Date of Death: March 17, 2021

Service Details

A memorial service will be held at his parents’ grave site at Riverside Cemetery (the far northeast corner of the cemetery) on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Videos of the scattering of his ashes are available here and here.

Rocky ready to take off in a J-3 Cub just like uncle Paul’s.
Obituary Notice

Rocky Evans passed away suddenly March 17, 2021 at home with friends in DeLand, Florida.

Born in Three Rivers, Michigan, March 22, 1952, Rocky was always involved in sports during high school along with friend Mike Heivilin attempting to bench as many of the opposing team with as many injuries as possible. Rocky went so far as to test the new football equipment by leaping from a pickup truck at 40 MPH and tackling a road sign.

That was Rocky, tough and competitive. His competitive nature led him to three national championships in the four-man relative work competition. And two world championships also in the four-man events.

In between his first and second world titles, Rocky was offered a job as a punter for the Washington Redskins. He turned down the position to pursue the 2nd gold medal for skydiving.

Rocky, along with team members and friends, helped develop the sport of skydiving with state-of-the-art technology and training that changed the face and safety of skydiving to this day. It was huge for the sport of skydiving, but it was a giant leap for our military. There isn’t a Navy Seal alive today that wasn’t touched by Rocky and team’s AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) program. Rocky has tandem jumped people on the North Pole. Also South America into the Amazon jungle. You can still view this BBC Nova episode on YouTube titled “Skydive into the Rain Forest.”

Rocky is preceded in death by his father, Robert Evans, who was a police officer for the city of Three Rivers until he retired; his loving mother, Betty Jean Evans, who was a nurse for over twenty years; and a nephew, Christopher Robert Charles Evans.

Surviving is a sister, Dawn (Dawny Lynn) Silici; a brother, Michael (Pinhead) Evans and his wife Linda Evans; good family friend Mark McNary; and many, many other tribe members too numerous to mention.

We all grew up on a family farm east of Three Rivers. The best part of the farm was the pasture where our uncle Paul Evans flew his Piper Cub out of. Followed by our cousin Kent Johns flying that old cub out of the same pasture. Our father also had ten hours or so. Flying is in our blood. Rocky and Mike are both highly skilled commercial pilots and have logged thousands of hours between the two of them.

Additional Information

Donations in Rocky’s memory may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children. Envelopes are available at Hohner Funeral Home in care of Rocky’s arrangements.

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25 Comments

  1. I had the privilege of knowing Rocky back in the mid ’90s, while he was still running his skydiving operation out of Flagler. I’ve taken the plunge from his Cessna many times – that thing looked like it was about to fall apart, but he made sure every morning that it was safe where it counted, and that seemed typical of him. All business during the day, he wouldn’t hesitate to offer a tutoring hand to students who were eager to learn, nor would he hesitate to offer some harsh words to someone acting the fool (and yes, I was on both ends of that spectrum more than a few times). Come sundown, a bonfire, and a few beers, and the business man was put away in exchange for the party animal.

    Rocky, until we meet again, every green-bottle beer I drink shall be raised in your memory.
    Blue Skies!

  2. A news story I saw today about a ballooning accident in Albuquerque reminded me of Rocky and I was saddened to learn that he’s gone. Though I only met him once, as I passed through the Flagler DZ for a day or few way back when, he was the kind of guy one never forgets. Blue Skies, Rocky!

  3. There are to do lists & bucket lists & I imagine Rocky did not have many left on them if any. He was fearless with a strong sense of damn the torpedoes, he attempted & accomplished many adventures that most of us can’t ever think of doing. It was a gift to know him during my high school years in Three Rivers & the stories I have shared (and some not) with my kids, they are in awe. We are all so lucky to have known him & the memories he has left us. Good bye friend.

  4. Mike,
    Thinking of you and Rocky’s other family members and close friends in this time of sorrow. Grieve, but keep hold of all the good memories. Missing you Man!
    Your friend,
    Brad

  5. My heart stopped momentarily after reading this news. There was only one Rocky and there will never be another like him. Those who knew him, will never forget him – especially his daring energy. Rest well my friend.

  6. I am glad to say that I helped Rocky get through several bumpy parts of his later life. I consider him as one of the best leading pioneers in the teaching of skydiving to the public. The Accelerated Free Fall Program has done more for skydiving, than any other program I can recall. And, away from the teaching of skydiving, he was hoot to party with….. I sure am glad I knew you Rocky…!
    And now, we will continue the work to get Mister Douglas flying again, just like you were wanting to see so badly!

  7. There are tears in my eyes from the loss of my bud in crime Rocky. There are so many memories we shared together that his life should be a Hollywood movie. It was always a time to smile and laugh when he would come back to town. Rocky took his child like enthusiasm for life and turned it into a job he relished. There are only two words needed to describe him; my friend. Love you heathen!

  8. He had wanderlust in his soul and did more than most people he followed his dreams and did it his way.
    Alden was a good friend of his in high school and he will be missed.
    Prayers and condolences to his family.

  9. Lydia Kauffman (aka Sam)
    March 25, 2021.

    I’m going to miss your weekly visits. I asked you to keep an eye on Chimp when I’m gone but I guess you beat me. Thanks for the Christmas present this Christmas,,every girl needs a TV with a bulletin whole in it. We’ll both miss you.And thanks for all the good times. You taught Jim and took Chrissy up too. Thanks for showing them the free life. We’ll never forget you. By the way Happy Birthday.( March 22).

  10. The DalPonte/Stutesman family wants to offer our condolences to the family.

    Rocky was a close friend of my older brothers and sister. He was always a bigger than life figure to Jon and I. We spent a spring working for Rocky picking asparagus and will never forget the work ethic and fun he had for life. I also remember him showing us how to punt and the ball seemed to go out of sight. We were in awe.

  11. To my childhood friend….it was an honor to grow up with you in grade school at H.P. Barrows and at Three Rivers High School. You were a true friend to all of us who were lucky enough to know you. You were a great example of “follow your dreams”. Thank you Rocky. ♥️

  12. Rocky was a childhood friend, whose life I was able to follow a bit on Facebook in recent years. So many good thoughts about him and I hope he can keep up his energetic activities on the other side. Good luck, Rocky !

  13. What’s the big idea, leaving us so soon Rocky? You were just getting started. Your incredible energy, fearlessness, courage and love are an example to us all. You squeezed every wonderful drop out of life that you possibly could and just kept going, finding more and more, where most of us wouldn’t have even thought to look. There truly needs to be a movie made about you,….but……no one would believe it. I am so glad to have known you and your family. You were all such a huge part of my life. Hug your mom and dad for me when you see them; mine and Joe’s too. See you soon, my friend.

  14. Your 9 lives were up but you had a damn good time with them! A good guy, I had him help me get a friend a job in Deland strictly because he vouched for her! That I appreciate!d!
    He was a great skydiver and friend to all. He did lack as a boyfriend! lol The stories there are endless!

  15. I totally remember Rocky and have followed him on Facebook for several years. He was tough as nails and soft as cotton. Huge heart, very sorry the world will be without his physical presence, but will always be here in spirit…

  16. I remember Rocky well, he was truly one of a kind. If you look up tough and adventuresome in the dictionary you should see his picture. He lived life to the fullest. Rocky now you can rest R.I.P. it was a pleasure knowing you.

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