,
but there was never any question of his selflessness and dedication not only to his profession, patients, and students but
also to his community. To say he will be missed is a massive
Class of 1996. Like those who posted before me, I cannot give enough
credit to Dr. Evans for the influence he has had on my life and career.
He was an amazing man, physician, and mentor, but the most extraordinary
thing about Dr. Evans was his humanity. He genuinely cared for and took
an interest in all the lives of those individuals who passed through the
orthopaedic program at UTMB. Personally, he made me feel like a part of
his family. He was also a good friend. I will miss him a lot. Thank you
Dr. Evans was an "extraordinary" man! He was an amazing mentor,
physician, colleage and human being. I remember my interview at UTMB and
was so impressed with his interest in us as individuals and for all of
the resident's pictures on his office walls. He was a tremendous
influence on me during residency and during my 18 years as an
orthopaedist. I know he is gone, but he will always be there peeking
over my shoulder. Thank you again Dr. Evans for everything you have done
for me and countless others!
Evans was a major force in my life and I credit him for much of who I am
today. I will remember him for his "swagger" (remember how he walked or
sashayed through the hospital corridors?). I also remember him as a
friend to all. I recall a gaggle of nurses arguing about the color of
one of their dresses and they sought out our wordsmith and leader for
advice. "Dr Evans, what color is this dress? The man glances over and
says without a pause, "why that's taupe" and saunters off down the hall.
My group of residents (95) liked to have a traditional "search for the
worm" tequila party and all faculty were invited and, Dr Evans, was the
only one to attend. He even drank the obligatory shot at the front door (required for
admission, although we would have waived it for the Chief). He also
looked after us after we graduated. Once at Academy, he patted my
expanding waistline and curtly said, "watch your weight". Dr Evans will
be in my heart always.
am very sadd to here that Dr. E Burk Evans has pass on.. We were friends
for 37 years, I enjoyed working for him and just totally enjoyed his
friendship. Such a kind ,caring person .I will truly miss you my
Lumps at Boat Club 1990: The graduating residents were passing out lumps
with outrageous hilarity. I was just a young first year resident, three
sheets to the wind and laughing uncontrollably at the jokes the chiefs
were making at the expense of the faculty when all of a sudden I
realized I probably shouldn't be laughing so loudly and conspicuously. I
did, after all, have to spend the next several years under their
authority. At that moment I happened to look over at a man lying on the
ground laughing so hard that he had tears running down his face. Of
course it was Dr. Evans! He was so delightfully human! From asking the
little old ladies on Saturday morning rounds what was their specialty
dish when they cooked to teaching the nuances of tissue handling that we
didn't get from the younger faculty, Dr. Evans epitomized the term
physician. I know we are all much better humans by being woven from some
of Dr. Evans' fabric! Thank you Dr. Evans.
Doctor Evans wryly observed during one of his extensions as department
head that he was the oldest Chairman of Orthopaedics in the universe.
Also, in my estimate, he was the best. After my own parents, he was the
most influential force in my life. Having read the other comments, I
suspect I am not unique in this feeling.
Sometimes I think my orthopaedic training was the LEAST thing I learned
from him. His spirit is in my clinic everyday; his approach to life, his
example of seeing the good in each person he met, his ability to find
something interesting in every love thing he encountered, his absolute
devotion to his university and his residents, not to mention his
Renaissance Man, unpretentious knowledge: all shimmer above me,
unattainable but always beckoning examples.
a Galveston product, I feel part of me is forever missing with his
passing. In truth a part of him lives on in each of the many surgeons
and students he has mentored. A giant in every sense of the word.
worked as a research assistant with Dr. Jason Calhoun from 1991-1994 and
got to know the wonderful Dr. Burke Evans, and even though I was just a
research assistant, Dr. Evans always treated me as a colleague and was a
total gentlemen of rare stature. Because he was best friends with Dr.
