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Peter J. Evans, owned automotive businesses Nov. 23, 1962 -- June 24, 2010

Peter John Evans, of Amherst, a third-generation automotive business owner and active volunteer in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, died unexpectedly Thursday. He was 47.

A graduate of Hutchinson-Central Technical High School, Mr. Evans was the owner of Evans Garage at 311 Kenmore Ave. He began the collision and body work business in 1983.

Mr. Evans' grandfather had conducted a similar business on his property during the 1920s. A formal family business storefront did not open until Evans Garage was established on Eggert Road in 1958. The Eggert Road and Kenmore Avenue locations were separate businesses.

In his youth, Mr. Evans was an active member of Junior Achievement, which teaches business skills to teenage entrepreneurs. As a business owner, Mr. Evans offered internships to BOCES students to work at his garage.

Throughout his life, Mr. Evans was involved as a team member and leader for various peer-to-peer counseling and retreat programs through the diocese. He worked as a retreat leader with Search for Christian Maturity, through which he met his wife, the former Marie Bauer, in September 1979.

Mr. Evans was also a board member for the former Cana Grace Retreat Center of Alden, the St. Joseph University Parish Council and the S.J.P. Buffalo Federal Credit Union. he was active at St. Joseph University Parish as an usher, a Eucharistic minister and as the assistant chairman of the annual summer carnival.

Besides Evans Garage, he also established the local automotive businesses Crossroads Auto Rental, Crossroads Auto Glass and Amherst Towing.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Joan; his father, David; a brother,

David; four sisters, Katherine, Jennifer, Elizabeth Reinagel and Mary Jo Narby; and two sons, Paul and Edward.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. today in Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst, 6320 Main St.

[BRACHMANN]

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