Former Idaho Gov. John Evans passes away

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Former Idaho Gov. John Evans has passed away.

Evans was a Democrat and the first Mormon elected governor in Idaho. He was the 27th governor for the Gem State and held office from 1977 to 1987.

Evans was born in Malad and began his political career at 27. He passed away Tuesday morning in Boise and was 89 years old.

Local and state officials said they were saddened to hear the news:

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter

"Having had the good fortune to serve under Governor Evans, I got to know him as a sincere professional who understood the cost of success and took seriously his responsibilities as Idaho's chief executive. He always had the best of intentions and was earnest in his love of Idaho. I admired John's willingness to compete in the marketplace of ideas and his ability to keep himself and his office above the day-to-day political fray. The First Lady and I offer our sympathy and condolences to the entire Evans family."

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo

"Governor Evans will be missed, but his legacy in the family business and his public service will endure. He and his family have been Idaho pioneers. The Evans family banking operation survived the Great Depression and has assisted thousands of Idaho residents and businesses. I fondly recall John's leadership during difficult economic times during the 1980s and join all Idahoans in a tribute to his dedicated service and his love for Idaho."

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch

"John Evans was one of the most civil and gentle people I dealt with in the political process over the years. He was a committed Idahoan who deeply loved his state. Being in the banking business, he had a clear understanding of free markets and their importance in a free society. His leadership was greatly respected. Vicki and I send our condolences to Lola and the entire Evans family, who we have always considered good friends."

Lt. Gov. Brad Little

"With great sadness, Teresa and I send our deepest condolences to Lola and the Evans family. John Evans' long record of service to Idaho and America is impressive- as an infantryman during World War II, in agriculture and banking, in local government, and in the Idaho Legislature. "

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter

"Governor Evans was an outstanding governor and an exceptional Idahoan. As both a business leader and an elected official, Governor Evans displayed great wisdom, humility and resourcefulness to help Idahoans lead more fulfilling lives. My heart goes out to Lola and his entire family during this difficult time."