Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Services

3195 Atlanta Highway, Athens, GA


Louis DeVorsey

April 6, 1929April 29, 2012

Louis Carpenter De Vorsey April 6, 1929-April 29, 2012

Louis De Vorsey of Athens, Georgia, passed away at St. Mary’s Hospice House on April 29 after a brief illness. Born in Newark, N.J., to Louis and Alena (Carpenter) DeVorsey, he was raised in Lyndhurst, N.J. He received his bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University, N.J., and his master’s degree in geography from Indiana University. Upon graduation from Indiana University, he entered the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an ensign. He served in the Heavy Photographic Squadron of U.S. Navy in Japan, Thailand, Guam, and Alaska. Louis served in the Naval Reserves and retired as a commander in the U.S. Navy. After retiring from active duty in the U.S. Navy, Louis attended Stockholm University in Sweden. He received his doctorate in historical geography from the University of London. It was in London that Louis met his wife, Rosalyn, and together they moved to North Carolina where he held teaching positions at East Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina before settling in Athens where he taught at the University of Georgia for 20 years until his retirement in 1987. Louis’s fascination with geography grew from his yearly trip to New Brunswick, Canada to stay with his grandparents on their farm. For Louis, observing the changes in the landscape from the bus as a boy, his journey was an opportunity to go back in time. Louis published numerous books and essays in the field of historical geography. His doctoral dissertation led to the publication of The Indian Boundary in the Southern Colonies 1763-1775. His extensive research into the early cartography of the Gulf Stream was ongoing and his most recent paper, Thomas Jefferson and the Gulf Stream was recently accepted for publication. He enjoyed investigating the actual location of historically significant sites and found William Bartram’s buffalo salt lick, an important landmark in colonial Georgia, in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Louis also brought the field of historical geography into the courtroom. He testified as an expert witness in a number of cases involving boundary line disputes including Georgia v. South Carolina, the United States v. Maine, and the United States v. Alaska. He was a consultant to the International Court of Justice in the United States Canada Seaward Boundary Delimitation. Louis is survived by his wife, Rosalyn, his children, Megan, Kirsteen, and Kevin, his granddaughter, Sophia, and his son-in-law, Chris Johnson. A service will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Saturday, May 12, at 11:00 with a reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Mary’s Hospice House, 1660 Jennings Mill Rd., Bogart, Georgia. Online condolences may be offered at www.bernsteinfuneralhome.com Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, May 12, 2012


Louis DeVorsey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Matt Carpeter

May 28, 2012

Lou, Was down by your Shore last week Couldnt stop thinking about the good times we had. Really missed you when I was out east!

Nancy Dempsey

May 14, 2012

Rosalyn, I was saddened to read about Louis's passing. You were all such great neighbors and I have many, many fond memories of the talks we shared. Please express our sympathy to your children. I hope to be able to be in touch with you personally before long. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Nancy Dempsey (Athens.GA)

May 12, 2012

I had planned to attend your services today, but got involved in an overnight
church activity and was unable to get away in time. Forgive me. I wanted
to tell all of you how much I learned and enjoyed as I worked for Dr.
DeVorsey some years ago.

I met all of you and, Megan and Kirsten, I remember you all well. You may
not remember much about me, but please know that your father was so
very popular and well liked at work. He never said a bad word to anyone
or about anyone that I ever heard. He was one of my favorite people and
an absolute pleasure to see at work each day. As you all can appreciate
that is not always the case in a working environment.

I know it is difficult for you all right now, but know that the Lord blessed you
with a wonderful father, husband, and friend for many, many years. I have
all of you in my prayers and hope that our paths will cross again. Gail Gentry

George Koch

May 11, 2012

Lou was a good friend. Our university offices were nearby. We talked often, sometimes about technical and scientific issues (I am a geologist interested in the ways rivers change their courses with age.), other times about the University of Georgia, but most often about our families. For instance, I remember how pleased he was to be able to take his lawyer daughter to the Supreme Court, where a case in which he was an expert witness was being argued before a special master. Just the other day I lent one of the books he gave me to a young woman who is writing an article on antebellum homes in Georgia. My condolences to his family. Sincerely, George Koch

Ann Montgomery Pitts

May 11, 2012

Deepest condolences for your sad loss. What a remarkable life he lived! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers!

Brad Sanders

May 10, 2012

Lou was such a good friend and a source of scholarly encouragement for me. I will miss our occasional visits and the ramble around the Great Buffalo Lick.

May 9, 2012

To a wonderful brother-in-law. His wisdom, knowledge and friendship over the years, opened the world to his nephews Nick and Justin. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and love go to Rosalyn, Megan, Kirsteen, Kevin, Sophia and Christopher. Christine and Derek van der Mees, Portaferry, Northern Ireland.

May 7, 2012

I have lost a dear friend and the World has lost a great scholar. A tip of the hat to a wonderful person.
Richard W. Stephensson, Winchester. VA

Mbene Letsamao

May 7, 2012

Dear Kirsteen and family,My deepest sympathy and condolences to you all in this difficult times. I know he will be missed and I wish you all peace and comfort from our Lord. We are keeping you in our prayers

Denise & Daniel Theunissen

May 5, 2012

Dear DeVorsey Family: My sympathies to you all. I met Louis at the Library of Congress many years ago and he was such a happy and fun geographer. I know he will be missed and I wish you peace and a heart filled with fond & happy memories. Our prayers are with you. Denise Gotay Theunissen & Daniel Theunissen