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Evelyn Rees

Evelyn Jane Rees was born Jan. 23, 1932 at Emporia, KS along with her twin brother Everett John to Luther and Katherine (Edwards) Rees.  The twins were welcomed home by their older siblings, Dorothy, Trevor and Emlyn.  With Everett being born first, this made Evelyn the baby of the family.  However, according to Evelyn,  Everett was Mom’s favorite.            

Early September, 1937, Dorothy and Trevor (the two oldest ones) started to high school while Emlyn was off to seventh grade at Valley Star District 14 accompanied by the two little ones, Everett and Evelyn. The older kids got to drive to school and haul the milk in to sell.           Valley Star school was less than a mile west of their farm so the little kids had to walk to school with Everett and Evelyn dog -trotting to keep up with Emlyn’s long strides.

During the seven years at the country school, they had six different teachers.   When the teacher moved out of state before the eighth grade began, she suggested they be tested at the College since they had already gone half way through the eighth grade arithmetic book.  Evelyn wrote: “Apparently we passed the test as we went to Lowther Junior High the next year as freshmen. That meant we graduated from high school at 16 and college at 20.  The first year I taught at Yates Center, I had a kid in class who was 18 months younger than I – but he never knew that.”

          The Fall of 1959, Evelyn moved to Caldwell and started teaching girls P.E.  In August 1962, she graduated Emporia State with her Master Of Science – Biology degree.    This started her lifelong career teaching health, biology, chemistry, physics and microbiology in Caldwell High School for over 40 years.

          Retiring from the classroom in 1999 didn’t mean she quit teaching.  Evelyn tutored many students after school and weekends and substituted for many more years.  With more time on her hands, Evelyn approached the City of Caldwell and was instrumental in starting a local recycling program that grew into a full time business. She was always out to save the earth and for her, Earth Day was a major holiday to get classes to visit the recycling center. 

          Miss Rees was a teacher who demanded your attention and respect.  If you listened and paid attention she would give you the same.  But if your sitting in the back and whispering… look out for flying erasers or ...“you toads”  and occasionally the… “Balderdash”.  Scores of former students have given Evelyn Rees kudos for her service and dedication to the teaching profession.   She helped as many college students as she did high school kids to develop into the person they are today. She was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 2016. Evelyn is truly a mentor that will be missed by many.

          Evelyn passed away early Thursday morning, February 22, 2024 at the Sunflower Cottage in Caldwell at the age of 92 years and 1 month.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 26, 2024 at the Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Caldwell, Kansas.

Graveside services will be held at Greenwood Cemetery, Emporia, Kansas at 3:00 p.m. Monday, February 26, 2024.

Memorials may be made to the CHS Alumni Gallery Building Fund and sent in care of the mortuary.

Visitation will be held 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.



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