Wilbur Bevan, electronics engineer

September 13, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Wilbur Roy "Bill" Bevan, a retired electronics engineer and amateur radio operator, died Wednesday of respiratory failure at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Crownsville resident was 80.

He worked on numerous classified defense projects for Westinghouse Electric Corp. from 1953 until his retirement in 1976. From 1967 to 1969, he was the director of the University of Michigan's Mount Haleakala observatory in Hawaii.

The native of Holton, Kan., lived briefly in Pennsylvania then moved to Hammond, Ind., where he completed high school in 1933.

A musician, he played the cornet, bugle and trumpet. During high school, he played in a dance band with his brother.

"One night, they played a party on a lake somewhere in Indiana," said his wife of 49 years, the former Margaret Holloway.

"It turned out to be a gangster party with Al Capone's associates there. One gangster asked my husband to play a certain song while the other threatened to kill him if he did. I don't know how he got out of it, but he did," she said with a laugh.

Mr. Bevan served in the Navy during World War II, and was discharged in 1946. It was while teaching radar maintenance at Ward Island near Corpus Christi, Texas, that he met his wife.

"I was a Navy Wave serving at a nearby base and we met at a USO function and were married on Oct. 27, 1944, Navy Day," Mrs. Bevan said.

After the war, Mr. Bevan attended the University of Michigan on the GI Bill and received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1952.

Interested in photography and amateur radio, he won several awards for his black and white landscapes and was a member of the Arundel Camera Club, the Maryland Mobileers Amateur Radio Club and the Anne Arundel Radio Club. His radio call letters were N3BET.

He will be interred at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the John M. Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis.

Other survivors include a son. Michael Bevan of Crownsville; a daughter, Lila Gadd of Sacramento, Calif.; a niece; and three grandsons.

Memorial donations may be made to a favorite charity.

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