David Lewis Evitts of Coffeyville, Kansas, passed away at the age of 76, on December 31, 2018 at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center unexpectedly.
David was born on October 30, 1942 to Robert G. and Evelyn L. (Hoggatt) Evitts in Wichita, Kansas. At a young age David's family moved to Coffeyville where he attended school and graduated from Field Kindley Memorial High School.
At an early age David showed a great interest in music. As a young boy, in the Methodist Church where he grew up David started singing solo's. Wearing the uniformed pink choir robe as a young boy and not being of the adult stature, they would stand him on an orange crate to sing. David starting sing soprano in a boys' choir and sang on the radio from Wichita. His interest grew and after completing high school he went on to study at Pittsburgh State University in Kansas, where he played violin in the orchestra and began to study voice seriously as a bass baritone. His professional debut was with the national collegiate chorale that performed in Europe on an USO tour, as well as a summer job with the Funtastics, a group that sang and waited tables in a lounge and restaurant in South Yarmouth on Cape Cod. That summer introduced him to Mark Person and John Moriarty who were influential in his studies in the opera program at the Conservatory in Boston. David won second prize in the Metropolitan Opera's New England Regionals Auditions in 1969. He remained in Boston for 10 years. While in Boston he sang at Emmanuel Church, MIT Choral Society, the Masterworks Chorale, the Boston Cecilia, the Handel & Haydn Society, and with Sarah Caldwell at the Boston Opera and just about every other organization in town. After leaving Boston he pursued a busy career in American regional opera in New York where he made occasional performances in Europe. David was one of the funniest men ever, very generous, warm and energetic; and one of the finest singing actors ever.
David's parents were able to see their son perform in Coffeyville when he returned to a sold out recital. Several years later his mother who had not ever been on an airplane nor having ever really traveled, flew to New York to see David perform with Pavarotti in "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera.
Some of David's biggest fans were his brother, Donald G. Evitts of Overland Park, Kansas; sister, Judith A. (Evitts) Furry of Glenpool, Oklahoma; uncle, James Hoggatt and wife Darlene of Coffeyville, Kansas as well as a host of cousins and extended family. David's last bow also leaves behind a whole community of performers who were very near and dear to his heart and his life accomplishments. He is preceded in death by his parents.
David's final wishes were for cremation to take place under the direction of Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel of Coffeyville, and his remains to be scattered in a private service at one of his favorite places as a child. The family sees it only fitting for David's legacy to continue through donations that can be made in David's name to the AGMA Relief Fund American Guild of Musical Artist, 1430 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10018. To leave a message of condolence for the family visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel