“A firm, steady, stable and human person.” When W.E. Evans was honored at his retirement in 1955, those were the words his former students chose to describe their principal.
Having served one of Knoxville’s longest careers in public education, Evans retired in 1955 at the compulsory retirement age of 70. He served 33 years as principal of Knoxville High School, and after that school closed, moved to East High as principal for four more years.
Wayne Smith and Eleanor Bartlett Deal Smith – Knoxville High School Class of ’49 – know better than most that high school reunions can be life-changing events.
In 1999, Smith lost his wife of 47 years. Deal, with whom he’d had one date in high school (“I was dating her best friend and never called her again”) was newly widowed, as well (her late husband was a fraternity brother of Smith’s at the University of Tennessee and Smith had been in their wedding).