The Rev. Jan Evans-Tiller died on September 20, 2016 at the age of 85.
Jan was born on August 20, 1931 to Alfred R. and Alma W. Lowe, growing up in the Herkimer area of upstate New York. She was the valedictorian of Herkimer High School’s class of 1949, and went on to graduate from the University of Rochester in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.
Rev. Evans-Tiller was ordained by the Birmingham Unitarian Church of Bloomfield Hills, MI as its Minister of Religious Education on May 31, 1987. But her career as a religious educator began long before then. She served as the Director of Religious Education for the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY from 1966 to 1973. Rev. Evans-Tiller then served as the Director of Religious Education for the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse, NY from 1978 to 1982, at which time she entered ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. After moving to Michigan, she served the Birmingham Unitarian Church from 1987 to 1989. Later Rev. Evans-Tiller served the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit as its acting Director of Religious Education until 1996, when she retired from the ministry.
Rev. Evans-Tiller also shared her gift for religious education through her denominational service. While living in Rochester, she served the UUA’s St. Lawrence District as a Religious Education Consultant from 1973 to 1978. Additionally, she served the UUA as a module designer for the religious education Renaissance Program, and in 1990 authored the youth curriculum textbookAround the Church Around the Year: Unitarian Universalism for Children – Kindergarten to Grade 2.
Jan was also an avid reader, and—for as long as she was able—took immense joy from the time spent in her garden.
Daughter Katherine feels that no one quotation can sum up her mother, believing that the memory of Jan will be unique to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Jan is survived by her daughter Katherine Rugh. She was predeceased by her husband, John Evans; her son, John Rugh; and her sister, Elinor Kieffer.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Notes of condolence can be sent to Katherine Rugh, 102 Milton Ave, Syracuse, NY 13204.