Evans, who began his notable public service legacy as a member of the Bainbridge Volunteer Fire Department while just an 18-year-old in 1971, doused his flame of volunteerism at the December meeting of the Greencastle Park Board.
"After 40 years of public service, I just need a break," Evans told fellow members of the Park Board and Mayor Sue Murray, who was in attendance to read a proclamation declaring it "Russell W. Evans Day."
"Thank you for all your service," the mayor told him.
The meeting marked the end of Evans' eighth year on the Park Board, following a four-year City Council term, during which he represented the Fourth Ward from 2004-07.
The proclamation cited Evans' dedicated service to the City of Greencastle, where he has resided since 1995.
He has also served in such countywide positions as a member of the Putnam County 911 Advisory Committee, Putnam County Convention and Tourism Board, Operation Life Board of Directors, Putnam County Red Cross and Putnam County Firefighters Association.
Evans also has contributed to the community as deputy director of the Putnam County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) for six years and chairman of the Local Emergency Planning Committee for six years.
Before moving to Greencastle, Evans was involved with the Bainbridge Fire Department for 23 years and served on the Bainbridge Town Council for eight years. He also was involved in the Bainbridge Youth League, North Putnam Sports Boosters and Tri-County Youth League, chairing or serving as president of all those groups at some point.
"I started my public service career with the Bainbridge Fire Department in 1971, and 40 years later, I'm just tired," Evans said. "I'm going to take some time off."
But there is more to it than that.
Evans also shared a recent run of health concerns, including a two-year bout with cancer "and complications that included three surgeries and a few trips to the ER, and that was just 2009."
"And then this year," he said, there was "the 'mystery lump' and three more surgeries."
Evans said his rule of thumb has been simple over the years.
"I have always tried to do my best," he explained, "and make decisions based on the big picture."
It would seem that is exactly the decision he has made once again.