CLIFTON PARK -- After battling COVID-19 for more than a week, Dennis Evans, a 59-year-old Clifton Park real estate agent and father of three, died on Monday.
“He was so full of life and loved every minute of being alive," said his daughter Erin Evans. "His kindness radiated to everyone he met. Every room he walked into instantly got brighter.”
As of Tuesday, he is one of five Saratoga County residents who have died because of the virus, according to the county's Department of Public Health. Evans tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27 and was admitted to the intensive care unit at Saratoga Hospital the following day. He was in the hospital for 10 days before he died on Monday morning, just a few days before his 60th birthday.
Known for his sense of humor and gregarious personality, Evans grew up in Schenectady and graduated from Mont Pleasant High School in 1978. He worked at CVS Pharmacy for 17 years before shifting into real estate. For the last nine years, he worked as a real estate salesperson at Coldwell Banker Prime Properties.
Evans is survived by his children Erin, Samantha and Austin, as well as his significant other, Wendy Hughes, and his brother Mark Evans.
“He was the life of the party," Erin said. "Always cracking jokes, being goofy, and making sure everyone around him was having fun. He was like a windup toy, but he didn't need anyone to wind him up.”
In his spare time, Evans enjoyed going to concerts, collecting guitars, skiing, running marathons and trying to win big at casinos.
“He loved to keep his kids out too late on school nights," Erin said. "He loved to pop in unannounced when you told him all you wanted was a quiet night home alone and those were the best nights you ever had. He loved living life to the fullest. No one loved life more than my father."
His abundant energy and sense of humor also made him popular on social media, where he often posted jokes, including intentionally corny real estate jokes.
Since Monday, many of his friends praised his life-of-the-party personality on Facebook.
“He and I used to steal, I mean 'borrow' each other’s puns. Some good, some not. He was a master,” posted local photographer Stephanie Bartik.
Shayna Goodson, a fellow local real estate agent and another one of Evans’ many Facebook friends posted: “COVID-19 took a great man today, a great man that brought so much light and cheer to everyone in the room. He was always telling funny jokes, enjoying a beer and always will to lend a helping hand. He will absolutely be missed.”
Erin thanked the staff at Saratoga Hospital for everything they did for her father during his days in the ICU.
“They are angels,” she said.
While a traditional funeral service won’t be possible at this time, once it’s safe, his family is planning to celebrate his life with a concert. In the meantime, Erin hopes that his death will make more people take COVID-19 seriously.
“Not only did this awful virus rob us of our father, but the comfort of seeing him in the hospital and saying goodbye, a real funeral service, and being around loved ones in this difficult time. If anything, I hope this inspires everyone to stay home, be safe, and hopefully save others’ lives. That’s what my dad would want,” Erin said.