February 18: Ernest Pipkin Evans (1995)
On March 6, 1995, a memorial Eucharist was held at Epiphany for Ernest Pipkin Evans. He had died on February 18 of AIDS-related complications. It would have been Ernie’s 51st birthday. There was a bagpipe playing “St. Columba” while the ashes were borne into the church. Interspersed through the service, a chorus and orchestra rendered the Fauré Requiem. Long-time friend, Antonio Cintra, was a lay minister for the service. Cintra said of Evans, “He was a pioneer for his time and was a wonderful gay role model for young people today.”
A long-time resident of the District, Ernie Evans was a member of Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly’s cabinet, and served as her liaison to the gay community. At first, Evans was special assistant to the mayor for policy planning and later served as rent administrator. Evans served on a Red Cross Drug Abuse board, volunteered with the Whitman Walker Clinic and was a charter member of the Shenandoah Valley AIDS network. Once he learned he was HIV infected, Ernie participated in numerous clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University and NIH.
A close friend said of Ernie, “He dedicated his life to fighting for what he believed in and our community has a lot to thank Ernie for.”