The service Evans provided will be missed, no matter what hour of the evening or day of the week he worked, said RCEC CEO/Manager Lynn Hodges.

Bobby Evans vividly remembered that he worked 53 hours straight to restore power following his first ice storm, and how much things changed in the ensuing decades.

Over the course of more than 42 years, Evans said he witnessed many changes during his career with Ralls County Electric Cooperative (RCEC) — the biggest difference surrounded safety awareness. He pointed out that crew members take a mandatory break after 16 hours, and he said the early years of climbing poles gave way to the welcome addition of bucket trucks. Evans said he received the “biggest satisfaction” from the gratitude he received after turning someone's lights back on — whether it was following an ice storm in Ralls County or helping fellow crew members in the wake of Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.

Evans is now preparing to end one chapter of his life and start another with his retirement from RCEC.

Evans said he appreciated working with “a lot of good people” over the years. Bob Ebers, who started out with Evans, is among the many employees he said he will miss, and he maintains contact with a friend he made after Hurricane Katrina.

The service Evans provided will be missed, no matter what hour of the evening or day of the week he worked, said RCEC CEO/Manager Lynn Hodges.

“Bobby has been a dedicated employee who has provided us and our members with countless hours of hard work,” Hodges said. “Many of these hours have come on weekends and in the middle of the nights, but he was always there to answer the call when he was needed for power restoration.” After decades of service, Evans said he began to focus more intently on his physical condition.

Evans said his left shoulder needed medical attention two years ago, and he underwent a recent back surgery. He said they have a camper, and he recently purchased a boat and is working on a in-ground pool.

The future will be filled with lots of relaxation, Evans said, including lots of traveling with his wife, Kim. The couple is looking forward to a trip to Jamaica next month. As the next chapter of Evans life begins, he said he will always remember his career that impacted so many people.

“I just loved my job,” he said. “The experience was so overwhelming.”

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com