Fred Evans - "The guy at the grocery store" - lived in Ada for 46 years until 2014 when he moved to the Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton. He keeps up with the Ada goings on by reading all the stories in the Herald each week - Ada Herald
Fred Evans - "The guy at the grocery store" - lived in Ada for 46 years until 2014 when he moved to the Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton. He keeps up with the Ada goings on by reading all the stories in the Herald each week. (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)

ADA — Everybody in Ada knew him.

Fred.

“The guy at the grocery store.”

He worked bagging groceries, stocking shelves, running the cash register in a pinch…

First at Cardinal Grocery Store.

Then at Community Market when it changed hands.

He did that for 40 years.

Fred Evans never had a family. Ada was his family.

After graduating from small Amherst High School in 1962, he did a stint in the Army where he was stationed at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

He moved to Ada in 1968.

Fred started working for the grocery store shortly after – and retired in 2009.

He didn’t leave Ada until 2014 when age, he’s 74, started to catch up with him. He is now at the Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton.

Yet every week, he continues to keep up with the village by voraciously reading every story in the Ada Herald.

Fred loves Ada.

And he particularly loves Ada’s Lion’s Club, of which he was a 30-year member, including being president of it for a year. The Lion’s Club service projects, among many, include, say: work on local parks, help with local food banks, disaster relief around the country, international aid… Fred particularly recalled all the good the Ada Lion’s Club Eye Glass Program did for Third World Countries.

Closer to home, Fred said he was continually taken with Ada’s intimate “community atmosphere,” where, well, most people know most people. Again, especially Fred.

“Fred? Of course I knew Fred. Everyone in Ada knew Fred,” a friend of mine exclaimed when I brought him up the other night. “Besides knowing him from the grocery store, he went to my church.”

That would be Ada’s Church of Christ.

Fred was an elder there for a number of years. He was also treasurer for a time. But more important than all that to Fred? It was in the day-to-day showing of Christ’s love to people in the store, on the street.

That simple.

That profound.

Note: Fred is in Room 313 of the Memorial Home. He, like so many there, would welcome visitors, calls, letters, prayers.