News & Reviews: Breaking News

Kathy McFarland Evans

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Peghead Nation banjo instructor Bill Evans’ wife recently passed away after a difficult battle with leukemia. Join us in sending your thoughts and support to Bill and his family.

by Dan Gabel
October 23, 2017

Evans Family June 2014.jpegMany of you take lessons on Peghead Nation with Bill Evans, and we were saddened to hear of the passing of Bill’s wife, Kathy Evans, this week. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Bill and his family entire family during this difficult time.

This is Bill’s Facebook post about Kathy: 

I am so sorry to share the news that my wife Kathy McFarland Evans passed away in the embrace of family and friends on Sunday evening, October 22, 2017, after a long, brave, intense and difficult battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia that transpired over the last two and half years. Kathy taught kindergarten for almost twenty years at Cornell Elementary School in Albany, California.

Our two children, Jesse and Corey, and I appreciate the outpouring of love and support that we are already receiving. I know that for many of you, this is going to be sudden and unexpected news. I'm sorry that I can't call each of you to break this news to you in person.Kathy Evans & Jake September 27, 2015.JPG

Our family especially wants to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at the Stanford Cancer Center and Kaiser Permanente as well as those individuals who opened up their homes to our family for extended periods in the months after each transplant. I want to personally thank everyone who was involved with the September 2016 benefit concert for my family at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse. There is a long list of friends who helped us in many other ways these last 29 months. In retrospect, every act of kindness was so very welcomed and appreciated and needed by our family. We cherish every gesture and act of love you have shown us.

I quickly took the attached picture of Kathy and Jake on September 27, 2015, just before we left our home for Palo Alto to begin the preparatory treatment for the first bone marrow transplant procedure at Stanford Cancer Center. Thank you and we love you all.

Bill Evans


Category: News & Reviews

Comments and Discussion

Posted by bill_evans on
Thank you everyone for these deeply heartfelt sentiments of friendship and support. My family and I so greatly appreciate every gesture of kindness we've received these past two weeks. I am so lucky a part of such a wonderful community of musical friends here at Peghead Nation. It is indeed going to take some time to fully integrate the experiences of the past couple of years but I'm glad that I have music and I'm glad that I'm able to be with all of you.

Bill Evans
Posted by on
Hi Bill, We've met at Wintergrass and in Sebastopol. My wife, Cynthia, and I are heartbroken for you and your family.

Tony Buffa, Beginning Banjo student.
Posted by on
Dear Bill,

My tears and heart are with you and your children with the loss of Kathy. Wishing you comfort and love.

Julie - Member of your Banjo Family
Posted by Jim Zimmerschied on
Dear Bill, my prayers go out to you and your family on the death of yours beloved wife, Kathy. I also have CLL (but a milder version) and know about the worry and watching that goes with it.

Hope you can recover from the loss and continue with your musical teaching which is greatly appreciated.
Jim Zimmerschied
Posted by Mike Moffitt on

I cannot express my heartfelt sympathy nor say anything that will lessen the blow to you and your family. All I can do is let you know that you and your family are and always shall be in my thoughts.

-Mike Moffitt (banjo student)
Posted by Dianna Price on
Dear Bill,
My heart aches for you and your family after the loss of your lovely wife. I lost my 20 year old daughter to leukemia 13 years ago. I know all this is hard to wrap your mind around and your heart is broken. You'll never get over the loss of Kathy, but eventually you will learn how to live with this loss and the sun will shine again for you. It does get better. Her beautiful spirit is on a new adventure and she may be more near than you realize. Peace to you on your grief journey.
Dianna (clawhammer banjo student from Arkansas)
Posted by Lorna Lounsbury on
Dear Bill,
My deepest condolences go out to your and your family. Kathy was a beautiful lady.
Lorna (banjo student from Alaska)
Posted by Sean Mc Manus on
Condolences & deepest sympathy to you & your family. Just heard the sad news. Met u here & talked with u in Galway.Got all ur inst DVD's. Lost my wife to the disease too.! Prayers fr u & family. Love to you all.
Sean Mc Manus. (Ireland).
Posted by on
Dear Bill,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wife Kathy. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Judy (Banjo Student)
Posted by Stephen Thompson on
Hello Bill; This is Stephen Thompson, way up in Canada... My heartfelt condolences on your loss... take comfort that she is in the arms of our Savour.
God Bless
Posted by on
Sorry to hear of Kathy's passing. I wish you and your children comfort as you mourn her loss.

Gerry Grider
Posted by Kenny Berkowitz on
So sorry for your loss.
Posted by Stanley King on
Hello Bill,I'm Stanley King,a beginner banjo student from England. It is sad to hear of the loss of your loving wife. May the Lord love and protect you and all those in your family.

Stan King
Posted by Don Miller on

You are surrounded by the love of an extended community many of whom you will never meet. But know that we are with you.

Posted by Keith Halvorson on
Sorry to hear of your loss. Our sincere condolences and best wishes to you and your family.

Keith and Ritsuko Halvorson
Posted by Steve Rosenlund on
Hello Bill, this is Steve Rosenlund, beginning banjo student. So sorry about the loss of your dear wife. Although we haven't met I feel I know you from a year of banjo lessons. Prayers for you and the kids.
Posted by Ron Fellers on

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad to leukemia after a 2 year battle. It is a horrible disease. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Ron Fellers
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