Elvira Evans, 83, Germantown community activist

Posted: August 07, 2014

EVERY SATURDAY evening, needy people knew they could score some fresh produce and baked goods from Puddin's Pantry.

Elvira L. "Puddin'" Evans started the pantry about 15 years ago on a lot across the street from her home on Pleasant Street in Germantown.

She made the rounds every week of farmers' markets and food companies like Genuardi's to gather donated food for her program.

It wasn't surprising that the project grew as word spread about its existence, and a local newspaper wrote about it. Elvira eventually had to look for another venue. She found it at the Germantown Church of the Brethren on Germantown Avenue, "which welcomed her with open arms," her family said.

Elvira, a longtime teacher and clerk in Philadelphia Family Court and other agencies, and a former social worker who guided troubled youth to better lives, died July 26. She was 83 and lived in Germantown.

"She was a community activist always ready to help anyone in need," her family said. "She aided many families on Pleasant Street and would feed anyone. She loved the youth when she was an advocate for troubled children. She enjoyed taking them on outings."

Elvira was born in Philadelphia the second of the eight children of Redith Trusty and Harry Evans Sr. She attended St. Katherine's Parochial School and Little Flower High School. She went on to Villanova University, where she earned a degree in education.

Her main focus was math, but she also tutored in reading at various schools. She later worked as a clerk in Family Court, in the city Department of Public Records and for the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.

All the while she was fulfilling her need to help people, beginning with troubled youth she mentored with her special blend of love and caring, and later the hungry people she fed at her pantry.

Elvira was an active member of a number of community and church organizations. She was a board member of East Mount Airy Neighbors, and president of the Pleasant Playground Civic Association.

She was financial secretary for the former St. Peter Claver Parish, and financial secretary of Sisters of the Blessed Sacraments Alumni Association. She put in time to help it plan for its annual reunion picnic.

Elvira also was a member of Charles Young American Legion Post 682 and the Douglas Club, a private social club.

Her hobbies included golf, working her crossword puzzles and testing her luck at Atlantic City casinos.

She is survived by a sister, Audrey Williams.

Services: Were Monday.

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