Lifelong Clinton County resident Fred Neil Devoe, 101, died on Tuesday June 16, 2020, at his home on his beloved farm in Sabina with members of his family at his side. It is suspected that Mickey, Fred’s wife of 73 years who passed away in 2014, greeted him with a piece of his favorite chocolate cream pie.
Born in Clinton County on March 15, 1919, Fred was the son of the late Charles and Beatrice Bone Devoe.
Fred was a 1937 Port William High School graduate where he starred on the basketball team along with his brother, Robert. Having grown up and worked on a family farm, he had farming in his blood and realized early on that was his calling. He considered, but passed on, opportunities to work in local manufacturing and chose instead to rent farm land and, with, two horses and a plow, embark on his dream of a career in farming. On March 15, 1941, his 22nd birthday, Fred married Vivian ‘Mickey’ A. Atkinson, also from a farm family, making her his “first class farm hand”. Their loving relationship made them a perfect team for farming and family. Mickey preceded Fred in death on October 6, 2014.
Fred bought his land on Sabina Rd. in 1947, cleared and turned it into a beautiful and productive farm where over the years family and friends enjoyed countless visits and amazing sunsets. It is only fitting that this is where Fred took his last breath.
Fred was grateful to be a farmer as that was exactly how he wanted to spend his life. He was an American Farmer, epitomizing independence, self-sufficiency and hard, honest work. He went with nature’s flow of ups and downs with no complaints. He and Mickey worked the farm together and, over time had help from their son, Don, and daughter, Judy. He found it difficult to pull himself away from his Eden, except during basketball season or opportunities to visit his grandchildren. Whenever away, he looked forward to returning to his fields. Family, farm, friends and Fred were the perfect combination.
Fred was loved and respected and will be deeply missed. He is survived by their children: Don (Ana) DeVoe of Annapolis, MD, and Judy (Joe) Hovanec of Deerfield, IL. Also left to cherish his memory are grandchildren: Donna Lee (Chris) Roberts, Elliott (Nell) DeVoe, AnaLise (Ben) Shea, and Holly, Joey and Andrew Hovanec; great-grandchildren: Mac and Madalena Roberts and Whitney and Aubrey Shea; sister, Joan Stephens; and brother, Gene Devoe.
In addition to his parents and wife, Fred was preceded in death by his sister, Doris Williams and brothers, Robert and Carl Devoe.
The family especially appreciates the care and attention given to Fred by wonderful neighbors Sarah, Bill and Sam Mathews and Sylvia Myers. Also appreciated is the thoughtful stewardship of Fred’s land by Jay Stacey.
Family will receive friends at Littleton Funeral Home, Sabina, on Saturday, June 20, 2020, from 10-11am, when a funeral service will begin. Burial will follow at New Maple Grove Cemetery, Port William.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fred N. Devoe, please visit our floral store.