Funeral services for a well-known former McKinney Independent School District math teacher, bus driver, coach and school board member were held on Tuesday.
Leonard Evans, known as "Coach," died last week at the age of 93.
"It's difficult to overstate the impact that Mr. Evans had on McKinney ISD during the 1960's and beyond. In the era of segregation, he was a pioneer, transferring in 1963 from his job as a coach and teacher at McKinney's segregated E.S. Doty High School to Finch Elementary to become the first African-American teacher to serve at a white campus in MISD," the district said in a social media post.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Evans spent 31 years with the district.
In 2004, the district named a school in Evans's honor.
His three adult children told NBC 5 that they grew up knowing they shared their father with the community.
"He was our dad, but he was dad and granddad to an entire community," said his daughter, Terrye Evans.
His children say Evans, a World War II veteran, cared about the underdog and the less fortunate. Often, they'd wake up to find guests at the Evans family breakfast table.
"You never know who might be sitting there. You might find a school board member sitting beside what some people would say an alcoholic or a drunk on the street, but they'd be sitting right beside each other," said Ralph Evans. "That put great joy in his heart to do that."
Evans's oldest son, Leonard Berry Evans, said the love his father showed to the community is returning to the family as they grieve. A visitation on Monday evening in Allen was packed with former students paying their respects.
"I spent some time trying to prepare for what's going on right now, but if it weren't for the love of everybody around us, then I don't know how we would make it," Leonard Evans said.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday at First Baptist Church in McKinney.