Oakley S. Evans, 82, former president of ZCMI and of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, died March 21, 1995, in a St. George convalescent center of complications from Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Evans, who was president of the choir from 1975 to 1984 and president of ZCMI from 1973 to 1983, had been ill for about 10 years. He was a resident of St. George for the past year.For 37 years he was affiliated with J.C. Penney Co., serving in New York City as the company's vice president of real estate and corporate development and a member of the board. He retired from that firm at age 60 and joined ZCMI. During his 10 years as president, ZCMI added four new stores - three in Utah and the first out-of-state store in Pocatello, Idaho.
In 1975 the Tabernacle Choir made a concert tour to western Canada. The following year the choir made a Bicencentennial tour to Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. And in succeeding years the choir made trips to Japan, Korea, Sao Paulo Brazil, to the Grand Teton Festival (1980) in Jackson, Wyo., to Seattle and other cities in the Northwest. Also, the choir sang at President Ronald Reagan's inaugural and in 1981 performed in the Scandinavian countries and England. The choir recorded 13 albums, including the first digital album, during Mr. Evans' administration.
A native of Springville, Mr. Evans graduated summa cum laude in 1935 from Brigham Young University with an A.B. degree in business administration. He had served on a number of boards, including Bonneville International, First Security Bank and Utah-Idaho Sugar Co.
He was a high priest and had served, among other callings, in an LDS branch presidency in Kansas City, Kan. Funeral services will be at noon Saturday in the Monument Park 17th Ward chapel, 2795 Crestview Drive (about 1000 South) in Salt Lake City.