In Memory

Michael Evangelist

Michael Evangelist

From John Evangelist

My brother, Mike, passed away on January 11th.  He had a heart attack that led to having heart by-pass surgery.  During surgery he had a stroke and never came back after that.  He was in very poor health with many issues that lead to his heart problem. 

One of Mike’s last wishes was to let his high school classmates know of his passing


In Loving Memory of:

William Michael Evangelist

9/23/44 – 1/11/12

My name is Mary (Evangelist) Zinn, and I am the sister of your friend and classmate, Mike Evangelist.  I wanted to share a few things with you for your Class of ’62 Reunion regarding my brother.  As this is difficult to write, I feel that it is fitting to give you all a brief synopsis of his life, as fragmented as it was.  Forgive me if I am inaccurate on some of the details. There was a long period of time that our family was estranged.  Personally, I had not seen him since I was ten years old in 1967.  My first contact with him since that time was in 1986, during which time he had major life changes going on.  I recognized this was not a time for reconciliation, so many more years passed before we were reunited in 2005.

William Michael Evangelist was born September 23, 1944, in Yakima, WA.  He passed away at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA on January 11, 2012.  Mike suffered a heart attack and experienced complications following bypass surgery.  His last place of residence was Rancho Mirage, CA, which is near Palm Springs.  Mike’s demanding career kept him engrossed in what he loved – computer science.  He was happiest when he was teaching, conducting research, and mentoring young scientists. He was involved in many projects that pioneered the computer age we all take for granted.  He was a brilliant man, had a quick wit, and a great sense of humor.  Mike was married and divorced twice, with no children.  Mike had been a bachelor for the last twenty-five years of his life.

In his earlier years, he was an avid bicyclist.  He loved cooking, sports, (especially track and field) and politics.  Mike was well-versed in many areas, and always contributed interesting information on any subject.  After he moved to Rancho Mirage, CA in 2005 to be closer to his brothers, myself and our families, he loved attending our local high school football games.  Younger brother Joe was the principal of one local high school, and little brother Steve was the assistant principal/athletic director of the cross-town rival school.  Mike was on the field of each game as an honored guest, and loved it.  He got to know all of our children and grandchildren, in-laws and family friends.  He was loving, kind, and generous to his nieces and nephews.  But most importantly, Mike had finally come home.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Colleen J. Evangelist in 1993 and John J. Evangelist, Sr. in 2003, and younger brother, Thomas Lynn Evangelist in 1953.  Mike is survived by his siblings and their spouses, Joe (John) & Linda Evangelist, Steve & Sue Evangelist, all of El Centro, CA and Mary (Evangelist) & Jeff Zinn, of Imperial, CA.  He also leaves behind seven nephews and nieces, their spouses, and eleven great-nephews and nieces.    


  1. 1962 - Central High School graduate, Grand Forks, ND
  2. 1963 - 1964 Graduated #1 in his class in the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School/Green Beret
  3. 1965 – Attended Beloit College on and off, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974
  4. 1976 – Attended Northwestern University, earning a Master of Science degree
  5. 1978 – Attended Northwestern University, earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science


  1. 1978 – 1982  Colgate University – Hamilton, NY
  2. 1982 – 1984  Bell Labs – Boulder, CO
  3. 1984 – 1986   University of Texas – Austin, TX
  4. 1986 – 1990  MCC Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp. – Austin, TX
  5. 1990 – 1992  Andersen Consulting – Chicago, IL
  6. 1992 – 1998  Florida International University – Miami, FL
  7. 1998 – 2000  National Science Foundation – Washington, DC
  8. 2000 – 2001  University of Maryland – Baltimore, MD (Fraunhofer Institute)
  9. 2001 – 2005  Carnegie Mellon University – Silicon Valley, CA
  10. 2005    Moved to Rancho Mirage, CA to be near his family
  11. 2005 – 2012 Consultant work for NASA/Ames Research - University of Texas @ Austin, Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA


On behalf of Mike’s family, I would like to thank you for your interest in knowing what happened to him. One of his last requests before he went into surgery was to inform the Class of “62 in the event something happened to him.  It is obvious to us that he had strong ties with some of you, and that is comforting to know.  Knowing Mike during my adult years was short lived, but the memories I have will remain forever in my heart.  He was a complex, restless soul who meant so much to all of us.  It was very difficult letting him go. 

Rest in peace, our brother.







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01/21/12 03:23 PM #1    

Denis "Mike" Koppenhaver

Sorry to hear of Tex' passing.  We had a lot of fun together and I always admired his wit, intelligence and sense of humour, all of which are intertwined when you think of it. 

01/31/12 11:52 PM #2    

Joel Finlay

We will remember you, Mike, for your sense of humor and wit, along with your being a friend whom we could count on. What great times we had together! In your relatively short time in Grand Forks, you probably developed more friends than most of us who spent lifetimes here, a testament to your friendliness and good spirits.

04/21/12 01:25 PM #3    

Edward Hoff

Mike was someone I thought would be good to go at the reunion, it's a damn shame that it will be awhile longer before I see him again, but I will pour one down with my classmate in mind. 

09/02/12 03:02 PM #4    

Janice Vignes (Sanders)

Mike sent me a brief message 11/9/11--He said "Has it really been 50 yrs-but most of us arn,t doddering yet-Our 100 Reunion will be a LuLu !"--What a nice tribute from his sister ! Mike you are in our thoughts and we miss you !

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