Robert Jackson Bevins

Robert Jackson Bevins of Columbia died Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, at his home. He was 82.

Dr. Bevins was born March 13, 1928, to Samuel Robert and Elizabeth (Jackson) Bevins, and grew up on a farm near Concord, Tenn.

Dr. Bevins received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Tennessee in 1949 and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

Soon after graduating, Dr. Bevins taught agriculture to World War II veterans and served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1954. While in the Army, he trained as a counterintelligence investigator and served in Japan and Korea.

Dr. Bevins returned to the University of Tennessee after serving in the Army to complete a master’s degree in agriculture. There he met his wife, another master's student named Priscilla LeBaron, of San Antonio. The two married Nov. 5, 1955, and had two children, a daughter, M. Colleen, and a son, Brian Andrew.

In May 1960, Dr. Bevins received a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Michigan State University.

Dr. Bevins spent six years on the Kansas State University faculty before moving his family to Columbia in 1967. He joined the MU agricultural economics faculty with a special emphasis in domestic agricultural policy.

When Dr. Bevins took time off from advancing his academic career, he could typically be found outside, getting his hands dirty.

“He really enjoyed being outdoors,” said his wife, adding that he “puttered” in the shop often refurbishing furniture and tending to their vegetable garden, which included tomatoes, okra and green beans.

“Bob grew up on a farm with a big garden,” Priscilla Bevins said.

Dr. Bevins was a scoutmaster with Troop 705 and was awarded the Order of the Arrow. He loved spending time with the Boy Scouts. Living on a farm, he didn’t get the opportunity to become one as a child, Priscilla Bevins said.

Dr. Bevins was a past commander of American Legion Post 202, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and an active member of Veterans for Peace. After retiring as commander of the American Legion post, he served as a volunteer at Truman Veterans Hospital for 12 years.

Dr. Bevins is survived by his wife, Priscilla LeBaron Bevins; his daughter, M. Colleen Bevins, and her husband, Sea Stipe, of Peoria, Ill.; a son, Brian Andrew Bevins, and his wife, Lisa, of Columbia; a granddaughter, Jessica Stipe, of Dallas; and his sister, Lillian Bevins Swan, and her husband, Bill, of Concord, N.C.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Episcopal Church, 123 S. Ninth St.

Dr. Bevins has given his body to the anatomy department at MU Medical School.

His ashes will be interred in the Memorial Garden at Calvary Episcopal Church at a later date.

The family requests gifts be given to the Calvary Episcopal Memorial Fund or to the charity of the donor's choice in lieu of flowers.

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