Local Obits

Obituary of Robert F. “Bob” DeVoe

“Memories are important, memories are what keep you alive.” ~ Joe Kelly

Robert Frederick DeVoe, “Bob”, 90, passed away surrounded by his family on August 2, 2023.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosamond “Rosie” DeVoe and son Ronald DeVoe. Robert “Bob” was born the middle child of 5 children to the late Fred Leo and Evelyn Mae DeVoe of Boonville, NY in Leyden, NY, February 4th, 1933, along with his elder brother Ralph DeVoe and sister Norma DeVoe Larrivey, and younger siblings Annette DeVoe Hammond and Jane DeVoe. He was a dedicated son, brother, nephew, uncle, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather as well as friend and teacher to a wide and diverse community.

As a young child growing up on the family farm in the Adirondacks, he recalled rations from World War II, 1939-1945 and became resourceful repurposing and reusing things long before recycling became popular. With a strong work ethic of a livestock cattle farmer and dairy operation of his father, fresh milk, hand churned butter and gardening from a mother that sewed, baked, canned and also tended to farm chores along with the hired help and children’s chores his own personal and business ethics was instilled. Bob graduated from Boonville Central High School in 1951and met at a dance and married the love of his life, Rosamond Ann Bowen on September 26, 1959, with a honeymoon to Washington D.C. and soon after welcomed their first child, Melanie Ann DeVoe (Armstrong) in July of 1960, and later Robert Fredrick DeVoe, the late Ronald Kenneth DeVoe, and Elizabeth Nancy DeVoe (Newberry). Becoming a father came natural to Bob as he enjoyed teaching and learning throughout his life. Becoming a grandfather to 5 grandchildren Benjamin Scot Rundell, Jeremiah Robert Rundell, Ryan Robert DeVoe, SarahRose DeVoe and Sierra Nakai Newberry, followed by 7 great grandchildren Haylie, Isabelle, Robert Allen, EvelynRose, Allison Rae, Blakey Wren and Maia Penelope offered many more new teaching opportunities to pass along his experiences, knowledge and wisdom in meaningful ways to future generations… Bob was proud to be able to say he physically gave and offered valuable Driving Instruction to all 5 of his grandchildren! Assisting with practice road tests, karate at the YWCA in Cortland, dogsledding in Vermont and Schroon Lake, NY, dance recitals, theatrical performances and family get togethers and celebrations, reunions offered much joy and a chance to teach living history to those in attendance.

A very proud “Lefty” left-handed and ambidextrous architect and carpenter able to swing the left handed hammer while building homes including his own in 1971, occupied his summers while school was out. Bob earned his Bachelors of Science majoring in Industrial Arts from SUNY Oswego in 1955. Masters of Science in Education from SUNY Oneonta in 1970 and began a long teaching career at Sweetheart Corners of North Syracuse High where he became Instructor of Driver Training in 1956. From 1963-1965 he taught Industrial Arts at South New Berlin, NY, with a permanent certification for Guidance Counseling obtained in 1968. Also a former banker from National Exchange in Boonville, NY retelling of historical moments where he processed deposits from local farmers that drove their tractors into town with cash in brown paper sacks sometimes! Bob & Rosie and family relocated to West Scott in 1965 and Homer Central High School is where he began teaching Mechanical Drawing, Shop/ Industrial Arts, CAD and Drivers Education as well as serving as a Senior Class advisor and counseling many students both inside and outside of his school walls. Bob taught at Homer until his retirement in 1988 at 55 with his classic 55 Chevrolet.

After retirement Bob continued to substitute teach at Tully, Truxton, and Cortland Madison BOCES for another 10 years and along with his certification in relicensing course instruction he offered private drivers education hours to many who came to the US without a license including the late Elizabeth Baldwin Homer’s Librarian for many years and Nassima Karam from Lebanon who operated Pita Gourmet with her husband Cy in Cortland a family favorite business that became extended family to the DeVoe’s. Many summers were spent tending to his gardens growing herbs, flowers and fruits as well as canning, and preserving favorite foods and sharing with friends, family and neighbors.

Woodworking, carving and fixing old chairs learning to recane and spin new parts on his lathe was a celebrated hobby for many years offering his cherished accomplishments to family and friends as gifts, never for money. Traveling with Rosie to Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy in 1996 offered the educational opportunity to enjoy visiting relatives of his heritage from Alsace-Lorraine in modern day France bordering Switzerland and Germany. He was in awe of seeing how their farmers mowed steep hillsides with augmented tractors, the bells on cows in fields, the Black Forest region and clock museum which reminded him of his own family’s ancestors carrying grandfather clocks on their backs to sell. Besides being into writing down Ancestry and Genealogy to pass along, Bob was an avid clock collector, he enjoyed polka music including the Lawrence Welk Show, and longtime friend and best man in his wedding Charlie Brown’s band and music. Many family and friends will remember Bob fondly for his accuracy of sending timely Birthday cards, phone calls to check in on others and daily reading of newspapers including the Cortland Standard, Sunday Herald American newspaper and his weekly Boonville Herald newspaper most notably sharing articles, poetry, quotes and information with others from reflections by the late Joe Kelly, editor, publisher and owner for many years. Bob will always be remembered as a caring, kind, strong and supportive soul… His knowledge and guidance was the strong foundation that he built his family and home on.

“Teaching how to count is fine, but teaching what counts is best.” ~ Bob Talbert

Friends and family are invited to share their memories and honor 90 years of a life well lived in the way he would want to be remembered… Calling hours at the Donald L. Barber Funeral Home, 5016 US Route 11, Homer, NY on August 26, 2023 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. with funeral services following. Interment will follow Glenwood Cemetery, Home,

Donations in his honor may be sent to Hospicare of Cortland County, 11 Kennedy Parkway, Cortland, NY 13045.

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