July 10, 1920 - June 2, 2017
Evenel Kathryn Tovani, 96, passed away June 2, 2017. Evenel was born and raised in San Jose, California, the second daughter of Marshall Berry Speck and Hazel Hood Dow-Speck. Evenel had a long and exciting life. She earned a BA from San Jose State University and studied Education with an emphasis on Spanish at Stanford University. She married her first husband, , George Ryan, who was killed flying the Burma Hump, at the beginning of WWII. Upon the conclusion of the war, she renewed a childhood friendship with Harry Lester, and they were married June 1, 1946. When Harry went to work as a civil servant for the federal government, Evenel became a stay-at-home mom with the birth of their son, Lester. After adding two daughters to the family, and moving from Stockton, Calif. to China Lake, Calif., then Hawthorn, Nevada, they finally settled down in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they lived for the next 31 years.
Evenel's first and primary vocation was family, but her interests outside the family included playing the piano, sewing, broadening her language skills by taking Russian, and selling real estate. When it was time to make their final move, she and Harry decided to move from California to Medford, Oregon and live at the Rogue Valley Manor, where they resided for the next 31 years. Evenel was an active volunteer at the Manor and loved playing the piano at dinner time in the health center. She was always happy to be asked and to participate in the annual recitals put on for the residents in the large auditorium. Even though Evenel started to slow down over the past month, her primary focus was family, and the family responded with love. As she entered hospice, the family celebrate her birthday a month earlier than her actual birth date. She was delighted and ecstatic to have everyone present, and her joy was showered upon all. Our lives were enriched by having her close, and she will be sorely missed by all.
Evenel is survived by her children: Lester, of Beaverton; daughters, Kathy, of Alicante, Spain and Mary, of Central Point. She leaves eight grandchildren: Karen, Amy, David, Noemi, Jonathan, William, Kate, and Marshall; and 15 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Lester, who passed away in 2008 after 62 years of blissful marriage.
There will be a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. June 14, 2017 in the Rogue Valley Manor Sunrise Room.