Local News

Evie Shepard Gibbs (Rich) Amlin 1944 – 2023

Evie Shepard Gibbs (Rich) Amlin passed away on June 22, 2023, in Fullerton, California, after an 18-month journey with pancreatic cancer. She was 78 years old.

Evie was born in San Bernardino on October 30, 1944, to the late Evaline Nelson Gibbs and William S. Gibbs. Her earliest childhood years were spent in Perris, California, with her parents and younger sister, Mary, before moving into her grandparent’s home in Alhambra with her mother and sister. Evie attended Alhambra High School, where she was on the Drill Team and was an exceptional student. Her high school sweetheart was Howard Lynn Rich, and they married one month after graduation in 1962.

Howard joined the Army, and they moved to Ohio, where their first daughter Pamela (Pammie) was born in 1963, followed 16 months later by Cynthia (Cindy) in 1964. Though very young and naive, she jumped into the mama role with gusto. In 1965 they moved back to California, first to Buena Park before purchasing their first home in Anaheim and then settling in Fullerton in 1972, where they built a home at the top of a hill with a perfect view of the Disneyland Fireworks. When her daughters were younger, Evie was a stay-at-home mom involved with her community. She belonged to her neighborhood tennis group and played often. She was in several women’s guilds, including Fullerton Civic Light Opera and the Monterey Park Firefighter Wives’ Association. She served as the Room Mom and the Girl Scout Leader, and during the girl’s FUHS years, she ran the snack bar for the Booster Club at the Football games. She recalled that she loved counting all that money at the night’s end! These acts of service were passed down to her children and grandchildren, who continue to serve others.

Evie was gifted with a natural creative talent. Everything she touched was better, nicer, prettier. She sewed her daughter’s clothes by hand and knew how to knit and crochet. She later enjoyed donating pieces she made to those in need, like chemo caps for children with cancer. She painted rocks and loved to give them to friends, hiding them around Fullerton for others to find as part of “Rockin Round Fullerton.” She was an avid gardener and especially loved succulents. She loved kitty cats, rescuing and adopting several over the years that came through her yard. (RIP MeowMay). She was also an entrepreneur!

After working at JC Penneys in her early 20s, Evie and her friend Carol started a home party business called “The Plant Peddlers,” where they had house parties and sold beautiful indoor plants in painted pots. Over the years, she also sold Aloe Vera, Melaleuca, and Acai as home businesses. In 1978 they opened a travel agency called “Great Escapes Travel,” which she expertly ran, managed a staff, planned, and enjoyed her travels for many years.

In 1983 she met her second husband, Jeff Amlin, whom she met on a cruise in the Caribbean. They married in 1984 and moved to Pasadena. With their combined entrepreneurial spirit, they launched a successful eyeglass business named “Ultra Shade.” Over the years, they enjoyed time with friends and family, loved traveling together, and created beautiful homes and outdoor gardens. When Evie became a Grammie, she wanted to be closer to her girls, so they moved back to Orange County, settling in Fullerton in 1995. She had five Grandchildren and countless others who considered her their Grammie, enjoying her unconditional love over the years! She loved, loved, loved her grandchildren. She recently became a Great-Grammie to Baby Nova, who visited from NC at only three months of age! She was the newest light of her life.

Upon her passing, Evie’s friends and family shared a common theme in their memories; her unconditional love. Sparkly eyes. Sweet smile. Innocent but not naive. You would never know what she would say or do next, and sometimes it would shock you! She loved every one of her daughter’s and grandchildren’s friends as if they were her best friend. That is a lot of best friends, and she treasured them all.

Evie is survived by her husband of 39 years, Jeff Amlin, her former husband of 16 years, Howard Rich (Gail); daughters Pamela Keller (John) and Cynthia (Moore) Rich; grandchildren, Katelyn Moore (Josh), Christopher Keller (Holly), Madison (Moore) Wood (Derrick), Dakota Keller, Alexander Keller; great-granddaughter Nova Lewis; her sisters, Carol Hanna and Mary Hicks; her father-in-law Lee Amlin; her special outdoor cat Primo and extended family and friends as numerous as the stars!

The family will host a party to celebrate Evie’s life, and later her ashes will be scattered off the coast near her favorite spot, Crystal Cove, in a private gathering with close friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to donate to “All the Arts For All the Kids Foundation,” which supports arts education in the Fullerton School District @ Allthearts.org, or paint a rock and hide it for someone to find in your hometown.