Joseph T. Bevan
September 28, 1933 to November 17, 2021
Joseph T. Bevan, of Newtown, passed away on November 17, thus concluding a life defined by family, kindness, integrity, and achievement. He was 88 years old.
Joe was the youngest of four sons born to William and Elizabeth Bevan, of Plains, Pennsylvania. In elementary school, he met a young girl from the neighborhood, Janice Lovering, who became his childhood sweetheart and ultimately, his loving wife of 63 years. Jan passed away in 2019. His accomplished brothers, Bill, Jack, and Bob, are also deceased.
An excellent student and athlete, Joe graduated from Plains High School in 1951 and received a scholarship to attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. At Emory, he was a noted student leader, president of his fraternity, and recipient of the Dooley’s Derby award for his outstanding service to the college. He graduated cum laude with a BA degree in Psychology in 1955. He later completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
Joe and Jan married in 1956. Preparing to start their life together, the United States Army intervened — drafting Joe into service. He was stationed at multiple bases including the Pentagon before completing his two-year commitment with the rank of Corporal. Upon honorable discharge, he began his professional career as a sales representative for the William S. Merrell Corporation – a pharmaceutical manufacturer that grew through merger into Richardson-Vicks, Inc. (RVI) — a multinational healthcare enterprise. Joe and Jan also started a family with a son, Richard, arriving in 1958 and a daughter, Alison, in 1959.
Joe’s career took his family to six states, as new opportunities emerged through RVI. It eventually led him across the world to work extensively in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. His intelligence, judgment, and work ethic made him a natural leader and coach. Progressing through a series of human resources management roles, Joe developed a reputation for fairness, flexibility, and innovation. He was particularly adept at helping teams and leaders perform to their potential, always grounded in integrity. Appointed to the senior executive team as Vice President of Personnel Operations, Joe helped lead the company through successful mergers, acquisitions, new product development, and workplace evolution. His final assignment involved integrating RVI into Proctor & Gamble, where products like Vicks VapoRub, Nyquil, Oil of Olay, and Pantene continue to be worldwide brands. He retired in 1993.
In retirement, Joe and Jan pursued a passion for contemporary art glass, ultimately building a gallery-worthy collection while establishing lasting friendships with artists, collectors, and dealers across the country. They doted on their children and grandchildren, as well as their succession of pampered Cairn terriers. They stayed closely connected to family, friends, and neighbors — always offering support and kindness. They rooted boisterously for the UConn Women’s Basketball team and the New England Patriots. They enjoyed traveling but enjoyed their home in Newtown even more.
Following Jan’s death, Joe moved to a retirement community in Darien, Conn., where he could be near his daughter. He quickly established friends and brought his trademark warmth and respect to a new community. Staff members sought his advice and fellow residents sought his company. He was, as always, a gentleman.
Until his last day, Joe was a source of support and strength for his kids and grandkids. He is survived by his daughter Alison, her husband Michael, and their son Dylan; as well as his son Richard, his wife Nancy, and their children, Ben, Sam, and Julia. He set an example for living with intelligence, curiosity, humility, and decency that inspires us all. We’ll miss you and always love you, Pop Pop.
Friends are invited to attend calling hours on Saturday, December 4, from 2 to 4 pm, in the Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street, Newtown.