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Edwin C. Nevis

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Edwin C. Nevis Obituary
Edwin Clifford Nevis died peacefully at his home in Wellfleet, on May 20, 2011, his 85th birthday. The cause of death was lymphoma. Nevis was co-founder and member of the Board of Trustees of the Gestalt International Study Center, an educational organization in Wellfleet that he founded with his wife, Sonia M. Nevis, in 1979. He served as its President until 2007 and was very actively engaged in the Center's work until shortly before his death. Nevis was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 20, 1926, and married Sonia March on Feb. 1, 1948. He graduated from New York City College, received a Master's Degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Western Reserve University. Nevis was a student of Fritz and Laura Perls and Isadore From, and he helped found the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland in 1956, where he remained as President until 1973, and as an active faculty member until 2001. While connected to the Cleveland Institute, he co-created the well-known Organizational & System Development program in 1977 and the International OSD Program in 1991. Nevis had a long history in executive education and development, and in organization change management. He spent nearly 17 years on the faculty of the Sloan School of Management at MIT, where he served as Director of the MIT Program for Senior Executives. In addition to his worldwide work in advanced training of Organization Development Consultants, Nevis practiced organizational consulting for nearly 60 years. He was awarded the Organization Development Network's Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 OD Network Conference in New Orleans. Nevis authored numerous articles and several books, including Organizational Consulting: A Gestalt Approach; Intentional Revolutions (with Lancourt and Vassallo); and How Organizations Learn (with DiBella). Last year, GISC released his most recent book, Mending the World: Social Healing Interventions by Gestalt Practitioners Worldwide (co-edited by Joseph Melnick). Edwin was known, loved and respected by people throughout the world. He was a great leader, innovator, teacher, host, and lover of life. In addition to his wife Sonia March Nevis of Wellfleet and Brookline, he is survived by his daughter Melanie Ruth Nevis of Brooklyn, N.Y.; his daughter Amy Ruth Nevis, and son-in-law Matthew Kamholtz of Brookline, and grandsons Aaron Nevis Kamholtz and Samuel Nevis Kamholtz; and his brother, Lawrence Nevis, and sister-in-law Arleen Nevis of Canton, Ga., and nephew Adam Nevis and niece Shari Nevis. A memorial service was held on June 3, at the Gestalt International Study Center in Wellfleet. In lieu of flowers, donations in Edwin's memory may be made to the Education Initiative Fund at GISC (www.gisc.org). Bringing the work of the Center into the field of education was a passion of Edwin's in the past few years.

Published in The Cape Codder from June 9 to June 16, 2011
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