MAKANDA -- Rev. James Morris McEvers, 73, passed to his reward on Friday, July 4, 2014, in Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. He was born Dec. 15, 1940, in Herrin Hospital , the son of Charles Morris and Lillie Earline (Coleman) McEvers. Educated in Herrin schools, he graduated from Herrin Township High School in 1958. He later graduated from SIU Carbondale in 1962 with the degree of Bachelor of Music, majoring in organ and minoring in voice, studying with Wesley Morgan and Carol McClintock. He later earned the degree of Master of Divinity at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston , in 1965. He was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood of the Episcopal Church in 1965 by the Rt. Rev. Albert Chambers, Bishop of Springfield, and was assigned to be vicar of St. Alban's Church in Olney, and St. Mary's Church in Robinson. During his tenure there, he was appointed to be rural dean of the Salem Deanery. After his service there he was called to build a 58 rank organ for St. Matthew's Church in Bloomington . This led to the major professional interest of his life, of building pipe organs. At the height of his career, he had 85 organs under his care, from Paris , Tennessee , to Pontiac . Several new instruments were built and installed from Detroit , Michigan , to Paris , Tennessee . Many older instruments were rebuilt, as well. His musical interests included performance, and he performed thoughout his life. In college days he served as choir director at Grace Methodist Church in Carbondale ; organist at First Presbyterian Church, Herrin; organist and choirmaster at St. Richard's Episcopal Church in Chicago between 1962 and 1965, and at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Carbondale between 1970 and 1985. Active in many musical societies, he was a founding member of the first Southern Illinois Chapter of the American Guild of Organists during college days; a member of the Organ Historical Society, serving a term as a national councillor; and a member of the American Institute of 0rganbuilders. He was interested in civic affairs, and between 1980 and 1995 served at times as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and as a trustee of the Village Board of the Village of Makanda . He was preceded in death by all four of his grandparents, Charles Joseph and Goldie (Avery) McEvers, and David Moses and Lura Ann (Gallemore) Coleman, whom he dearly loved; his parents, Charles and Earline; an Uncle Cecil Barnes and a most beloved aunt, Mary (Coleman) Barnes-Martin; and a latter-day uncle, Ray Martin. Also preceding him in death were his aunt, Hilda Hazel (Coleman) and her husband, Ishmael Miller, his aunt, Vallie Maud (Coleman) and her husband, Wesley Everett Tripp; his uncle, Moses Glen Coleman and his wife, Genevie (Yates); and his uncle, James Edward McEvers and his wife, Evelyn Finn; and a nephew, James Scott Deterding. He is survived by his friend (since 1970) Gregory K. Brown; his brother, Terry Lee McEvers and his wife, Cheryl Anderson of Herrin; his sister, Marianne and her husband, Barry Lindsay of Byron, Georgia; his sister, Nancy Jane McEvers of Herrin; nieces, Michelle (Lindsay) Rumer of Texas, and Shellianne McEvers of Herrin; nephew, Sean McEvers of Herrin; and great-nephews, Jeremy Cecil Sellers and Cameron Michael McEvers. Also surviving are first cousins, Glen Edward Tripp of Herrin, Jim Allan McEvers of Knoxville , Tennessee , Timothy Morris McEvers of Tennessee , and Patrica Laveau of Raleigh , North Carolina . He is also survived by first cousins (once removed), Aaron and Amanda Tripp. Also surviving are a multitude of kinfolk and friends, since he was so involved in genealogical research, tracing his Coleman roots to 1632 at Jamestown, Virginia, and his McEvers roots back to 1750 in Scotland. Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Fund, in care of Fresenius Medical Care, South Lewis Lane , Carbondale . A liturgy of Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 11, in Herrin City Cemetery , with the Rev. Sheryl Black officiating. There will be no visitation.