John Rhett "J.R." Evans, 50, of Lake Carey, Pennsylvania, died Nov. 21, 2021, in Wyoming County.
Born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Karen (Meytrott) Kritchen of Pinellas Park, Florida, and the late Wayne E. Evans.
J.R. was an American original -- smart, skilled, capable and curious. His monumental sense of humor and gift for storytelling made people laugh till they cried. You knew when he entered the conversation or the room. He relished mischief, adventure and the occasional excess.
An intuitive cook, he trained at the Art Institute of Philadelphia's culinary program and worked in several Philly restaurants including the former Locust Club, under the direction of Chef Philippe Chin. He then moved to the Outer Banks where he served as chef at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill in Duck, North Carolina.
While living at Lake Carey he was chef at the Summerhouse Grill in Montrose, the Warren Hotel in Tunkhannock and, most recently, The Blogg Pub & Grill, also in Tunkhannock.
Despite being gregarious, J.R. valued solitude. Drawn to the remoteness of wild places, he spent countless happy hours trout fishing and hiking in Pennsylvania's streams and woods.
J.R. was a second-generation member of Black Rock Camp, located along the Pine Creek in Lycoming County. He was instrumental in recent improvements there and his craftsmanship can be seen all over the camp.
In January 2020 he began a stoic battle with a series of life-threatening medical issues that were worsening. Unwilling to lose his independence, J.R. chose his own end.
In addition to his mother, he is survived by stepfather John "Jack" Kritchen of Pinellas Park, Florida; a sister and brother-in-law, Liz Evans Scolforo and Mark Scolforo of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania; an aunt and uncle, Linda and Ron Ziegler of Northampton, Pennsylvania; and cousins.
A celebration of his life will be held in summer 2022 for family, friends and former co-workers.
Arrangements and care entrusted to Sheldon-Kukuchka Funeral Home, Inc. 73 W. Tioga St. Tunkhannock, PA 18657.
J.R. left the wild better than he found it. He helped build shad ladders in the Lehigh River as a youth, practiced catch-and-release, picked up litter and supported local conservation organizations. Those included the Endless Mountains Nature Center, 1309 Vosburg Road, Tunkhannock, PA 18657, and the Countryside Conservancy, P.O. Box 55, La Plume, PA 18440.
Please visit the funeral home website to share memories or send condolences.