Norman E. Devine was born to David E. and Cora Fain Devine on Valentine’s Day in 1918 on a Missouri farm. An only child, he grew up appreciating animals and the fruits of the earth, working side by side with his father to farm and also to take care of the rural roads in their area with the Missouri State Highway Department. At that time, they worked with horses to take care of the roads. His mother was very kind, and made “special desserts” for Norman’s daughters, Anne and Sue.
Norman married Genevieve (Genny) Collier in 1942. He served in World War II from 1942 to 1945, in Iceland, England, France, Belgium and Germany. He was a devoted Mason, a member of the American Legion and a deacon at Calvary Baptist Church in Columbia.
Norman loved the outdoors and his career gave him the opportunity to drive all over the state he loved. He knew even the smallest roads by heart and often took his family on drives, and then directed us on drives when he no longer could make them on his own. Norman and Genny traveled all over the country in their later, happy years and visited their daughters, Anne and Sue, wherever their careers and lives took them. Norman loved the farm and in his retirement was an avid hobbyist, collecting built-to-scale toy tractors. He had models from all over the world. He and Genny enjoyed traveling to toy tractor shows where Norman exhibited, and also belonged to a collector's club in Columbia. He never lost his love of horses or watching tractor pulling contests.
After his retirement from MODOT as area supervisor with 40 years of service, Norman received an Innovators’ Award. He designed and created at least seven products that could have made him a wealthy man had he not been working for the State of Missouri, which did not allow employees to apply for patents. These products improved the safety of travelers in the “Show-Me” state. Norman was pleased when his contributions were acknowledged at a Missouri State Department of Transportation trade show exhibit after his retirement, and his family thought, “It’s about time.”
Norman’s daughters, Anne and Sue, worked as partners, along with their husbands and granddaughter, to care for him in his later years and months of life. The family is very grateful to all of the wonderful staff at Horizon House, Dr. Lee Burnside and the staff at Virginia Mason who helped our dad feel comfortable and secure in these last nine months. The support of longtime friends is also greatly appreciated, as well as the care and attention provided by Candlelight Lodge and The Bluffs in Columbia.
In his prime, Norman was a big, strapping size of a man at 6 foot 3 inches and about 230 pounds. He had a teddy bear heart and was much beloved by his family and community. Norman is survived by his daughters, Anne and husband, Ken Myrabo, and Sue and husband, Jim Green; granddaughters Phonthip and Alison; sister-in-law Gerry Silvey and nephews J.W. Devine, Jack Silvey, Larry Silvey and their families.
Visitation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church, 606 Ridgeway, in Columbia, with services following at 11 a.m. and internment at 3 p.m. at Highland Cemetery in Latham.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, 3628 B West Truman Blvd, Jefferson City, MO 65109, 893-2548, mbch.org.
Condolences may be posted at parkerfuneralservice.com.