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.