Phil Hare was a top aide for 24 years and succeeded Evans when he retired. Hare says Evans was great to work for and taught him a lot about how to be a member of congress.
"He wasn't afraid to take on the speaker if he had to on our own side, so I enjoyed that about him. Sometimes some of the votes, we knew we'd get a little bit of phone calls on, and I'd call him up and I'd say, 'Uh, we're getting a lot of phone calls,' and he goes, 'Well, just answer them," says Hare.
First elected in 1982, Evans served until 2006 when he retired for health reasons. He now lives at a nursing home in East Moline, and was not able to attend the ceremony.