San Francisco Chronicle

Robert C. Nevins

December 19, 1933 - February 16, 2023


Robert (Bob) Charles Nevins, long-time resident of Lafayette, passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 89. Bob was born in New York to Thomas and Dorothy Nevins. He had one sister, Mary Stephens who proceeded him in death.

Growing up Bob’s parents were educators in New York. His father was the assistant superinten­dent of the New York City board of education, and his mother received a master’s degree in art and taught high school. Bob was a big man with a big heart. He was 6 foot 7 inches and played basketball in high school and in college. His high school yearbook graduation quote was “To have a million, friends and dollars”. He attended Miami University of Ohio where he majored in Business. He was President of his fraternity Sigma Chi when he met his future wife, Ann Hecker who was also attending Miami University. They married on April 7th, 1956 and later had 3 children.

After graduation he began working in the insurance industry and was transferre­d from St. Louis to the Bay Area. He worked in San Francisco as the president and managing partner for Dinner Levison, a private insurance brokerage firm. The firm later sold and he was elevated to the role of COO for Fred S James, a large public insurance brokerage firm based in New York. They lived in Connecticu­t and enjoyed the people and lifestyle that NYC provided. He held the title of EVP for other large public firms including Acordia Insurance, The Home Insurance, as well as Vice Chairman of Alexander and Alexander of California until he ultimately retired back to their home in Lafayette where he lived for a total of almost 60 years. In addition to his goal of a million friends and dollars, he also acquired a million airline miles. It was outside of work that he most loved to travel, especially to Europe, with his family and friends. He was proud of his Irish heritage, and would say if you are 1% Irish you are 100% Irish.

Bob was passionate about the insurance business and people. He was a pillar of the industry during his 50-year career, and was well respected by all. He was active in the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwrite­rs Society (CPCU) where served as the National President of the Society of CPCU in 1977, and later as Chairman of the Institutes. Among the many awards he received during his career, he was most proud of the lifetime achievemen­t award from Society of CPCU which had only been awarded to one prior recipient. Bob was also active in the community. He taught insurance at Golden Gate University, supported Diablo Arts which provided college scholarshi­ps for students, and was an active Board member of the Glaucoma Foundation.

After Ann died in 2006, Bob married another longtime insurance profession­al Deborah DeVere. They married on January 13, 2009 in Hawaii which remained a favorite and frequent vacation destinatio­n for them. Bob worked hard and played hard. He enjoyed playing dominos, golf, and hanging out weekends in the backyard where he entertaine­d and floated in the pool with his favorite inner tube. He was a proud owner of his Troy-Bilt rototiller and the two of them spent many hours together in his orchard earning him the nickname “Farmer Bob”. He knew everyone (or quickly introduced himself) and celebrated their successes or rolled up his sleeves whenever anyone needed help or advice. He was an incredible son, husband, father, grandfathe­r and friend. We are all fortunate to have known him and better off because of him.

Bob is survived by his three children Beth Delacour (Mitch), Mary Sklarski (Larry) and Tom Nevins (Cassandra), his grandchild­ren and great grandchild­ren, as well as his wife Deborah and her children Randy DeVere (Shelley), Dena Doherty, and Stacey Archie (Dalton).

In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to The Glaucoma Research Foundation, 251 Post Street #600, San Francisco, CA 94108. (

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