HARRY ROCCO (ROCKY) EVANS
Rocky Evans passed away suddenly March 17, 2021 at home with friends in DeLand, Florida.
Born in Three Rivers, Michigan, March 22, 1952, Rocky was always involved in sports during high school along with friend Mike Heivilin attempting to bench as many of the opposing team with as many injuries as possible. Rocky went so far as to test the new football equipment by leaping from a pickup truck at 40 MPH and tackling a road sign.
That was Rocky, tough and competitive. His competitive nature led him to three national championships in the four-man relative work competition. And two world championships also in the four-man events.
In between his first and second world titles, Rocky was offered a job as a punter for the Washington Redskins. He turned down the position to pursue the second gold medal for skydiving.
Rocky, along with team members and friends, helped develop the sport of skydiving with state-of-the-art technology and training that changed the face and safety of skydiving to this day. It was huge for the sport of skydiving, but it was a giant leap for our military. There isn’t a Navy Seal alive today that wasn’t touched by Rocky and team’s AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) program. Rocky has tandem jumped people on the North Pole. Also South America into the Amazon jungle. You can still view this BBC Nova episode on YouTube titled “Skydive into the Rain Forest.”
Rocky is preceded in death by his father, Robert Evans, who was a police officer for the city of Three Rivers until he retired; his loving mother, Betty Jean Evans, who was a nurse for over twenty years; and a nephew, Christopher Robert Charles Evans.
Surviving is a sister, Dawn (Dawny Lynn) Silici; a brother, Michael (Pinhead) Evans and his wife Linda Evans; good family friend Mark McNary; and many, many other tribe members too numerous to mention.
We all grew up on a family farm east of Three Rivers. The best part of the farm was the pasture where our uncle Paul Evans flew his Piper Cub out of. Followed by our cousin Kent Johns flying that old cub out of the same pasture. Our father also had ten hours or so. Flying is in our blood. Rocky and Mike are both highly skilled commercial pilots and have logged thousands of hours between the two of them.
Interment will be at a later date this spring hopefully when most of the COVID injections are completed. He will lay at rest with Dad and Mom. There will be a quick graveside prayer and Michael will lead a flight of civilian aircraft in a tribute to a man and his team that has saved countless lives through new training and aviation technology.
Donations in Rocky’s memory may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Share online condolences at www.hohnerfh.com.