John Wallace, my personal doctor, we forged a nice bond which I will
always cherish. I will never forget sitting next to him at a dinner
meeting and he kept asking me about my life, what my professional and
educational experiences had been and what my aspirations were in life. I
truly felt that he was honestly interested in me and when you talk to
people about Dr. Evans, that is usually what many folks come away with -
that he really was a kind gentlemen who deeply cared for his patients,
friends and colleagues. Dr. Evans was a rare gem, a man deeply private
yet open and warm and very inviting, especially when having his famous
house parties which were simply awesome! My friend Dr. Wallace informed
me about Dr. Evans from time to time and I marveled that he was still
working at Shriners Hospital, driving to Houston, supervising the
renovation of his historic home after hurricane Ike and still enjoying
life as he approached 90 years old. A friend of mine ran into Dr. Evans
as they were walking from the grocery store a few months ago and he
asked how I was doing and told my friend to say hello from to me from
him. Dr. Evans then proceeded to give my friend a lovely history lesson
on the homes in the historic district which she greatly appreciated and
admired his depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the history of the
island and it's architecture. I believe that it sums up Dr. Evans' life
as well - deeply knowledgeable about many things, enthusiasm for life
and all of it's glory and his caring for everyone, even a research
assistant who briefly worked at UTMB years ago. May your Rest In Peace
my very dear friend and mentor, Dr. E. Burke Evans. You were a rare gem
that will continue to shine through the 100s of people you taught
true is a sad day for Galveston and the UTMB community. Dr Evans was
truly a leader by example. We all learned from his historic input on
Saturday "B" service rounds. His humanity as well as his wry sense of
humor was seen at his home, the boat club, the many sponsored events
including journal club, Wednesday morning conference, etc. To me, Dr.
Evans embodied the sense of family and community and the glue which held
the program together. I will miss him.
It is a sad day for many uf us to know of the passing of this wonderful
man. Dr. Evans was UTMB Orthopedics. Great human being, amazing professor, teacher to many generations.
I sought his advice multiple times and he never closed his door to his
residents, always happy to help. He influenced my life tremendously, and
thanks to him I learn to love Orhtopedics. His clinical experience in
patient assessments was out of this world, and I learned a lot from him.
I was looking forward to visit with him next month, but God needed him
earlier. I will always be greatful for giving me the opportunity to
become a UTMB resident when the odds were not in my favor. He told me
that what he looked in a resident was not how smart they were but what
kind of person they were. He respected everybody's opinions and he will
encourage you to follow your dreams. Rest in peace Dr. Evans, you will
be missed always.
Dr. Evans was the epitome of a leader and a physician. He never looked
at a patient as a case, but as a human being who had an interesting
personal background that we as physicians could learn from, no matter
what race, color, or creed he/she was from. He was a man that led by
example and to this day I use his style of interviewing a patient for
the first time. I had the opportunity to visit him and reconnect with
him for a weekend last April in Galveston. We enjoyed each others
company and reminisced about the five years I was there (1992-97). He
reminded me that we both felt the movie Pulp Fiction was one of the best
movies ever as we had seen a lot of movies together. I will miss his
short personal letters, but I will carry on his passion for learning. He
would always tell me to "retain a high level of curiosity, looking for
the next thing to criticize and write about". Thank you Dr. Evans for
taking a boy from Philadelphia into your program and changing him for
the better. May you rest in peace.
was his resident from 1965-69, and on his faculty from 1978-84. He was a
lot more than a mentor and role model to me. He was a friend and a
lifelong inspiration. I remember the frustration of waiting for him in
the clinic, knowing that he was stopping along the way to talk to lowly
hospital employees, asking about their families, giving encouragement
and doing all the things that were a part of his makeup. Then, when he
at last showed up, he gave me and our patients the same compassionate
When I became a department chair and residency program director, his
behind the scenes support made my successes possible. When I resigned as
chairman, and made room for my successor, he told me how proud he was of
me, and that was the best it ever got for me. I will miss him terribly.
will never forget those long afternoons in his private clinic, the
drives to C P clinic in Richmond, the resident parties at his house, his
homemade mayo and his artwork on his walls. You are not forgotten and
it's been 40 years.
Fond remembrance of joining Burke at UTMB in 1970 doubling the faculty
of what was then the Division of Orthopaedics. I know how proud he was
of the growth to the current Department and all the fine residents he
mentored during his time. He will be missed.