About Klancy de Nevers

Klancy de Nevers

Klancy de Nevers Klancy Clark de Nevers is a printer’s daughter who grew up proofreading, doing bindery work and numbering ballots in her father’s business, Quick Print Co. in Aberdeen, Washington. The rush to get the Grays Harbor Post out every Friday night gave structure to her family’s week. During World War II four of her uncles were in the armed forces and by observing how closely her family followed the progress of the war, she gained an enduring interest in the history of that era. She graduated from Weatherwax High School (where she had been editor of The Ocean Breeze) in 1951.

Though she left home to attend Stanford University and then to accompany her husband Noel de Nevers to Michigan, California and finally Salt Lake City, Utah, where they have lived for 45 years, she has kept in touch with Aberdeen as hometown and core of her writing life.

In 1970 she earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah. After a varied career in technical and managerial positions that allowed her to use her mathematical and computing skills, she retired to focus on writing. With Lucy Hart of Seattle, she edited Cohassett Beach Chronicles: World War II in the Pacific Northwest by Kathy Hogan, a book of Hogan’s columns from the wartime pages of the Grays Harbor Post.

Her poem “Curator” won first place in the City Weekly literary competition in September 2000. She served as treasurer for City Art, a grass roots literary organization that presents readings each week in the Salt Lake City Public Library, and is active on the board of Writers@Work, which presents a nationally known writing conference held at the Alta Lodge in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Her latest book is The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen, Perry Saito and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II (University of Utah Press, April 2004). This book provides the first in-depth account of Aberdeen’s Karl Bendetsen who single-mindedly, it seemed to the Japanese Americans, pushed for their exclusion and then headed the Army’s evacuation of all Americans of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast in 1942. Because Bendetsen’s hometown is also hers, she starts the story in Aberdeen, and contrasts it with the very different experience of Perry Saito, his neighbor and one of his innocent captives. The book probes a past that Bendetsen apparently wanted to revise and consistently denied.


Colonel and the Pacifist book coverJohn Hughes, publisher of the Daily World in Aberdeen, WA, describes de Nevers as “a painstaking researcher and talented story teller.”  His review concludes: “de Nevers pulls no punches, but anyone who accuses her of exercising politically correct hindsight will have ignored the facts she has documented so well. The Colonel and The Pacifist is a breakthrough in World War II scholarship — a tale of two star-crossed lives rooted on the Harbor, told with the added advantage of someone who grew up in Aberdeen during World War II.” (Daily World, June 3, 2004).

Read John Hughes' full review here.