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Thomas P. Devlin: Philadelphia Native, 79

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.
The following obituary was obtained from the Gillooly Funeral Home in Norwood.

Thomas P. Devlin, of Norwood, formerly of Westwood, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 6, according to the Gillooly Funeral Home in Norwood. He was 79 years of age. 

Born and educated in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late Joseph and Mabel (Alexander) Devlin. 

Tom Devlin was first and foremost a generous man. He loved being the center of the conversation, drawing others in, laughing. He never stopped saying how beautiful his wife Carol was ever.

He grew up in the city of Philadelphia-one of seven children, his father a taciturn Pullman porter, his mother an effusive, charming homemaker. He was a rambunctious and ambitious boy, an altar boy like his brothers, a high school football player, a school band French horn player. As a young man, he attended Drexel University night courses, and moved to California where he met his future bride Carol Bemus. He was employed at North American Philips from the early 1960s through the late 1970s, first as a salesman and then a sales manager. His charm and effusive manner led him up the corporate ladder quickly as he moved his family from California to Iowa to Massachusetts to New Jersey and finally settling in south suburban Boston where he lived for the next forty years. His adventurousness was played out through many hunting trips to Alaska, Northern Canada, and Wyoming. Tom and his great friend and early game bird hunting partner, Ed Daly were so inseparable they became known as Mr. Duck and Mr. Goose, respectively. When Tom settled his family in Westwood, Massachusetts, he filled his living room with hunting trophies-Caribou, Pronghorn Antelope, Mule Deer, Virginia White-tail, Pheasants, Eider Ducks, and Arctic Char-from his many expeditions. He and his wife Carol hosted many a Game Dinner featuring wild game that he and friends had "bagged" over the previous year. He gave himself the ironic nickname "Meanest Dad on the Block." It might have been his intention to be the meanest dad on the block but he couldn't help getting involved in the water balloon fights and build the largest skateboard ramp in the area because his sense of fun always got the better of him. Tom was not a man for half measures. Naturally he bought the longest van available and proceeded to trick it out in floor to ceiling shag carpet, infamously dubbed "the Great White". He loved a hobby and eagerly jumped in when his boys got into model rocketry, archery, or skateboarding. When his eldest son Tom showed an interest in early computing, Tom "Sr." researched and enthusiastically followed the growth of that fledgling industry. This inquisitive nature eventually led to a second career as a database programmer that he worked at through the late 1980s into the early 2000s when he retired. To his many nieces and nephews, he was The Uncle Tom who just might announce he was coming to town by calling from the airport. He relentlessly argued to pay the dinner bill until his adversary relented! After a battle with cancer that defied the doctor's expectations Tom's great big heart finally stopped on January 6th, not long after seeing his 51st wedding anniversary. His presence will be remembered by all who knew him. 

He was the beloved husband of Carol A. (Bemus) Devlin; loving father of Thomas J. Devlin of Montreal, Canada, Michael A. Devlin of Pasadena, CA, and Victoria L. Pariyar of Wrentham, MA; cherished grandfather of Keva Pariyar of Wrentham, MA, Emma Devlin of Pasadena, CA, and Georgina "Gigi" and August "Woody" Devlin, both of Montreal; devoted brother of Joseph Devlin of Portland, OR, Robert Devlin of Philadelphia, PA, Peter Devlin of Chicago, IL, Mary Louise Devlin of Warminster, PA, and the late William Devlin and Margaret Ann Devlin. He was also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited and may call on Monday, Jan. 13 from 4-6 p.m. at the Gillooly Funeral Home, 126 Walpole Street (Rte. 1A), Norwood, followed by a memorial service at 6 p.m. Interment will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Thomas P. Devlin may be made to:

VNA Care Network & Hospice
199 Rosewood Drive
Danvers MA 01923

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