David R. Cervin, noted collector and promoter of ancient coins, dies

David R. Cervin, noted coin collector and longtime Amarillo, Texas, builder, died on July 11. He was 90 years of age. Memorial services will be held at a later date.

Taking up coin numismatics in his late 50s, Cervin compiled a massive collection of coins dating before 1500. In the mid 1970s, he originated the “Roman Coin Project,” a program to encourage junior and student members of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) to study ancient civilizations through coins. Cervin gave ancient coins to participants who completed a short list of numismatic activities.

“He did a magnificent job in advancing not only interest in ancient coinage, but also a genuine love of all aspects of numismatics,” says ANA President John W. Wilson. “He was a great collector who contributed much to the hobby.”

Cervin was honored by the Association for aiding young collectors, receiving the ANA Outstanding Adult Advisor Award in 1977, Medal of Merit in 1984 and Presidential Awards in 1996 and 2000. He also was a recipient of the ANA’s Howland Wood Memorial Award for Best-in Show exhibit and a Heath Literary Award, and honored for his column that appeared in The Numismatist for 10 years.

Last year, the Ancient Coin Project was re-named in his honor, and, with the generous help of ancient coin expert Harlan Berk, the ANA began to administer the program.Berk, president of Harlan J. Berk Ltd. in Chicago and president of the Professional 

Numismatists Guild, is donating the coins for this program. Berk says, “Mr. Cervin created an important educational tool that introduces young collectors to ancient coins and encourages their interest in general numismatics as well. I am honored to carry on his great legacy.”

Cervin was born on November 16, 1911, in Rock Island, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in architectural engineering in 1934. He went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers and the federal Bureau of Reclamation. He was employed by the government for 27 years. In 1954 he began building houses in Amarillo, constructing more than 600 homes in the area before he retired.

Preceded in death by his wife, Mary Diane, and a son, Michael, Cervin is survived by a son, James R. Cervin; and grandchildren, Michael Jerome Knutson Cervin, Adelaide Dyan Cervin and Mabry Paul Cervin.

The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to Meals-on-Wheels; or Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospice. Arrangements are by Schooler-Gordon Funeral Directors, 5400 Bell Street, Amarillo, Texas.

Originally Release Date: July 15, 2002
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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