Robert A. Gayvert, a retired agricultural economist and former resident of Athens, died December 11, 2014, at the age of 94. Bob Gayvert was born in Washington, PA, in 1919 to Carl Werner and Ester Marie Larson Gayvert. Both of his parents immigrated to this country from Sweden before their marriage and were especially proud to be citizens of their adopted country. Bob was the fourth of five children – four sons and a daughter. He attended Trinity High School in Washington, and Washington and Jefferson College. In 1940, he enlisted in the Army Air Force, and served during World War II in the Panama Canal Zone, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. He was honorably discharged from the Army Air Force 2512th Unit in Childress, TX, in 1945.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He served as a poultry marketing specialist in the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Georgia for many years, and later became a dairy marketing specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he worked until his retirement in 1983.
While living in Minnesota, he and his family enjoyed cross-country skiing and ice skating in the winter, and canoeing lakes in the summer. After retiring, he and his wife returned to their home in the country just outside Athens, Georgia, where he spent much of his time working outside, planting trees, shrubs and flowers.
Bob Gayvert was an avid gardener who took the greatest pleasure in creating beautiful landscapes and gardens around his homes. He especially loved roses, gladiolas, azaleas, dogwoods and lilies, and was knowledgeable about a great variety of flowers and landscape plants, as well as vegetable gardening.
He was devoted to his wife of 69 years, Mary Lee Thomas Gayvert, and enjoyed his family, music, sports and keeping up with current events and politics. Family gatherings were always enlivened by discussions of these subjects and others – and by his colorful stories of growing up in the neighborhood of Goat Hill in Washington, PA.
In addition to his wife Mary Lee, he is survived by three daughters and one son and their families – Sigrid and Clate Sanders, Athens, GA; Susan and Ted Coleman, Atlanta, GA; Janet and Bruce Voelker, Charlotte, NC; and Robert Thomas and Barbara Gayvert, Fairport, New York; and by ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his brother, Raymond Gayvert, Billings, MT.
A memorial service will be held Friday, December 20 at Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary in Charlotte, NC at 1:00 p.m.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff of The Haven in Pineville for their loving care, attention, and kindness. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the
, 3800 Shamrock Dr. Charlotte, NC 28215. TH Robertson Funeral & Cremation Service is serving the family, www.throbertson.com.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Dec. 15, 2013