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John R. Nevins "Jack"

Company C-2

16 Oct 1938 - 4 Aug 2018

Place of Death: Riverside. CA

Interment: TBD

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Jack Nevins, on August 4, 2018, in Riverside, CA.

Jack is survived by daughters, Suzanne and Elizabeth; nine grandchildren; and his brother, Bruce (USMA '60).  He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara.

No services are scheduled at this time.

Well done, Joe. Be thou at peace.

Remembrances:

Class Memorial Pages\C-2 Jack Nevins.pdf

Obituaries:

Taps Memorial Article:

John R. Nevins  1961

Cullum No. 23368-1961 | August 4, 2018 | Died in Riverside, CA
Cremated. Ashes scattered Laguna Beach, CA

 

 

John Richard Nevins was smart. Finishing 88th in the Class of 1961, out of 534 graduates, was really not sufficiently indicative of how talented academically Jack really was. Those of us who lived with him knew that he was on top of every academic area and did so with a minimum amount of effort because he was always helping others, especially his roommates, stay ahead of the Dean’s forces.

Jack grew up in Olean, NY and retained an affinity for that area. He was forever a follower of the teams of St. Bonaventure University. After three years at the local high school, Jack went to Admiral Farragut Academy in Florida for his senior year and then went to Sullivan Prep School, where he finished first in his class. Jack’s brother Bruce (USMA 1960) had elected a military education, and Jack decided to follow in the path blazed by his older brother.

At West Point Jack excelled in academics, tolerated the military aspects of the regimen, and was a premier participant in extracurricular activities. He served in key positions on the Pointer and the Howitzer, although he was mostly an untitled leader, adviser, and idea person. Actually, while others often had a byline on Pointer articles, in reality most of the wording came from Jack’s pen. He was a leader in the activities of the Debate Council and Forum, and that experience contributed to what later became Jack’s key role in our Army.

After graduation Jack was commissioned in the Field Artillery. He served first in Germany as a battery officer and commander in the 81st Field Artillery. Then, after the career course, he served in Vietnam, first as an artillery advisor, and then with the Americal Division. Upon returning he was selected to be an instructor in the elite Department of Social Studies at West Point, preceded by acquisition of an MPA and doctoral work at Syracuse University.

After his USMA assignment, Jack completed the Command and General Staff College and served for a year with I Corps in Korea. He graduated and then taught for five years at the National War College. In the Washington, DC environment Jack’s talent and expertise were recognized, and he was assigned as special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jack’s major contributions were in the area of drafting legislation and supporting the process that led to reorganization of the Joint Staff system to provide more meaningful input by the JCS to the defense policy-making system. After serving for two Chairmen, upon his retirement, Jack’s service was recognized in truly extraordinary praiseworthy remarks from General Jack Vessey.

From 1982 until 1990 Jack worked for BDM Corporation as director of command, control, communications and intelligence systems. He traveled from Washington to many military units, helping each move into the digital age. Later, Jack moved to California and worked for the Internal Revenue Service as an economist and business enterprise valuation specialist. Jack was an investor and consultant in “brother Bruce’s” venture, Dutcher Crossing Winery (Dry Creek Vineyard, Sonoma County, CA), where he and wife Barbara attended and worked (poured at) several winery events.

Jack’s parents, Emily and Marshall, were avid and expert bridge players. Jack too became a world class competitor in contract bridge, and that avocation marked Jack’s life everywhere he went and served. Ever the instructor, Jack deigned to play bridge with his classmates and friends, notwithstanding their skill level, and every such event resulted in an education for those who did not realize how simple the game could be when explained by Jack.

While serving in Germany, Jack met and married Joanne Bates. They had two children, Susanne and Elizabeth. Later, Jack was divorced. Years later, in 2006 in California after retiring, Jack re-met Barbara, his high school sweetheart from Olean. They married and played lots of bridge. Jack and Barbara both achieved “Life Master” bridge status, the highest award requiring points in regional and national tournaments. Together they had many very happy years together before she died in 2016. With Barbara, Jack acquired and became part of another family, which included step-children Devery and Dan and step-grandchildren A.J., Kellyn, Mary and Jessica.

Jack was funny and smart. He always had a quip or a joke and a ready smile. He was a terrific friend, and the memory of him will be a blessing for each of us.

— D. Peter Gleichenhaus