Gerald L. McKevitt S.J.
1939 - 2015
Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills
615 North Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, CA
Gerald L. McKevitt, S.J.
Resident of Santa Clara
Rev. Gerald L. McKevitt, Professor Emeritus of history at Santa Clara University, died September 18, 2015 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 76 years of age.
Jerry was born in Longview, Washington, July 3, 1939. His family relocated to Quincy (Plumas County), California where he graduated from the local high school. He graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1961 with a history major and philosophy minor and began graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California, earning an MA. In 1963 he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos to begin training for the priesthood. His studies took him to Gonzaga University, Spokane, and in 1967 he started doctoral studies in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972. Theological studies were taken in Rome, where he received his degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Jerry was ordained a priest in San Francisco in June 1975 and began a lifetime association with Santa Clara University. As research professor and archivist, he was given the task of writing the history of the university. Based on his doctoral dissertation, his The University of Santa Clara, a History, 1851-1977, was published by Stanford University Press in 1979.
Through the years Jerry rose to the rank of full professor serving as department chair, University archivist, University historian and Rector of the Jesuit Community. In 2004 Jerry was named the Ignacio Ellacuria University Professor for Jesuit Studies at Santa Clara. In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he continued his research in Jesuit history in the U.S. and published numerous articles and book reviews in scholarly journals; he contributed to scholarly reference works. His award winning book, Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007.
His other academic experiences included visiting professorships at Fordham University and Seattle University, memberships on the editorial board of Studies in Jesuit Spirituality, and board membership on the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara and Gonzaga Universities and was active in professional organizations. He curated an extensive collection of Jesuits in fiction, now part of Santa Clara University's special collections, and cultivated his hobby of watercolor painting.
After his retirement from the classroom, he continued his research and gave a number of lectures to a wide variety of audiences. At the time of his death he was working on a book length history of Jesuit higher education in the United States.
Jerry is survived by his sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews and nieces: Patricia and Tim Johnson and their sons Patrick and Nicholas; Janice McKevitt and her children Mark and Angela; Karen Dusa and her children Ryan and Erika; Michael and Barbara Price and their sons Christopher and Danny; and Carol McKevitt.
Funeral services: Friends and family are cordially invited to call on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 2-5 pm at Mission Santa Clara on the campus of Santa Clara University. There will be a vigil prayer service at 5 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 in the Mission Church. Interment will take place on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 10 am at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara, California.
Contributions in Jerry's memory may be made to the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.

View the online memorial for Gerald L.  McKevitt, S.J.

Published by San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Sep. 23, 2015.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Calling hours
2:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.
Mission Santa Clara on the campus of Santa Clara University
Mission Santa Clara on the campus of Santa Clara University
Mass of Christian Burial
Mission Santa Clara on the campus of Santa Clara University
Santa Clara Mission Cemetery,
490 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara, CA
Funeral services provided by:
Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills
Sponsored by San Jose Mercury News.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

9 Entries
I had the pleasure of working with Fr. McKevitt, SJ for two years when he was rector of the Jesuit community at Santa Clara. He is by far my favorite boss! I was finishing up my graduate degree; he knew that I was not challenged by just answering phones and writing correspondence and would often give me additional tasks that were challenging and kept me motivated. I treasure the signed copy of Serving the Intellect, Touching the Heart that he wrote when I was working with him. I really enjoyed our time together and am saddened by his passing.
Nancy Lawson Beech
September 25, 2015
As one of Jerry's five sisters your comments and memories bring another measure of solace and pride in our amazing brother. Thank you, Janice McKevitt
janice mckevitt
September 24, 2015
My condolences to the friends and family of Fr. McKevitt S.J. I had the privilege of taking his History of The Jesuits course in 2004 and enjoyed it greatly. Fr. McKevitt brought the subject matter to life with his reflective and discerning mind. He will be missed.
Faris Nsour '05
September 24, 2015
I took Fr. McKevitt's History of the Jesuits course in what I believe was the last quarter he taught (Fall 2012). From that class, and from reading both of his books, it's clear to me that SCU has lost a fine scholar and a good man. May your soul rest in peace, Fr. McKevitt.
Jonathan H.
September 24, 2015
I am forever grateful for his assistance with the Jesuit fund during the late 90s. It was a big deal allowing me to complete my Santa Clara education.
Jesse Church
September 23, 2015
Gerry was first and foremost a dear Jesuit brother and a priest, both to us in the Society and to a wide tent of his dear ones, and to scholars, seekers, and friends of the world he so loved and lived in so fully. What a blessing to the Society of Jesus, his family, the Church, and the scholarly world.
Paul Janowiak S.J.
September 23, 2015
I had the great privilege of having Fr. McKevitt S.J. as my history professor my senior year at SCU. It was the California History seminar he taught and it was one of the most interesting and informative classes during my time at Santa Clara. Bring an Accounting major with a US History minor it was a great capstone course on our great state's beginnings. He was a wonderful professor and gentleman to all his students. My condolences to his family. May he rest in peace. AMDG
Robert J Watson '78 & '81
September 23, 2015
He was one of the best history professors at SCU. And a great guy. God Bless him.

My condolences to his family and the jesuit community.
Mark Freschi
September 23, 2015
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Darling Fischer Chapel of the Hills
September 21, 2015
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 results