Evans: Rob, Bob or Bobby
If nicknames are a measure of affection, Robert Evans
inspired plenty. "To me he was Rob, to Mom he was Bob and
to the rest of the world he was Bobby," said his sister,
Jeanne Evans, who lived near her brother in Franklin
Square, on Long Island.
Firefighter Evans, 36, was also known as Jerry Lewis
around the Engine Company 33 firehouse in Manhattan, a
reference to his practical jokes and big heart. He often
called his sister when he got home from work to say he
was O.K., but once, catching her asleep, he decided to
call back every 15 minutes. (To avoid retaliation, he
then turned off his phone.)
"He was very, very protective, especially of me and my
mom," his sister said. "I remember when he went sky
diving, he didn't tell me about it. He comes over one day
and says, 'Check out this tape.' I look at the TV and
it's him sky diving. I said, 'Why would you go without
me?' He says, 'There's only two of us, so only one can go
at a time.'"
Robert Edward "Bobby"
Evans: He Loved to Cook
When He Wasn't Fighting Fires
Nick Iyer (of Newsday)
January 24, 2002
Robert Evans of Franklin Square showed his mother,
Christina Serafin, a shocking videotape three or four
years ago, she said. He sat her down in his Franklin
Square home and insisted she watch the tape, which showed
him skydiving - something she would "never have allowed
him to do," if she had known, she said.
two were always "very close," and had spent countless
nights sitting across dinner tables, be it at Evans'
favorite Albertson Italian restaurant, La Parma, or at
home, with Evans cooking shrimp scampi or chicken cordon
The meals were always delicious, but slightly
overcooked, Serafin said. But it was Evans' enthusiasm,
not his culinary prowess, that had his mother coming back
for seconds. "He loved to cook so much," she said. "But
he would always leave things in the oven a little too
Evans, 36, a member of Battalion 6, Engine Co. 33 in
Manhattan, is presumed dead in the terrorist attacks of
Sept.11. His mother spoke to him briefly the night
before, she said, and had planned to call him the next
day, but wasn't able to.
Born in Mineola in 1965, Evans attended Public School
33 in Queens Village and graduated from H. Frank Carey
High School in Franklin Square in 1983. He worked various
jobs, including a service technician at Pitney Bowes, a
business equipment manufacturer in Manhattan. Because he
was dissatisfied with the work, his mother urged him to
take the New York Fire Department test, she said. He
joined the FDNY seven years ago. "I wanted him to take
these tests because I saw that he was unhappy with what
he was doing. He loved working with the fire department,"
Evans' older sister Jeanne called her brother her
"partner in crime." She remembered family road trips to
Florida, the two of them in the back seat asking "Are we
there yet?" every 15 minutes. "We wouldn't even be in
Staten Island, and we'd start asking," she said.
Voted "boxer of the night" by the Daily News in 1986,
Evans boxed in the Golden Gloves and sparred with "The
Flushing Flash," Kevin Kelly. Although she was supportive
of her brother's pugilistic endeavors, his sister never
attended one of his matches because he wouldn't let her.
"He used to say I would beat up his opponents for hitting
him," she said. "I was always very protective of him. If
anyone ever laid a hand on my brother, I'd be right
there, and vice versa."
The number 33 was a recurring theme in her brother's
life, his sister said. He went to PS 33, served in Engine
Co. 33, and the address of St. Catherine of Siena Church,
where his memorial service was held, is 33 New Hyde Park
Rd. "It was really eerie," she said. "I really don't know
what it means."
She remembered her brother's dimply smile and
"enveloping" personality. "He had the greatest smile in
the world," she said.
His mother said she remembers her son for his
compassion and genuineness. "He was always a very, very
good person," she said. "He loved his family, and we
loved him. I miss him very much."