Former Pawhuskan crowned 2014 Mrs. America

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent
Former Pawhuskan crowned 2014 Mrs. America

Michelle Wilson Evans, granddaughter of Joan and the late Rodney Wilson, was named 2014 Mrs. America in Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 29. Members of Evans’ family gathered at the home of Angela Miles Broughton to watch the event which kicked off at 7 p.m.

“Reality hasn’t come down to earth yet,” said a very excited and proud Grandmother Joan. The field of 51, including the District of Columbia, quickly dropped to 15 and then 6.”

Aunt Debbie Miles added, “When Michelle was in the final six, my daughter Angela and I had the same feeling we experienced when she competed for Mrs. Oklahoma in Guthrie. Our excitement intensified when she made the top three, then the final two when she and Mrs. Illinois were head-to-head.”

Joan said, “Michelle stood out in every category. After winning Mrs. America, one of the Oklahoma judges complimented Michelle on her outstanding interviewing skills.”

In addition to winning the coveted Mrs. America title, Evans also won ‘Best Overall Costume’ which was to represent each contestant’s state.

According to Aunt Debbie, “Michelle chose the Native American theme over oil and cowboys as a way to honor her Osage and Seneca cousins. A Creek Nation friend in Tulsa hand-crafted Michelle’s award-winning dress.”

Evan’s venture into the pageant world was totally unexpected. According to Grandmother Joan, “Michelle’s hair dresser approached her about entering the pageant scene by applying for the Mrs. Tulsa crown. At first Michelle balked at the idea as she had never done anything like this before. She felt more comfortable playing soccer. As one of Union High School’s star soccer athletes, she earned a college scholarship to attend Weatherford.”

Aunt Debbie added, “Michelle wanted to visit with her husband, Heath, first and needed some time to think about this pageant thing. Before she had the chance to talk to him, she received a phone call that told her she had been selected ‘Mrs. Tulsa’ and that her entry fees had been waived. This became a can’t-say-no deal.”

Evans had less than seven weeks to learn the mechanics of pageantry. She had to learn how the walk the pageant runway, how to model swimwear and evening gowns and how to prepare for a panel of six judges’ question and answer session.

With obvious pride in her voice, Grandmother Joan said “Michelle’s platform is about drug abuse and its effect on families. She chose this platform in honor of her brother, Joshua, who died of a prescription drug overdose in 2010. Michelle and Joshua were very close.”

Evans’ goal of entering the Mrs. Oklahoma pageant was to bring awareness to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse and drug prevention. Partnering with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, she created a website called Drugfreeok.org as a resource for people seeking assistance or help in finding treatment facilities. Since becoming Mrs. Oklahoma, she has shared her story through motivational speeches throughout the state. As Mrs. America, Evans will be able to share her story with a much larger audience. “Michelle feels that saving just one child from drug addiction will be worth all the effort,” said Aunt Debbie.

Evans is a neo-natal nurse for Hillcrest Hospital. Her husband, Heath, is an oral surgeon. The couple has a 17-month old daughter, Camden Faith. Grandmother Joan said, “Michelle is as pretty inside as she is on the outside. She is also teaching Camden sign language. (Chuckling) It’s really interesting when I babysit to try to figure out her signs.”

Evans’ mother, Ruth, was a nurse at the Pawhuska Hospital for seven to eight years prior to the family’s move to Broken Arrow. Dad, Steve, ran the Tastee Freeze and JW’s BBQ.

Among the numerous family members still residing in the Pawhuska area are Grandmother Joan Wilson, Aunt Debbie Miles, Uncles Tim Wilson, Pat Wilson and Shawn Wilson (Barnsdall’s wresting coach).

Grandmother Joan said, “One of the neatest things about becoming Mrs. Oklahoma and Mrs. America is that Heath and Camden were invited to be a part of the crowing ceremony.”

Mrs. America is a reality-based prime-time television special devoted to emphasizing the most extraordinarily beautiful, poised, articulate and versatile of America’s 70 million married women. Evans will represent the United States in the Mrs. World competition which will be held in Orlando, Fla., in December.