Evco Plastics Remembers Founder Don Evans

Don Evans lived a full life serving in the Navy and growing his plastics business.

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Don Evans, who officially founded Evco Plastics in 1964, recently passed away. The company says that even when Evans took a step back from managing day-to-day operations, he remained a fixture at the DeForest plant (DeForest, Wisconsin) and continued to design plastic parts throughout his life, a pastime he enjoyed instilling in others.

Before Evans began his work in plastics, he spent three years in the Navy during World War II. He was assigned to a landing ship tank (LST) crew, where one of his main duties was to operate a Higgins boat. This landing craft helped get groups of soldiers and supplies to and across beaches during amphibious landings. In total, he made five landings against the Japanese.

After he was honorably discharged in 1946, his passion for drawing and design led him to enroll in the engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During this time, Evans met and married Joan Zeier, to whom he was married for 69 years.

Evans started his first plastics business shortly after getting married. His first office resided in the corner of a Quonset hut on his father-in-law’s farm. There, he bought his first molding machine, and spent his time learning how to design parts and build molds. In 1951, Evans and his brother-in-law opened Evans-Zeier Plastics, producing plastic pieces for refrigerators. A little over a decade later, Evans’ brother-in-law sold his share of the business, enabling Don and his wife to open Evco Plastics in DeForest, Wisconsin.

For the next 53 years, Evans watched his company grow with the help of his sons and grandchildren. Evco Plastics has grown to include nine locations throughout three countries and operates over 180 plastic injection molding machines. The company says that Don’s passion permeates the whole company, and that his dedication and curiosity will be missed.

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