Joanne Evans to Serve as Grand Marshal

PERRIS: Joanne Evans to serve as grand marshal in parade Perris resident Joanne Evans has been serving area veterans for more than 35 years. And now, she’ll be honored for her decades of service.

The Salute to Veterans Parade committee has named Evans grand marshal of this year’s 8th annual parade.

“I’m so overwhelmed and so surprised,” Evans said. “I can’t believe they picked me.”

Some past parade grand marshals include Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Lewis Millett, U.S. Army (retired); Brigadier General Mary Kight, Adjutant General of the California National Guard; Navy veteran Jack Brown, president and CEO of Stater Bros. Markets; and Brigadier General Stan Brown, U.S. Air Force (retired).

Evans is a Marine veteran, a veteran’s activist and a public servant. She worked for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for more than 34 years, retiring in 2005 as the agency’s public affairs officer/chief information officer.

A native of New York, Evans joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving during the Korean Conflict from December 1954 to August 1958. After her service, she moved to California, graduating from Riverside City College with a fire science degree and studying business and public relations in UC Riverside’s extension program.

As a veteran, Evans has been involved with the American Legion for more than 35 years, serving as post commander, district commander, area vice commander, department vice commander representing women veterans and adviser to the legion’s National Public Relations Commission.

In 2008, Evans was elected to the Perris City Council where she worked with parks and recreation, the safety committee for police and fire, and was the mayor’s representative to senior citizens.

She met her husband, Navy veteran Iral Evans, at the Perris American Legion post. They were married in 1985 and have served veterans together since that time.

“My husband is from a pioneer family that came here in the 1890s,” Evans said. “We’ve been married 28 years and he has served with me the whole time.”

The Evans’ have three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Evans has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Riverside County Veterans Advisory Committee’s Friend of the Veteran Award, the Christian Women in Ministry’s Citizen of the Year and the Perris Mayor’s Citizen of the Year

In addition to her legion membership, Evans is a life member of the Women Marines Association, the Marine Corps League, the American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary.

“We’ve seen a lot of things change over the years together,” Evans said of her friends within the auxiliary, legion and league. “It’s wonderful serving the veterans community. They’re my family


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