DEVINE, Edward Gerald
August 13, 1943 - January 29, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Edward Gerald Devine. He died at home, surrounded by his wife and children, overlooking their view of the ocean. Edward was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and spent his last years in Sechelt, B.C. He is survived by Anndee, his wife of fifty-three years; his four children: Michael (Lisa), Andrew (Giselle), Carolyn De Voest (Rik), Alison Smith (Garvan); and nine grandchildren: Sofia, Francesca, Jack, Gabriela, Naomi, Morgan, Ava, Georgia, and Declan. He is also survived by his sister Patty Huschilt and many nieces and nephews. Ed was predeceased by his parents Gerald and Genevieve Devine, and his sister Carole Rose.
Ed grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, attending St. Andrew’s School and St. Joseph’s High School. He loved sharing stories of his early jobs: delivering papers for the Edmonton Journal, delivering prescriptions for Tamblyn Drugs, and bagging groceries at Safeway. He also loved to recount his days playing high school football, being one of the captains of his team and winning the 1960-61 championship. He enjoyed playing hockey, skiing, and recanting his part in becoming the infamous Grade 7 volleyball champions (although the legitimacy of this claim has never been verified).
Moving to Vancouver to attend Simon Fraser University, Ed earned a degree in Economics. This was followed by a year of law at the University of British Columbia, before embarking on a forty-plus year career at Baker and Taylor Publisher Services. He relished telling a good story and always engaged people in conversation. He was interested to know who they were, where they came from and what they did. This curiosity and ‘gift of the gab’ facilitated his success in the book business. His clients were universities, high schools, elementary schools and bookstores across Canada and the Western U.S. He made many lifelong friends along the way. He always took pride in being asked to present at library conferences and university classes across the country.
He reminisced of idyllic years, from cherished childhood vacations spent at B-Say-Tah Point in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Southern Saskatchewan, to over sixty summers at Grandview Beach on Pigeon Lake, Alberta. Ed treasured his Alberta roots and he and Anndee returned to Pigeon Lake, to the Devine cabin, every summer, with his children and grandchildren, to embrace lake life and enjoy this special time with friends and extended family. His grandchildren are now the fourth generation to share the lake experience.
Ed and Anndee have enjoyed travelling and cruising throughout the world. After raising their family in North Vancouver, Sechelt and Palm Springs became their new homes. They spent their winters enjoying the sun and special friendships, biking, golfing and embracing desert life.
Papa Ed taught his children and grandchildren that family comes first and his life was committed to that ideal. He always encouraged them to aim for the stars and to take risks, with the assurance that family will be there for you if needed. He was larger than life, full of love and laughter and always ready to dance! Our time with him was too short and he remains forever in our hearts.
Having spent his adult life in the company of books, it seems especially appropriate to honour Ed with a quote from “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean… “ In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his library burned. When I heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions, each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we have catalogued and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived. It is something that no one else can entirely share, one that burns down and disappears when we die. But if you take something from that internal collection and share it with one person or with the larger world, on a page or in a story, recited, it takes on a life of its own.”
Our family would like to express our gratitude to Dr. John Sloan and nurse Aili Dawson, who supervised and guided us through Ed’s peaceful passing at home.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Ed’s name to Literacy for Children, Friends of the Library or your local library.