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J. Richard Evans Collection

Identifier: 083
This collection is organized chronologically and includes college memorabilia and personal artifacts. Items include a 1942 commencement program, 1941 and 1942 yearbooks, photographs of Evans, correspondence, French phrase books, and more.


  • 1938 - 1946

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


2 Items (1 valise (suitcase), 1 binder)

1.12 Linear Feet


The J. Richard Evans Collections features memorabilia and artifacts from Joseph Richard Evans, a Music student at West Chester State Teachers College between 1938-1942. He enlisted in the Army to fight in World War II shortly after graduating. Materials range in date from 1938 to 1946.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Richard “Dick” Evans (1920-1982) was born on October 17, 1920, and raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. His passion for music began in his elementary school years with his part in St. John the Evangelist Church’s children’s choir. During Richard’s high school education at Upper Darby High School, he attended various music clubs and was even part of a quartet called “The Esquires.”

After graduating high school in 1938, he attended West Chester State Teachers College, now West Chester University, for Public School Music. While at West Chester State Teachers College, he performed in several plays during his junior and senior years. Quickly after acquiring his Bachelor of Science in Public Music Education in 1942, Richard became involved in WWII. On February 16, 1942, he registered for the draft, and by December 3, 1942, he was enlisted. Part of the 99th Infantry Division, Richard underwent a good deal of training from Camp Van Dorn in Mississippi to Louisiana. During his years of service, he maintained his love of music through various performances, both formal and informal.

He served in the United States Army as a technician, fourth grade and would go on to become a corporal and a sergeant during his service. In the late fall of 1944, he sailed to England and ended up in France on November 6, 1944. In Europe, he took part in many campaigns as a First Sergeant and Horizontal Control Operator, two being in Rhineland, Germany and Ardennes, France. He saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and the Assault on the Rhine, as well as other locations. Following VE Day, he spent 3 months studying music at the University of Nancy in France.

Back in the USA, he took on an array of jobs, from “Cugley’s Pet Shop” in Germantown, PA to the Department of Banking for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Amidst his work, Richard met Jeanette Pitcher. They married in 1957 and had 2 daughters together, Susan and Barbara, not long afterwards. According to Jeanette, his wife, Richard experienced nightmares and likely suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), then called “Battle Fatigue”, like many Veterans. He talked very little about his war experiences to his family.

Later in life, job travel and loss of hearing as he aged deterred him from continuing singing. However, after attaining hearing aids, he planned to perform in the summer of 1982. Unfortunately, Richard passed away in May 1982 before the performance could come to fruition.


The collection has been arranged in alphabetical and chronological order inside J. Richard Evans' traveling suitcase and in a binder.
J. Richard Evans Collection
Jenna Falkenberg; Elijah Turner; Allison Magerr
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Chester University Archives Repository