In Loving memory of
Eddie William DeVine
(Grandpa, Dad, Coach, “Eddie Bear”)
Eddie William DeVine was born on October 22, 1934 in Clear Lake, South Dakota to Edmund and Sadie (Mitchell) DeVine. He was the baby of eight surviving children. He grew up in Slayton, Minnesota during the depression and was part of the “Mill Street gang” which was just a bunch of kids that grew up on the wrong side of the tracks on welfare in that day. Eddie graduated from Slayton High School with the Class of 1953 and then joined the Army. After returning from the military, he completed a college degree and married his high school sweetheart, Esther Schneider-Pryor on June 9, 1956. They met in the sandbox in Kindergarten and were never separated until her death on May 25, 2012. The couple was affectionately known as “Ed and Red”. They settled in Lanesboro, MN in 1963 and both taught in the Lanesboro public school system until they both retired in 1995. Eddie taught history, psychology, and government. During his time of teaching, Eddie held many titles in addition to classroom teacher. He was also a coach, athletic director, driver’s training teacher, and a coordinator of the Model Legislator program with Winona State. As a teacher, he was initially feared. By example, he taught that respect was earned. He had a strict outer persona but was fair and calm so students gave him a “secret” name of “Eddie Bear”. Past students still call him by “Coach” or “Mr. DeVine” as adults. They have described him as “my all time favorite person” and have said he is a true inspiration. Most have a personal story to share that would make you smile. Eddie and Red raised their family (Jeff and Dawn) in Lanesboro, MN and were actively involved in school events with coaching being the highlight of Eddie’s career. They were both part of a group that helped start the Root River Swim and Recreation Club in Lanesboro, MN. The family enjoyed spending summers at the Pryor lake cabin on Lake Shetek, which ultimately became their retirement home. He enjoyed dancing and social events with Red until she passed. His greatest joy in life was anything with kids, but the main theme of his life was his own children. He loved playing golf, watching westerns, and bragging about his children and grandchildren. In 2018 he relocated to Englewood, Florida to be closer to his son and daughter-in-law where he had two glorious years of spending time with them and other friends. He continued his love of golf, dancing, and going out with his dear friend, Cecil Carpenter to “AmVets”. In his personal life, you could see the world soften in his presence. He was a genuinely loving person who accepted and embraced all people. He saw the value in each individual and often helped someone see their own worth. In a short conversation, strangers became friends. For those of us that were lucky enough to know him, our lives have been blessed. He will be missed but his grace lives on in those that he listened to and inspired in his lifetime. Eddie passed away on July 13, 2020 while under hospice care after a series of complications following a heart attack in May. Eddie was a member of MEA, American Veterans, the Teachers Association, and the American Legion. He was also a Mason.
Survivors include his son, Dr. Jeff DeVine and his wife, Dorene of Englewood, FL and daughter, Dawn DeVine of Phoenix, AZ. Grandsons, Drew DeVine of FL, Trevor Martin and Jeffrey Martin of AZ, granddaughter, Paige and her husband, Michael Kossack of Iowa, great grandson, Grayson Kossack of Iowa, great granddaughter, Hanna and her husband, Will Shoudy of Iowa, and great-great granddaughter, Layla Shoudy of Iowa. Two older brothers, Donald DeVine and his wife, Dorothy of Colorado and Lyle DeVine and his wife, Bonnie of California. He is preceded in death by his parents, Edmund and Sadie DeVine, three sisters, Ruth, Leona, and Gladys, and two brothers, Merle and Earl DeVine.
A graveside service will be held at Slayton Memorial Gardens in Slayton, MN on Friday, August 28, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Dave Hollis officiating. Military honors accorded by the Slayton American Legion Post and the Slayton VFW Post. Following the interment ceremony a reception to celebrate this great man’s life will be at his Lake Shetek home.
In lieu of flowers, Eddie had requested that donations be given to the Sunday school at the Slayton Presbyterian Church. The church was very special to Eddie as most major events in his life took place at this church. The Lanesboro High School in Lanesboro, MN is another place donations may be given. To be used to help establish a scholarship for a high school senior in the name of Esther and Eddie. The school was very special to him as it is where he put his heart and soul into his career and the students that passed through his life.
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