Evelyn Bachman, 84, of Bowling Green, Ohio passed away unexpectedly and suddenly on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. She was a first-generation American who was born on February 11, 1938, in Mansfield, Ohio to the late Martin and Eva (Frederick) Hubner. She married lifelong Bowling Green resident James W. Bachman on March 15, 1963, and he survives her in Bowling Green.
Along with Jim, her husband of 59 years, Evelyn is survived by her children Brenda A. Bachman and her husband Bryan Otte of Bethesda, Maryland and William M. Bachman and his wife Christi Bachman of The Colony, Texas, and by her grandchildren Amelia Otte, Andrew Bachman, and Nathan Bachman.
Evelyn grew up on a farm with no running water but with her favorite cow (Elsie); her father inspired her love of learning, and with his encouragement, she enrolled in Ohio Northern University after graduating from Mansfield High School. At ONU she worked multiple jobs, including at the college bookstore, to cover tuition and expenses of obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Juris Doctor degree. She was the first person in her family to attend college.
As one of only two women in a law school graduating class that also included her future husband, Evelyn was a pioneer. After serving as a Law Clerk/Bailiff with the Allen County Common Pleas Court (1962-1963) and marrying Jim, she became a Deputy Clerk in the Wood County Clerk of Courts – typing motor vehicle certificates of title (1963). Spotting this promising legal talent, Attorney E.V. Spitler offered Evelyn her first job as a lawyer. In his office she was an Attorney/Real Estate Title Examiner (1964-1966) before becoming the first woman Assistant County Prosecutor for Wood County (1967-1968) and the first Attorney for the Wood County Welfare Department (1972-1973).
Evelyn next joined the Bachman & Bachman Law Office, first as an attorney (1973-1977), then as a partner with her father-in-law Alva (1977-1986) when Jim left the firm to become Bowling Green Municipal Court Judge, and finally as a sole practitioner (1986-2022) when Alva retired. While in the sole practice of law, Evelyn was a part-time Domestic Relations Referee/Magistrate for Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles F. Kurfess (1991-1996). She continued practicing law into the day of her passing, conducting business at the Wood County Courthouse that morning. Her legal career spanned 59 years.
Evelyn’s commitment to her profession extended to leadership in legal organizations like the Wood County Bar Association (Member 1963-2022; Sec./Treas. 1967-1976; Vice Pres. 1977; Pres. 1978), Wood County Law Library (Sec./Treas. 1967-1976), Ohio Regional Law Library Association (Member 1967-1976), and Ohio State Bar Association (Member 1963-2022; Council of Delegates 1978-1980). In 1985, she taught business law at Stautzenberger College. She also was affiliated with the Wood County Republican Party (Member 1963-2022; Central Committee Secretary 1984-1988 & Chairman 1988-1991; Executive Committee Vice-chairman 1996-1998) and Wood County Board of Elections (Member 1988-1991; Chairman 1990-1991). In 1983, she became the first woman seeking to become Mayor of the city of Bowling Green, running as the Republican candidate in the general election.
As dedicated as she was to her legal career and clients, she also was devoted to selflessly serving the community. The countless organizations she belonged to include: Bowling Green Women’s Club (Member 1991-2022; Pres. 1992-1993 & 2013-2015), GFWC/Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs (Member 1991-2022; Sec. 2005; Second Vice Pres. 2006-2008; First Vice Pres. 2008-2010; State Pres. 2010-2012), Boy Scouts Troop 422 (Den Mother 1980; Advisory Board Member 1984-1986), Girl Scouts Troop 119 (Asst. Leader 1980-1984; Leader 1985-1986), Wood County Bar Association’s Law Explorer Post (Head Advisor 1978-1980, Friends of the Wood County District Public Library (Member 1989-2022), League of Women Voters (Member 1972-2022), American Association of University Women (Member 1963-2022); P.E.O. of Bowling Green Chapter AA (1987-2022), The First Ladies Investment Club of Bowling Green (Member 1989-2022; Vice Pres. 1994-1996; Pres. 1996-1998), Bowling Green Alumnae Association of Alpha Xi Delta (1963-2022); Wood County Hospital Board (Member 1986-2006; Sec. 1987, 1988, 1991; Vice Chairman 1996; Chairman 1997—first woman to serve on the Board and serve as Chairman), Wood County Hospital Foundation (Sec. 1987-1993; Trustee 1999-2005), Wood County Hospital Guild (Member 2003-2022), Wood County Human Services Board—The Link (Member 1975-1997), Wood Lane Industries Board of Trustees (Member 1975-1985; Pres. 1981), and the First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green (Member 1963-2022).
Evelyn was honored to receive numerous awards, including the 2002 Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Woman Citizen, The Wood County Bar Association Evie Award (named after her in 1982), AAUW Outstanding Woman of the Year (1989; 2001), and the GFWC Ohio Jennie Award.
In her free time, she enjoyed reading, plus traveling, gardening, picture puzzling with Jim, and sending cards to family and friends. Evelyn was passionate about helping and mentoring people, especially other women. She was an avid supporter of numerous women-related causes like domestic violence awareness and prevention.
A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Simpson Garden Park Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green, Ohio. Masks are highly recommended. Private burial will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Dunn Funeral Home in Bowling Green.
Anyone wishing to express sympathy in memory of Evelyn is asked to please honor her by doing something to advance the Administration Theme of her GFWC/Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs state presidency: “Give a Book, Share a Book, Help your Libraries.”
To share an online condolence or fond memory with the Bachman family please visit www.dunnfuneralhome.com.