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GERARD ELY DEVOE

Born: June 7, 1940
Died: February 11, 2008

Gerard "Rod" DeVoe was born in New York City, son of Arthur Gerard DeVoe, M.D. '31 and Margaret Stobie DeVoe. His grandfather was Gen. Ralph Godwin DeVoe, a distinguished Army surgeon, who served through World War II. His father, the captain of the track team at Yale, was chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia Medical college and a world-renowned corneal and cataract surgeon who died in September 2007 at the age of 98.

Rod prepared for Yale at Phillips Exeter. His freshman roommates in Bingham were Bill Ingram and Thomas Powers. He was a member of Trumbull College and majored in Philosophy. In our Banner he said that his future occupation was to be "research after further study of philosophy."

After graduation, Rod studied philosophy at St. Andrews University in Scotland. He then obtained his law degree at the University of Virginia Law School. He practiced estate and probate law from time to time in Westchester County with offices at Croton on Hudson and in White Plains. He also published a financial newsletter for about four years in the late 1980's, working with his brother David (Yale Class of 1964). In the 1980's Rod lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

As Rod's Banner quote predicted, his passion in life was and remained philosophy. He studied philosophy at New York University in a Ph.D. program, although he did not complete the requirements for the degree. Rodís son Sanford reports that "my father's love of philosophy was ignited at Yale. My father spent much of his free time writing drafts for two books on philosophical subjects and he published a philosophical pamphlet at his own expense which can be found in the New York Public Library."

Rod's wife Amanda died when their two children, Sanford and Margaret, were young and he raised them by himself.

He was an active member of the Pennsylvania Poconos Mountains summer community at Bear Lake, as were his parents before him. In its announcement of his death, the Bear Lake Association described him as "a guiding force to a generation of Bear Lakers who saw him as a charismatic thinker, full of ideas and fun to be with during long summer evenings."

Sadly, Rod had very early onset of Alzheimer's disease when he was still in his 50's. He entered an Alzheimer's care facility in Pennsylvania in 2003 and passed away from complications on February 11, 2008, at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Rod was survived by his son Sanford E. DeVoe of Toronto, who is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and by his daughter Margaret A. DeVoe of New York City. Margaret is currently a student at Brooklyn Law School. Also surviving him were two brothers, David R. DeVoe '64 of Philadelphia and Ralph G. DeVoe of Palo Alto, California. The family suggested contributions in his memory be made to The Nature Conservancy, Poconos Chapter, P.O. Box 55, Long Pond Road, Long Pond, PA 18334.


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