Obituary of John F Devlin
John “Jack” Francis Devlin Jr. of Gwynedd Valley, PA, passed away peacefully on January 26, 2023, at the age of 86, after a battle with Parkinson’s that he just couldn’t shake. Jack had a keen sense of humor, was a compassionate father, and a proud Pop-Pop.
Jack was born on September 12, 1936, to the late John Francis Devlin Sr. and Mary “Molly” (Spence) Devlin Craig. He was the beloved husband to his late second wife, Roberta “Bobbie” Devlin. He was also predeceased by his sisters, Marie (Albert) Fitzgerald and Patricia (Cornelius) Monihan.
As a young boy, Jack lived in the West Oak Lane Section of Philadelphia, PA in the St. Athanasius parish. Jack was raised above the family’s grocery store, Devlin’s. He spent many days in the store stocking shelves and helping customers. What he loved most during this time was sneaking into the store late at night for heaping bowls of ice cream with all the fixings.
Jack attended North Catholic High School in Philadelphia. During the summers, he lifeguarded at various city swimming pools saving at least one life while on duty. After graduating high school, Jack worked multiple jobs to pay for his education at LaSalle College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Manufacturing.
He started his career as a salesman traveling all over this country and to faraway lands where human kindness and connections were kindled in some unexpected places. Jack spent 3 years in the Air Force Reserve and was honorably discharged as an Airman 3rd Class in 1965. Eventually, Jack co-founded a chemical manufacturing company and served as Vice President until he retired.
As a Father he loved his girls, especially their hair. He taught them the value of a strong work ethic, honesty, and to be thankful, especially for the little things. Little things like his change box full of quarters, dimes, and nickels readily available when in a jam for gas money; he even made sure to stock the penny sleeves in case change was low and pennies were the only option. Sundays were his day. Morning was reserved for a special trip to mass at the cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul, reading the Philadelphia Inquirer, listening to jazz on the Temple radio station, and eating Entenmann's baked goods. Afternoons were filled with all sorts of activities, starting with hoagies loaded with hot peppers from Vino’s pizza while watching the Eagles games or shows on PBS like Bob Ross, This Old House, and cooking programs. Hoagies with hot peppers were also in order for the Army/Navy football games. When it was swimming season, he and his stop watch went to Wilmington, Delaware so he could cheer for his girls during mini meets; he loved to watch them swim. On Sunday evenings, the family dined out; his favorite spot was Sparns in Roxborough.
Jack was never late to cocktail hour or dinner; he loved a good martini and was grateful for a tasty Italian dish. Oftentimes these were accompanied by Andrea Bocelli. He also enjoyed golfing with Bobbie and friends at Talamore Country Club. In the summers while at the shore, Jack always appreciated celebrating another day by gazing at magnificent sunsets over the bay.
Jack is survived by his daughters (and sons-in-law), Sheila (Steven) George and Deirdre (Anthony) Kelly. He leaves behind 4 grandchildren Madelyn, Kirstin, and Alec George and Colin Kelly who learned first-hand Pop-Pops are silly. He is also survived by his first wife, Regina (Reggie) Devlin.
A service of Christian burial will be held on Friday, February 3, 2023, at Saint Philip Neri Church 437 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA. Visitation hours will begin at 11:00 am with a mass following at noon. Interment will be private, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Jack’s memory to The Parkinson Council (https://theparkinsoncouncil.org/donate/).To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Devlin, please visit Tribute Store