Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Madam Speaker, it is with a heavy heart and
solemn remembrance that I rise today to pay tribute to a talented
tailor, dedicated husband, loving father, and dear friend of
longstanding--Mr. Benjamin ``Ben'' Evans. Sadly, Ben passed away on
Thursday, January 2, 2020. His funeral service will be held on
Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 1:00 pm at New Pleasant Grove Missionary
Baptist Church located at 795 Maynard Street in Macon, Georgia.
Benjamin Evans (affectionately known as ``Ben'' to his family,
friends, and colleagues) was born in Bibb County, Georgia to the late
Clifford Danielly and Fannie B. Evans. He was born on August 5, 1929
and was the eldest of two sons.
He attended Hudson High School in Macon, Georgia and later joined the
U.S. Army. Ben was a veteran, having retired from the military as a
Staff Sergeant with 22 years of service. He was always industrious and
hard-working. He attended Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland
where he majored in Fashion Design. He loved men's fashion. Having
learned the art of tailoring, Ben was so skilled that he could design a
suit without a pattern. Known for being one of the best-dressed men in
Macon, he loved to design matching outfits for himself and his beloved
wife, Lillie Ruth. Ben opened an alteration shop, Genesis, and operated
it in Downtown Macon for many years. He also served as the Business
Manager and Co-Owner of Gantt's Pre-School and M.A. Evans Academy.
On June 2, 1982, Ben was joined in Holy Matrimony to the Love of His
Life, Lillie Ruth Gantt-Evans. They married after a long courtship. He
made a dress from memory for his beloved Lillie Ruth and presented it
to her as a gift on their first date.
Ben accepted Christ at an early age where he was a member of
Friendship Baptist Church in Macon, GA. He later became a member of New
Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church where he served on the Trustee
Ben cared about his community, and he was always engaged in
organizations that did positive work. He served dutifully as a member
of the following organizations: Disabled American Veterans (Life
Member), Veterans of Foreign Wars, Homosapien Civic & Social Club,
former member of 100 Black Men of Middle Georgia, Inc., Bibb County
Democrats (Post Seat Holder), and former member of the Civil Service
Board of Bibb County. Ben enjoyed sewing and loved to listen to music.
He had a vast collection of blues and jazz. He loved to attend the
annual Tom Bonner Picnic and VFW events and cared about the community.
Ben accomplished much in his life, but none of this would have been
possible without the Grace of God; the love and support of his wife,
Lillie Ruth; his children, Chandra, Merita, Gregory, and Jimmy
(deceased); his stepson Freeman; and a host of family and friends who
will miss him deeply.
On a personal note, I have been truly blessed with Ben's and Lillie
Ruth's friendship and support over the years. Ben and Lillie Ruth have
long had a passion for civic involvement manifested by unreserved
support of candidates they believed would use the public trust of
elected office to benefit their community. They worked tirelessly in
voter registration, voter education, and voter participation. Together
they could place campaign signs across the Macon landscape with such
precision and creativity that they appeared to grow out of the ground
overnight. Never have two people worked together for so long in so many
elections for so many candidates and so successfully as the ``Ben and
Lillie Ruth'' political team. I and countless other elected officials
benefited and for their tireless service we will forever be grateful.
Truly Macon, Bibb County, and America are better because Benjamin Evans
passed our way.
Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join my wife, Vivian, and me,
along with the more than 730,000 residents of Georgia's Second
Congressional District, in paying tribute to Mr. Benjamin ``Ben'' Evans
and in extending our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and,
loved ones during this difficult time of bereavement. Moreover, we pray
that we will all be consoled and comforted by an abiding faith and the
Holy Spirit in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
116th Congress