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