Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Evelyn ‘Jane’ Sevy

Evelyn “Jane” Sevy, 98, passed away peacefully on the night of March 6, 2013, at Wynwood assisted care facility in Twin Falls. Jane was born to Robert and Nellie Smith on March 14, 1914, in Fort Scott, Kan. The family moved around the country following various jobs including school teaching and farming. They finally settled in Cedar City, Utah, where her parents managed the Sprouse-Reitz variety store until they retired and moved to Salt Lake City in 1955. Jane attended College of Southern Utah and then Utah State University where she graduated with a degree in education. She met the love of her life, Jay (John L. Sevy) while in college and they were married on Oct. 31, 1937. Jay had majored in range management and upon graduating took a job with the U.S. Forest Service, thereby launching a distinguished, albeit short, career that ended with his untimely death in October 1963. He was supervisor of the Sawtooth National Forest at the time.  Jane and Jay were truly of the “Greatest Generation.”  Their Forest Service assignments took them throughout the Intermountain Region and they were often stationed in remote outposts such as Austin, Nev., and Atlanta, Idaho, where Jay was the district ranger. Jane was the quintessential Forest Service wife.  Back then, wives were an essential part of the Forest Service team. They were issued government driver’s licenses and were called upon to help in various capacities, be it delivering supplies to fire camps or answering the telephones or radios and helping with the office work. Other duties, as assigned, sometimes included entertaining important guests. Jane particularly remembered when she and Jay hosted Gen. Matthew Ridgway and his family when they came to visit the Bridger Wilderness Area. Jane and Jay made friendships wherever they went and even though there are not many of them left, those that are have maintained contact with Jane.   

Raising three children in remote areas presented challenges and required considerable resourcefulness. Jane is survived by those three children: Jay (Laura) of Hailey, Idaho, Janelle (Gary) of Los Gatos, Calif., and Bob (Annie) of Stanley, Idaho. Grandchildren are Tanya, daughter of Jay and Laura, and Heather and Heidi, daughters of Janelle and Gary, and great-grandson Jack.  She is also survived by her sister Dorothy of Salt Lake City, Utah, with whom she had a very close lifelong friendship.  

Jane taught school for many years in Kemmerer, Wyo., and Twin Falls, Idaho. After her husband’s death, she continued to teach in the Twin Falls school system until she retired in 1974. Students in the Twin Falls school system would remember her from the Morningside, Robert Stuart Junior High and Bickell schools. She retired in the mid-1970s and then enjoyed travel adventures throughout the U.S. and the world. She was also active in PEO International, a philanthropic organization promoting the advancement of women.   

A highlight in her life was when Sevy Peak, a high and prominent peak in the Sawtooths, was named after her husband, in honor of his notable achievements while with the Sawtooth National Forest. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Redfish Lake Visitor Center and the creation of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Several distinguished Forest Service and congressional people attended an informal ceremony for the naming of the peak at Redfish Lake on Aug. 20, 1973. Although she was unable to hike to the peak, she was thrilled when pilot Mike Dorris and son Bob treated her to a spectacular aerial reconnaissance.  

Jane loved the mountains and was fortunate in being able to accompany her husband on pack trips in such special areas as the Bridger and Sawtooth wilderness areas. Sons Jay and Bob also took her down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in 1972, where she was able to see “Sevy’s Rock,” also informally named after her husband.  

Special thanks go to Hospice Visions and Wynwood personnel, who gave exceptional end-of-life care. Also, Millie Munroe, a longtime friend, was always there for Jane. Her frequent visits were much appreciated.  

An informal private family-and-friends memorial service will be held at a later date. The family asks that any contributions in her memory be made to the charity of your choice or to the Sawtooth Society, Box 209, Stanley, ID 83278.

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