The course of history has been irrevocably changed by the passing of Evan Dallas Millsap—a statement which to a stranger may seem grandiose but which to those who knew him seems entirely inadequate.
The Earth is 4.543 billion years old and Evan arrived December 1st, 1992. For 9,710 beautiful days he loved learning, exploring, and testing the limits of his own abilities.
Even as a child Evan was brilliant and determined, and damn he was handsome! He graduated with high honors from Springville High School where he was a Sterling Scholar and cross country champion. He aced more AP tests than any other Springville student ever, all while flipping burgers at the local diner and being a friend and mentor to his seven younger siblings.
He was a citizen of the world and strove to see as much of it as he could. He spent a year as a foreign exchange student in Germany. He worked two years in Sweden as a missionary and a third caring for loved ones. He was a gifted linguist, perfectly fluent in Swedish and German and conversational in Turkish and Spanish. He has friends everywhere from Turkey to Talkeetna and Banff to Brittany.
Evan graduated magna cum laude from Utah State University with a BS in Geology, then went on to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to pursue a doctorate in vertebrate paleontology. He died on a climb in Denali National Park where he was having a blast as the leader of a geology field camp. Evan loved his work as a paleontologist digging up Late Cretaceous fossils from a remote corner of Arctic Alaska. He was so thrilled and proud to have described a new species of dinosaur, which he was preparing to publish.
Evan’s passions ranged from Nordic runes to sustainable agriculture to cartography. He was a voracious reader, gifted writer and journalist, and passionate political activist. Everyone who knew him was drawn to his intelligence, charisma, generosity of spirit, and wickedly clever sense of humor. He cherished authentic connections with people.
His prowess as a mountaineer and climber cannot be overstated. His tireless drive can never be matched. He was a fearless adventurer who had summited many world-class peaks, but who would never turn down a nature walk with a younger sibling. Whether the adventure was big or small, for Evan it was a sacrament to being alive and sharing meaningful moments with others.
He lived for long talks with his mom Denice, hikes with his dad Eric, and goofy inside jokes with his siblings, and would have traded the world for his nephews.
He lived in reverent awe of the incomprehensible vastness of time. He found God’s hand in the tiniest grains of sand. May the time of our separation from him feel no longer than the change of a season.
Viewing: Sunday, July 14th 6 to 8 pm and Monday, July 15th 11 am to 12:30 pm, Memorial service: Monday, July 15th 1 pm, 245 South 600 East Springville, Utah. Condolences at www.MemorialUtah.com.