Obituary: Joseph E. Devine

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 3:29pm

Joseph E. Devine of Beacon Hill Road died Monday, October 29, in Litchfield, Conn. He was in his 90th year.

Joe was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, on September 18, 1923, the son of James Francis Devine and Mary Frances Ryan Devine. He was the fifth of seven children. He grew up in Pelham, N.Y., and attended schools there and graduated from The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., in 1942.

He left the University of Virginia to enlist in the United States Army Aircorps, released from duty in l945. He went home to work in the advertising business and married the former Nina Cave in l951.

Joe was a co-founder in 1965 of the national executive search firm of Devine, Baldwin and Willis of New York City, which later became Devine, Baldwin and Peters of New York and Boston. He served as chairman and treasurer of the firm until his retirement in 1987. He was a member of the Union Club in N.Y.C. and the Sanctum in Litchfield.

Joe first came to Block Island in 1963 on a plein air painting expedition with his friend Sperry Andrews. He fell in love with the beauty and slow pace of the island.

Joe and Nina began summering here in 1964, first renting from the late Eugenia Slaughter on West Side and then rebuilding a cottage off Beacon Hill Road with ex-son in law Norris Pike as their contractor.

He truly loved the island in all its aspects, especially the walking trails and laneways which became the subject of many of his paintings.

He leaves his wife of 61 years Nina and four children: Henry Devine of West Roxbury, Mass., Joan Morosani of Litchfield, Conn., Nancy Pike of Block Island and Mary Alison Celico of Kingston, Rhode Island. He had nine grandchildren, including Dr. Lily Pike and Harry Pike, as well as three step grandchildren. A son, Anthony Dowdney Devine, pre-deceased him in 1949.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 3, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 49 South Street, Litchfield, Conn., at 11 a.m. Donations may be made to the B.I. Conservancy, Box 84, Block Island RI 02807.