Daniel Nevot, St. Mark’s former fencing coach and decorated French warrior, passed away on July 2, 2019, at the age of 99. Following a storied career in the French military, Nevot came to Texas in 1963 and commenced his 25-years as St. Mark's fencing instructor. His fencers had many successful results in the Junior Olympics and three later became NCAA All-Americans. Nevot also had the distinction of being one of three instructors to train the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team for the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
“It was an honor to meet and visit with Daniel Nevot on several occasions over the years, and he most certainly lived up to his well-earned reputation,” said David Dini, Eugene McDermott Headmaster. “He had an important and meaningful impact on the School for more than two decades. He was not only a public and service minded war hero, but also a teacher and coach who changed and shaped the lives of many young men.”
In addition to coaching fencing, Nevot contributed to the Outward Bound program (the precursor to the Pecos Wilderness Trip) and provided the occasional French history lectures. After retiring from St. Mark’s, Nevot stayed connected with many of his former students. In 2016, he returned to campus for a special luncheon with some of his former colleagues and fencers.
“Nevot taught us so much just out of his own personal qualities, as well as his skills,” recalled Bill Hootkins ’66, in an interview for St. Mark’s centennial history book in 2006. “It was amazing for us to hang out with a man who was a decorated hero – a man who was a fencing teacher for the entire French army. Spending 30 minutes in his company changed your life.”
During World War II, Nevot served his native France valiantly in numerous engagements, including the Battle of Kufra, the D-Day invasion of Normandy, and the Liberation of Paris. For his service, he received the Legion d'Honneur, the French equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
“I count the two main highlights of my career as the Battle of Kufra and having the privilege of teaching the exceptional young men and being a part of the outstanding faculty at St. Mark’s,” Mr. Nevot wrote in a letter to the School in 2016. “I will never forget those 25 years, the wonderful people, and teaching at this wonderful school.”
A memorial service for Daniel Nevot will be held this Saturday, July 13, at 3:30 p.m. at Greenwood Chapel, 3100 White Settlement Road, Ft. Worth.