×

Community remembers William Eva

  • William Eva, 82, of Hancock passed away last week. Eva was known throughout the community as a hardworking man who was always willing to help out those in need. Courtesy photo—

  • William Eva, 82, of Hancock passed away last week. Eva was known throughout the community as a hardworking man who was always willing to help out those in need. Courtesy photo—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 5:11PM

Hancock’s William Eva will be remembered by many as a hardworking man who would go out of his way to help those in need.

The military veteran and Hancock Fire Department member passed away on Nov. 19 while working on his family farm. He was 82.

“He was a unique individual and a wonderful person,” friend John Pirkey said. “He was an unbelievably generous person, he just wanted to help.”

Pirkey first met Eva when he and his wife bought land down the street. The two quickly became friends after Pirkey hired Eva to do some logging and other work on his land. 

“It just kind of evolved,” Pirkey said. “His kindness and compassion to do things, I think that’s what drew me to him.”

Pirkey eventually began to help Eva in making maple syrup, something he was well known for through Longview Forest Products. 

“There were times that I’d stop up in the afternoon and see how he was doing or if he needed a hand,” Pirkey said. “Most of the time he was out, either canning syrup or getting wood processed. The guy didn’t sit around, he was always doing something.”

Hancock Fire Chief Tom Bates has known Eva since January 2002, when he moved into town.

The two immediately bonded over the state of Nebraska, where Bates had previously lived an where Eva had been stationed at one point during his 21-year Air Force career. 

In his 16 years on the fire department, Eva was known for being a reliable pump operator who would always show up when called upon. ​

“He was there during the day or at night, he was always dependable,” Bates said. “You always knew he was going to show.”

Memorial visiting hours will be held Hancock Fire Station on NH Route 137 in Hancock this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

“People can come in and tell stories. We have a scrapbook where people can write down memories,” Bates said. 

Eva was never the type of guy to become rattled, his son Don Eva said.

Growing up, Eva was always an easy-going guy, seldom the type to get angry. A big hunter, Eva at one point got lost during an outdoor expedition in Montana. 

“We had a search and rescue team out but he eventually found his way and caught a ride into town. It wasn’t a big deal to him, nothing really phased him too much,” Don Eva said. 

Mark Thompson said he was “lucky” to develop a strong bond with his father-in-law after marrying Eva’s daughter Debra 33 years ago. 

“We worked side by side doing maple syruping and some logging side  jobs,” Thompson said. “… he took me under under his wing and taught me a lot of stuff.”

Allyson DeVeau – a former neighbor – is one of the many who received help from Eva. 

One rainy night while camping on the property, DeVeau and a friend had no dry firewood. They traveled up the road and Eva happily supplied them with some wood. 

“Bill was always a helpful neighbor to our family my entire life right up until we sold the land,” DeVeau said. “He will be missed.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or  nhandy@ledgertranscript.com.