Robert (Bob) E. Evenson
New Haven, Conn. Robert (Bob) Eugene Evenson, of New Haven, Conn., died peacefully on Feb. 2, 2013. He began his career as a farmer in southern Minnesota. After years on the land, he embarked on an academic career, earning degrees at the University of Minnesota and Chicago. Most of his academic career has been at Yale University. Professor Evenson supervised and advised several hundred students at Yale, including many who now hold positions of leadership around the world. He was also a visiting professor at the University of the Philippines where hurricanes are, indeed, quite an experience, as his children and wife can attest to. As Professor of Economics at Yale University from 1977-2007, he also served as the university’s director of the Economic Growth Center and director of the International Development Economics Program. He enjoyed hosting many Yale-Harvard football tail-gate parties for his new (and sometimes bewildered) students from overseas. He sported a full length Russian bear coat at the cold games.
Bob authored many books and collaborated on numerous publications in the areas of economic agricultural research, development and education, as well as the areas of agricultural biotechnology and the development and marketing of genetically modified foods. He enjoyed every crazy travel adventure he had traveling gratefully around the world. Bob cared deeply about the poor of the world and devoted much of his working life to development of better and stronger yields of rice on smaller plots of land. He was an honorable man doing honorable work on behalf of the world’s people. He had a big, full life in his quiet way.
In addition to his loving wife, Judy, he is survived by his loving children, Nancy Bogue, Patsy Opsal, Joseph Evenson and Sarah Ward. He leaves two sisters, Mildred Brillinger and Dorothy Evenson; two brothers, DuWayne and Donald Evenson; and seven grandchildren. He also leaves many wonderful nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins, friends and colleagues.
Funeral Services were held at Bethesda Lutheran Church, New Haven, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at 10 a.m. Interment was in Grove Street Cemetery.
Gifts in his memory may be made to the Robert E. Evenson Fund at the Yale University Economic Growth Center www.econ.yale.edu/~egcenter/gradsupport2.html and/or to the Music Series Fund of Bethesda Lutheran Church.