Eight Schuyler Avenue | Stamford CT 06902
Mass of Christian Burial
Obituary of Joseph DeVos
Joseph Emile DeVos was born in Stamford, CT, on November 12, 1933, and passed away on July 11, 2018, at the age of 84 after a short illness. Joseph was always on the way to his next adventure, which for him included selling ice cream at the beach as a young boy and serving at the Hollywood Luncheonette in California, working for A.C. DeVos & Sons painting contractors, and starring in plays at Greenwich High School, at college, and later as a member of the Connecticut Playmakers. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in political science and then from Georgetown University with a degree in law.
After law school he began a private law practice in Stamford specializing in General Practice. Public service became his next calling when he became the Director of Welfare for the City of Stamford as well as the Director of the Smith House Convalescent Hospital and the Sunset Home, later renamed the Smith House Residence, both located in North Stamford. During this time he spearheaded the construction of a large, beautiful addition to the Smith House Convalescent Hospital and a major renovation of the Sunset Home, as well as the introduction of the “work while on welfare” SHARE Program (Self-Help Assistance and Rehabilitation Employment program), which spread throughout the country. He truly enjoyed the patients and employees at the Smith House, treating them with kindness and respect and befriending them. Later in life he became the owner-operator of a family run motel the Marina Motor Lodge in Cape Cod, MA.
In parallel with these exciting endeavors, Joseph married the love of his life, Joanne Kathleen Murray, with whom he had six children: Daniel, Kevin, Keith, Kendall, Dean, and Eric. He loved spending time with his family and helped them enjoy the other loves of his life: fishing, tennis, and music.
He, his children, and close family friend Joseph Raiti spent many a day out on his Boston Whaler chasing bluefish, stripers, or mackerel one day and collecting treasures of large, tasty lobster the next. He navigated the boat through severe storms with death defying steadfastness. Joseph helped his children learn to play and enjoy the game of tennis and was such an ardent tennis player that he and his wife were often outside right after a winter storm, shoveling snow to clear the courts.
He continued the tradition of music instilled in him by his grandfather from Italy, Professor Giuseppe Ventura, by becoming an enthusiastic saxophone and piano player, singing in the Sacred Heart choir and Norwalk Community Chorale, and encouraging each of his children to become proficient with at least one musical instrument. At family get-togethers all performed to “earn” their holiday meal.
He is predeceased by his father, Alphonse Cornelius DeVos, who immigrated to the United States from Hulst, Netherlands, and his mother, Angelica Ventura DeVos, from Stamford. He is survived by his wife, Joanne Kathleen, and their six children’s families: Daniel J. DeVos and Alexandra Krauss of Stamford; Kevin J. and Janet L. DeVos of Trumbull, CT, and their children Gregory and Rebecca; Keith J. and Elaine L. DeVos of Johnson City, TN, and their daughter Alicia; Kendall D. DeVos-Herrfurth and Gerard J. Herrfurth of Lagrangeville, NY, and their children Elianna and Christian; Dean J. DeVos and Petra Zaranšek of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and their daughter Zora; and Eric J. DeVos of Warren, MA, and his children Emily, Anduin, and Jack. He is also survived by two brothers, Zachary and Alphonse DeVos, and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at Lacerenza Funeral Home, 8 Schuyler Ave., Stamford, CT, on Monday, July 16, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 12:00 noon at Sacred Heart Church, 37 Schuyler Ave., Stamford, CT. Interment will follow at St. John's Cemetery, 25 Camp Ave., Darien, CT.
Eight Schuyler Avenue
Just blocks from downtown and
the new UConn Campus
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