Timothy O'Donovan Evans, a linguist and former coordinator of the Maryland Business Center China, died of cancer Wednesday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. The former Ruxton resident was 38.
Mr. Evans was born in Baltimore and raised in Ruxton. He was a 1986 graduate of Loyola High School, where his fluency in Spanish, German and Portuguese earned him the school's top language award.
"Even though he had an amazing memory and a natural gift for languages and politics, he still managed to watch a lot of terrible TV shows when we were in high school," said Steven R. Porter, a friend since seventh grade.
Mr. Evans, who had spent his junior year abroad in Beijing and was proficient in Mandarin Chinese, earned a bachelor's degree in applied linguistics in 1990 from Georgetown University.
In 1991, he earned a graduate certificate in Chinese studies from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China, where all courses are taught in Chinese.
He earned a master's degree in international commerce and diplomacy in 1993 from the University of Kentucky School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.
From 1994 to 1995, Mr. Evans was manager of China operations for CET Academic Programs, a Washington-based company that offers students study opportunities abroad. He also taught Mandarin Chinese at Howard Community College.
From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Evans was China business coordinator for the Maryland Business Center China, a state office that assists Maryland companies doing business there.
Since 1998, he had been a foreign student adviser at Strayer University in Washington.
In 1997, Mr. Evans was found to have islet cell cancer, a rare pancreatic cancer.
"Tim got sick in China and after being diagnosed with cancer, surgeons at Hopkins removed a 7-pound tumor. He was given lots of chemotherapy and only two years to live," said his mother, Rosalyn Schilpp Evans of Ruxton.
"He was the kind of person who didn't want to be doted over. He never complained about the pain, and when you asked about how he was doing, he shifted the focus back to you. He wanted to keep his wife, family and friends going," Mr. Porter said.
"There were times when you thought you'd never see him again and when you did, there he'd be making plans to do this or that," he said.
"You'd never know that Tim had an illness. He never said, 'Why me? This isn't fair.' He was a wonderfully humorous man who refused to be defined by illness but rather life," said Will B. Baird, who attended high school and college with Mr. Evans.
He met Melissa Deichmann in 1998, "but was concerned that he couldn't promise her a future, given his illness," said his brother Michael F. Evans of Cockeysville. "However, when the tragedy of 9/11 occurred, they realized that no one's future is given, and they became engaged in New York City and were married at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans in 2002."
Mrs. Evans is a psychologist at Accotink Academy in Springfield, Va.
Mr. Evans enjoyed traveling throughout the world and at his death was researching and writing a book on the influence of Jesuit missionaries on Aztec culture in northern Mexico.
"Tim had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and was a passionate thinker," Mr. Baird said. "With his book project, he was studying and researching ancient manuscripts and following a particular priest who had been with the missionaries."
The Arlington resident was a former communicant of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Rodgers Forge, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday. A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Arlington.
Survivors also include his father, John G. Evans; another brother, John G. Evans Jr. of Towson; and three sisters, Rose S. Irvin of Rodgers Forge, Emily W. Shattuck of Lutherville and Eleanor A. Flores of San Diego.