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Shirley Graham Evans

December 10, 1930 ~ September 30, 2021 (age 90)


Shirley Graham Evans, Dr.P.H.

Dr. Shirley Graham Evans passed away peacefully at home on September 29, 2021. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she was the 9th child of Thomas Jackson Graham and his wife Murphy Rebecca.  She graduated from  Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education.  Shirley earned a Master’s of Science degree from New York University and her Doctorate of Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. After working as a professor at UCLA, she was recruited by Dr. Joseph Califano Jr. to join President Jimmy Carter’s Administration in Washington, DC.  There, she served in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the White House for eight years.  She subsequently taught at Howard University as a professor of public health before becoming Vice President of the University of District of Columbia.  After retirement, she continued educating young minds as a substitute high school teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools.


As a Link, she was a Charter member of the Metropolitan DC Chapter.  She served in multiple executive roles as well as Facet chair, co-chair of several Candlelight Dinners, and chair of Project Lead High Expectations for Schools.  


In the community, Shirley was an organizing member of Friends of the Andrew Rankin Chapel at Howard University and was instrumental in securing the new stained glass windows that you see in the chapel today. She was a Pearl member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. It was a proud moment when she could pin her daughter Jillian while she was attending Duke University. 

Shirley was an extraordinary woman who was ahead of her time.  She was a trendsetter who blazed trails for others to follow. She reared her children and grandchildren to believe in the power of education.  Education was and still is revered in the Evans household, and Shirley set the bar high. She was intelligent and witty, a loyal friend, and a gracious and elegant hostess. She laughed easily and found joy in many things, particularly traveling and spending time with her loving family. She is survived by her brother Peter M. Graham Sr., daughters Catherine D. Evans and Jillian G. Evans, M.D., grandchildren Jackson Graham Evans and Emily Jillian Evans, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.  She will be dearly missed but always remembered.

In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Dr. Shirley Graham Evans, donations may be made to: Howard University Friends of the Chapel (details below).



A service summary is not available


Howard University Friends of the Chapel
Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, 6th St & Howard Pl, NW, Washington DC 20059

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