Roger V. Bevan

Apr 04, 2014

Camden — Roger Vaughan Bevan, 76, passed away Friday, March 28, 2014, at Riverside Home in Thomaston.

Born in Bedford, England, July 4, 1937, he was the son of David Vaughan Bevan and Irene Sylvia (Walton) Bevan of London. In June 1944, Roger witnessed a 48-hour wave of Allied troops walk past their home toward the beach in Felixstowe before they embarked on ships used for the D-Day landings in Normandy.

In England, he attended Ipswich School, then King’s College in Cambridge, where he earned a B.A. and M.A. in French and German. He also completed a postgraduate certificate in education from Cambridge University, from where he furthered his language qualifications with a year of intensive Russian. He taught at Eton College and Barnsley Grammar School in England, at the Schleswig Gymnasium in Germany, and at l’Ecole d’Interprètes Internationaux in Mons, Belgium.

He emigrated to the U.S. in 1965 upon meeting his future wife and applied for American citizenship because he admired and loved its Constitution. He earned a Ph. D. in German Linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., during which he studied Dutch for the first time. He received a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in 1968.

On June 18, 1966, Roger married Mary Bryce in Albion, Mich. He was a French professor at Albion College in Albion for eight years. He used his sabbatical to study interpreting at l’Ecole d’Interprètes Internationaux in Mons where he qualified to be listed as a freelance interpreter for the E.U. institutions, thereby transitioning his career from teacher to conference interpreter, doing both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting for 26 years. A notable highpoint was interpreting at the Reichstag in Berlin before German reunification. He was a member of AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters, throughout his career. He was fluent in six languages and familiar with several others. First and foremost, Roger was a family man: a devoted and selfless husband and father, with his care extending beyond his immediate family. Those who knew Roger remember him for his deep love of people, including children, his eccentric sense of humor with a penchant for the dramatic, generous spirit, gentleness, hospitality, obvious sensitivity to all that is beautiful in poetry and music, resourcefulness, keen intellect and extraordinary memory.

He loved whistling, playing the harmonica, composing songs, singing, cycling, hiking, writing childrens’/feature and travel stories (some of which were published in The Christian Science Monitor), making meaningful connections with people in their native languages, acting (he acted at the Minack open-air Theatre in Cornwall, U.K. during two summer seasons). He was a passionate life-long student of history, avid cricket fan, natural seat-of-the-pants cook and tea-lover. He was environmentally conscious and a member of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Roger and Mary retired to Camden in 2004 to be close to their family. He was a lifelong member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston and a local member of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Camden. He was always dedicated to serving church in many different capacities, including as Sunday School teacher and board member.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Bevan of Camden; two daughters, Claire Helene Bevan of Jamaica Plain, Mass., and Adele Irene Martin and her husband Andrew of Beverly, Mass.; two grandsons, Beri Vaughan Martin and Benjamin Bevan Martin; his twin sister, Angela Inglis and her husband Robert of London, U.K.; a sister-in-law, Barbara Gulbran and her husband Ned of Seattle, Wash.; two brothers-in-law, Graham Bryce and his wife Sharley of Portland, Ore., and Gordon Bryce and his wife Jill of Dallas, Texas.

A private memorial service to celebrate his life will be held in Camden in July. If desired, memorial gifts may be made in his memory to: the Camden Public Library,librarycamden.org, or to The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, christianscience.com/member-resources/for-individuals/giving.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the Bevan family by visiting their book of memories at longfuneralhomecamden. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.

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