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Voice: Bob Devoy: a special man remembered

January 26, 2001

On Jan. 17, the Imperial Valley lost one of the finest human beings I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Bob Devoy was affectionately known as the "mean Okie". He was many things but "mean" he was not. Bob was a man of great integrity who was devoted to his wife of nearly 49 years, Sally, and their seven children. It's a tribute to both Bob and Sally that all of their children are terrific and successful people in their own right.

I first got to know Bob many years ago after his daughter Mary Beth had been critically injured in a car accident shortly before the Christmas holidays. In an outpouring of love and support for Bob and Mary Beth, a record 605 people turned out to donate blood in her name, a record that still stands locally.

Bob was already a dedicated blood donor but his daughter's accident only served to make him ever more conscious of the need for blood. Before health issues forced Bob to quit donating, he had given nearly 15 gallons of blood, meaning he had donated about 120 times. He used to say to me that he just didn't understand why more people didn't give; that it was something that was so important and so easy to do. I have had people tell me that it was because of Bob Devoy that they started donating blood.

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Bob had that effect on people but never in an overbearing way. In all the years I knew him, I never heard him talk badly about anyone nor did I ever hear anyone say a bad word about him. He was someone who made and kept friends easily. From the throngs of people who turned out for his funeral it was obvious that he had many friends who loved and admired him.

Bob's smile and antics always brightened up the dreariest of days. You just couldn't help but feel better when he was around. When you were with him there was never a dull moment. He loved to tease but never maliciously. I have far too many fond memories of Bob to share them all here but I will always remember him for his love of family, friends, Rotary, music, dance, his beloved Oklahoma Sooners football team and his zest for life.

We can learn one more lesson from Bob, live life to the fullest every day, which is something he did, because as trite as it may sound, tomorrow may never come. My life is much richer for having known Bob Devoy and I and many others will miss him tremendously. He left us much too soon!

TRISH BURICH-McNEECE

El Centro

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