Obituaries << Back to Obituaries


James Richard Nevitt

Birth Date: August 8, 1937
Death Date: March 9, 2017

James R. Nevitt, 79, died on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at 4:30 a.m. in his home.

He was born in Springfield, Illinois on August 8, 1937 to Harold P. and Vera Evans Nevitt. He married his wife, Patricia Ann Clifton on August 23, 1964 and she survives.

In addition to his wife, Patricia, he is survived by his sons, Patrick (Lisa) of Woodstock, Georgia, Sean, and Eric (Fiance Marian Hersom) Nevitt of Decatur, brother, Jerald D. Nevitt (Diana) of Rochester, and granddaughters, Emily and Rachel Nevitt of Georgia. Also surviving are brother-in-laws Charles (Cathy) Clifton of Hannibal, Missouri and Larry (Joyce) Clifton of Granger, Indiana and several nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his mother-in-law, El Louise, and father-in-law, Jesse Clifton.

Jim played clarinet in the Lanphier High School band and graduated from Lanphier High School in Springfield. Subsequently he graduated from Blackburn College with a B.A. degree. During his college years, he was a member of the Blackburn choir.

Jim was educated as a teacher and took his responsibilities very seriously. He taught English and Social Studies for District 61 for 40 years and participated in extra-curricular activities such as coaching soccer and managing the time clock for games. He organized and supervised 28 annual student trips to Washington DC to enhance the students’ appreciation and understanding of the American system of government.

During his school years Jim was a member of Third Presbyterian Church in Springfield. He sang in the sanctuary choir for many years.

Jim was an avid bowler and a steadfast fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a dedicated family man and loved children. He always stayed in touch with his family regardless of the distance from his home town of Decatur.

Funeral services to celebrate the life of James R. Nevitt will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church 204 W. Prairie Ave, Decatur. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home. Burial will be in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.

The family of James Richard Nevitt is being served by the Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, 2091 N. Oakland Ave. Decatur, IL. Please view the online obituary, send condolences, and share memories at

March 14, 2017
5:00 pm
- 7:00 pm
Graceland / Fairlawn Funeral Home
2091 N. Oakland Avenue Decatur, IL 62526
Get Directions
Funeral Service
March 15, 2017
10:00 am
First Presbyterian Chuch
204 W Prarie Decatur, IL 62523
Get Directions
Add Entry
  1. Dear Sean Nevitt, I just saw your reply. Thank you for letting me know my letter brought some light to him. He brought light to me.

  2. Your letter was a bright light in a very dark time in his life he always intended to write you back but couldn't find the words

  3. I have always known of the name Mr Nevitt and have gotten the joy of having him as my summer school teacher in 1989-1990 when I was going through of rebel phase in my life and he truly made a difference in my life. But at the same time I astonished him with an acted out famous speech I did for the class for my final grade. And he was so breathtaking by my performance that I saw him several years later and he told me still how that impressed him and he used that in all his future classes as an example to give speeches. I am glad to have such an inspiration of a teacher and I truly wish him and his family my condolences. U r forever etched in my heart and mind Mr Nevitt u truly was one of the greats.

  4. Mr. Nevitt was my 8th grade social studies teacher at Roosevelt and I will always remember what a kind and caring teacher he was. I remember studying for the Constitution for several weeks, but my life at home was very hard and stressful due to my sister hava terminal heart condition. Despite my studying, I failed the test and was so upset. I went to see Mr. Nevitt after school that day and he took the time and gave me the test verbally and I passed.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the Nevitt family and may you take comfort in knowing of the numerous lives he touched as a teacher.

  5. I remember Mr. Nevitt very fondly. I had him as teacher in 8th grade and he taught me and countless others about finance and most importantly, how to write a check. He also allowed me to be Teddy Roosevelt, our team mascot, and lead the team out of the locker room before every game. I had a blast doing that and it was because of Mr. Nevitt. I also had the pleasure of going on the Washington DC. Trip with him. He and Miss (Frankie) Morgan were my two favorite teachers in Jr. High school

  6. He was my 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Roosevelt Middle School. Because of him Social Studies was my favorite subject and always has been. He was truly a one of a kind individual.

