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Obituary for Joseph P. Bevak PhD

Colonie – Joseph Perry Bevak, PhD, professor emeritus at Siena College, passed from this life on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at Albany Medical Center following a brief illness. He was 89 years old.

Born in Detroit, Michigan on March 8, 1929, Dr. Bevak was the first of two sons born to Joseph and Stella (Wrobel) Bevak. He was raised in Detroit where he was educated at Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University. He earned his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where, while enrolled, he worked as a student teacher.

Dr. Bevak enjoyed a 40 year career at Siena College in Loudonville as a full time professor of chemistry. He retired on August 31, 1996. Dr. Bevak was considered a wonderful colleague and the person many of his faculty friends would go to when they needed the answer to a large range of questions. He loved mathematics and chemistry, music, poetry and art. When computer science came to Siena he sat in and absorbed a course in data structures. He was a lifelong learner. His professional specialty was physical chemistry, considered the most challenging subject for chemistry majors. He was a longtime patron of the Albany Symphony and had a huge collection of records and cds of a great variety of classical music. Joe was ahead of his time in not just thinking about energy conservation but applying it in his personal life. He routinely walked to and from Siena College regardless of the weather, and maintained a low energy footprint by residing in a small apartment. He exhibited both breadth and depth of knowledge on many topics, lightened by an acerbic wit. He was a memorable persona to his colleagues and students. One professor said that she found Dr. Bevak to be an insightful observer of his fellow humans with both accurate and humorous observations. Time and time again faculty have described Joe as a sweet and gentle man and the staff of Home Instead who looked after Joe these last few years demonstrated a fondness for him.

He is survived by his brother, John Bevak of Grosse Ile, Michigan and was the proud uncle of 9 nieces and nephews, 18 grandnieces and grandnephews and 11 great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews. He is also survived by his friends, Tom Kelly, and the members of the Merrill and McDevitt families.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 am in the Chapel of St. Pius X Parish, 23 Crumitie Road, Loudonville. The Rite of Committal and interment will be held, immediately following the Mass, in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands. Friends are invited and may also visit with Dr. Bevak’s family, in the chapel prior to the Mass, from 9am until 10 am.

For those who wish to remember Dr. Bevak in a special way, contributions may be made to a favorite charity of one’s choice.
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Siena College

Wayne State University
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