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Henry S. Devos, 94, well-known retired Cambridge jeweler passed away peacefully at his home Tuesday, March 29, 2016. His wife Darlene was at his side.
Born August 23, 1921 in Ostend, Belgium, Henry was one of three children of the late Elvirie Harteel and Oswald Devos. He attended private Catholic schools in Ostend and took some part time work as an apprentice learning the jewelry trade in a store next to where the family lived.
In May 1939 Henry immigrated to the U.S. He found work at a watch repair shop in New York. After about a year he moved to Providence, R.I. to work at a top end watch shop.
At the suggestion of his father, who was then a Captain of a US Liberty Ship, Henry applied for service in the Merchant Marines in mid 1941. He served on Liberty ships from New Port News to North Africa to Marseilles. After the war he was discharged as an officer. Although he was only six months away from opportunity to be a Captain he was more anxious to return home and open his own watch and jewelry shop.
Henry first took a job in a shop in Norfolk, VA and later moved to Elizabeth City, N.C. In December 1946 he came to Cambridge to open as his own store. He moved to Cambridge in Jan., 1947 and opened his store Feb. 5, 1947. Devos Jewelers became a success in downtown Cambridge and known by all. On December 31, 1960 he married Marian Winter. From this marriage was born his daughter Ellen. Henry and Marian built a lovely home on the Choptank River, and she worked with him at the jewelry store for the rest of her life. Marian died of cancer on April 1, 1975.
Henry operated his jewelry store until his retirement in 1989. Throughout his life Henry was an avid sailor. Over the years he owned forty nine sail boats. Nothing brought him more pleasure than being free on the seas. After retiring he also enjoyed wood working. He was a meticulous craftsman and built some wonderful furniture pieces. Henry had been a long-term member of the Cambridge Yacht Club.
On January 20, 1993 he married Darlene Grazier. They enjoyed traveling, joking that they had three honeymoons because they visited Belgium, Florida and Arizona early in their marriage. Together they enjoyed their retirement years. Each was good for the other and they had a wonderful “golden years” life together. She cared for him lovingly in his final days.
Surviving is his wife of 23 years Darlene; daughter Ellen (DeVos) Winter and husband David Duncan of Livingston, Montana; grandchildren Sula Duncan, Ira Duncan and Asa Duncan, along with many friends.
He is preceded in death by his young daughter, Diane Devos, who died in May 1949, his parents, his brother Charles and his sister Vera, both of Ostend, Belgium.
A memorial service will be held Friday, April 8, 2016 beginning 12:00 noon at the Maryland Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery Chapel, Hurlock with military honors. Officiating will be Rev. William Davis. Interment will follow.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Pleasant Day Adult Day Care, 2474 Cambridge Beltway, Cambridge MD 21613 or Coastal Hospice, PO Box 1733, Salisbury MD 21802.
Arrangements entrusted to Newcomb and Collins Funeral Home, P.A., Cambridge, MD 21613
To send online condolences visit www.newcombcollins.com
Born: August 23, 1921 Death: March 29, 2016
Memorial ServiceFriday April 8, 2016 , 12:00 noon at Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery Share your thoughts and memories in the guestbook.
Pleasant Day Adult Day Care Center, 2474 Cambridge Beltway, Cambridge MD 21613
Coastal Hospice Foundation, PO Box 1733, Salisbury MD 21802
A. Wingfield Extending deepest sympathy to family and friends in this time of sorrow. Please find comfort in knowing that soon all those in the memorial tombs will hear Jesus voice and come out (John 5:28,29). Until that blessed day, may the GOD of all comfort grant you peace (2 Cor. 1:3,4) while many fond memories of Mr. Henry warm your hearts. 04/14/2016 Janice Feimster Walters Our family holds many warm memories of "Mr. Henry", dating back to the forties and early fifties on Oakley Street. He was a true friend to both of my parents and continued to befriend our family through the years, providing wonderful merchandise and service at his store as well as excellent advice about our tour of Belgium! Much love to Darlene, Ellen and rest of his family; we loved him as you did. Janice Feimster Walters and Family Paul L "Pat" Feimster and Family 04/07/2016 Sharon Vinson Ellen, Im sorry to hear about the loss of your father. He had a very interesting life. It sounds like you have a nice family. i know you were always good in school, and Im sure you are good with them, too. Take care, and continue to have a good life.. 04/04/2016 Wayne & Colleen Bromwell Dear Miss Darleene, Ellen and Family, We are so sorry to learn of Mr. Devos death. He was such a talented, gracious and kind true gentleman. Please know we are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers! 04/02/2016 Nancy Willet I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to Ellen and Darlene. The tribute to Henry was very touching and brought back fond memories of many wonderful family Thanksgivings spent at the Tates Bank house on the Choptank River/Eastern Shore with Henry and Marian; two of the most gracious hosts. I recall prepping the float for the Thanksgiving parade, checking out Henrys latest wooden sailboat, combing through sparkling gems in the jewelry store vault, chasing down Canada geese, and even slurping snapper soup. I will never forget Henry; one the kindest and loveliest of souls - a true gentle man. 04/02/2016 Shelda Fitzhugh What a wonderful person. He was so friendly and nice. I had my first charge account with him in the 50s. He was greatly missed when he retired. RIP Mr. DEVOS. 04/01/2016 Debbie (Meredith) OBier My parents thought very highly of Mr. Devos. Whenever my Dad wanted something special for Mom, he knew just the person to consult - Mr. Devos. To this day, I wear a ring that I received at Christmas when I was twelve years old. I was told that Mr. Devos personally chose it for me. How special! He was a dear man, and I am so sorry for your loss. 03/31/2016 Kaye Wilkinson Barley My condolences to the family. I have thought of Mr. Devos many times over the years since Ive been gone from The Eastern Shore. I grew up in The Arcade Apts., Mr. Devos is the person I credit/blame for my love of jewelry. I bought my very first ring in his shop - a silver friendship ring. I think he even let me buy it on credit. He was a very nice man and I know he will be missed by many. 03/30/2016
Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM