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Donald Paul Gaver Jr.

1926 - 2018
Donald Paul Gaver Jr. Obituary
Donald Paul Gaver, Jr.
February 16, 1926 - February 11, 2018
Carmel and Monterey
Professor Donald Paul Gaver, Jr., an internationally noted mathematician specializing in statistics and operations research, died Sunday February 11, 2018 at his home in Monterey.
Donald ("Don" to those lucky enough to be among his "favorite friends") was born in St. Paul, Minnesota to Donald Paul Gaver and Dorothea Haman Gaver. After graduating from the St. Paul Academy, he joined the US Navy, serving as an Electronics Mate from 1944 to 1946, a stint that brought him to the Monterey Peninsula for training at the Del Monte Hotel (currently the site of the Naval Postgraduate School).
Following World War II he took advantage of the GI Bill to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he obtained BS and MS degrees in Mathematics. This led him to the U.S. Navy Operations Evaluation Group in Washington D.C., and then to Princeton University for a PhD, also in Mathematics.
Don met Frances ("Fran") Rouse Gaver while he was at MIT and she was a student at Wellesley College. They both graduated in 1950, and married in 1953 before moving to Princeton together. That was the start of what was to be sixty-five years of devoted married life.
His early professional career spanned the US Navy's Operations Evaluation Group, Westinghouse Research Labs and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1967-8, he took his family for a sabbatical year at the University of California, Berkeley, returning to Pittsburgh for two years before moving back to California to become Professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School and settling in Carmel Valley for almost forty-five years.
Professor Gaver was named Distinguished Professor of the Naval Postgraduate School in 1983. Over the next decades his contributions were recognized with a steady stream of professional honors, including the US Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Medal awarded by the Secretary of the Navy. He was awarded many other honors by his colleagues, and was perhaps most proud of his election as a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Don and Fran loved traveling, and made many trips to Europe, Asia and Australia. At home, Don was known as a loyal, gregarious, and often mischievous friend and host.
Don is survived by his wife Fran, three children: Elizabeth Gaver (husband Hans-Hinrich Thedens, son Mattias), Donald Paul Gaver III (wife Bernice Kaufman, daughters Manya and Elena), and William Gaver (wife Anne Schlottmann, daughters Elli and Charlie), as well as by his sister Nancy Priedeman, niece Katherine Priedeman White, nephew Bill Priedeman, and six grand-nephews and grand-nieces, and one great-grand-niece.
Don's life will be celebrated on March 31, 2018 at 1pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula. The family thanks Dr. Thomas Bradley and the caregivers at Plumeria Home Health Care and the Hospice of Central Coast for their sensitivity and support. Memorial donations may be directed to the .
Condolences may be written to the family at

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Published in The Monterey Herald on Feb. 17, 2018
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