  7. He was my 7th grade social studies teacher at Roosevelt. I was pretty little but he told me I was a dynamo. Made me feel 10 ft tall. Such a kind man!! Definitely one of my favorite teachers!!

  8. Mr. Nevitt was my 8th grade social studies teacher and I went on to the Washington DC trip in 1995. He was a great teacher. I am now a 7th grade teacher because of my great experience at Roosevelt. My prayers are with the Nevitt family.

  9. I remember many lessons from Mr. Nevitt at Roosevelt; from history to finance. You need an extra special person to teach kids that age and he gave it his all. My condolences to his family.

  10. Mr. Nevitt was, hands down, the best teacher a student could have. So many memories are fresh from all those years ago — I see him teaching and laughing as if on video in my mind. A couple years ago I sent him copies of the pages he'd signed in my yearbooks to remind him of our time together and to let him know how highly I thought of him. Dear family, know your precious treasure was loved and held in high esteem by many. My world is better because he was in it.

    — Patricia Johnson

  11. Mr Nevitt was my homeroom teacher at Roosevelt and was awesome with all of us kids. Had an open door policy and always made himself available for "any" problems we thought were catastrophic as 13-14 yr olds. My deepest condolences to his family … he was a GREAT man in my book !

  12. Mr. Nevitt was by far one of the best teachers I ever had. He was always so supportive of all the students and was such a big school cheerleader. RIP

  13. All three of our daughters were fortunate enough to take the trip to D.C. when they were students of Mr. Nevitt. He provided more than just the usual classroom teaching and opened minds to bigger things. Hazel Fisher

  14. So sorry to read of Mr. Nevitt's passing. He was my home room teacher at Roosevelt I remember his warm smile each morning. He was a wonderful teacher. My deepest condolences to his family. Kathy Heiserman Hughes

  15. Very sorry to hear about our beloved Mr. Nevitt. He touched the life of every student he came into contact with during his many years of teaching.I was fortunate to have had him as as an instructor at Mound Middle School and was always impressed by his deep and genuine concern for his his students. He didn't just teach a class, he showed us by his example how to be better people.Those of us who had him as a teacher will always carry a bit of Mr. Nevitt in out hearts. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

  16. Mr.Nevitt was my teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in 82'-83' and Mr.Nevitt always made learning fun for us. He understood some of us needed extra help and he made it a point to show you a different way that you would understand. A great educator and man that will be missed and teachers nowadays could learn a lot from Mr.Nevitt, a true teacher that loved what he was put here to do.

  17. Mr. Nevitt was a great teacher. I had him in Jr. High.. He made it easy and kind of fun to learn. Went on the trip to see where Mark Twain lived and it was great. I remember him wearing that yellow suit he had. LOL He loved it. You will be deeply missed.

  18. I had Mr. Nevitt for a teacher at Mound JR. The best teacher ever. He made learning history very interesting. RiP Mr. Nevitt!!!

  19. I had Mr Nevitt at Roosevelt and loved his class. I learned so much and I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. My prayers to Mrs Nevitt and family.

  20. Mr. Nevitt was my 7th grade teacher. He made learning interesting and cared about his students. I also was a middle school teacher, but only for 20 years. Blessings to his family.

  21. Mr. Nevitt was my social studies teacher at Roosevelt for the 1961-1962 school year. He always made class interesting including the required learning of every county in Illinois for some mandated state history test. In reading about Mr. Nevitt, I realized that he was only 12 years older than his students that year. Teaching junior high (middle school now) kids takes truly exceptional teachers, and my memories of Mr. Nevitt are that he met that challenge.

Add Entry to Guest Book

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Upload Photo or Video

  • Choose Media to upload from your computer
  • OR Add a link to online media (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).