Tribute for Patrick J. Devenny
April 22, 1925 – May 20, 2022
Patrick (“Paddy”) passed away on Friday, May 20. He is survived by his four children, Betsie, Nancy, Daniel, and Patrick (Mirna). He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Dorothy (Egan) in 2014. They dated doing what they loved to do most: going to the Irish dance halls in and around Newark, NJ. They married on September 20, 1958.
Patrick was born on April 22, 1925, in Maghery, Dungloe in County Donegal, Ireland, to Annie and Daniel Devenney, the second of eleven children. Paddy left Ireland at the age of sixteen and headed to Scotland. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force, and gained notoriety as a boxer while in the service. Even in those early days, he also entertained everyone with his singing via his classic Irish tenor voice. In 1948, at the suggestion of his Aunt Dolly, he came to the United States. His first job when he arrived was as a grave digger. He was also a security guard for Chevron, and he learned a trade as a welder in Steamfitters union Local 475. He was one of the most sought-after x-ray pipeline welders in the local. In addition to his job as a welder, he and Dorothy also owned Pine Wine Liquors in South Amboy in the mid-1960’s. Always interested in athletics, he was also an active handball player at the YMCA in Elizabeth, NJ into his 60’s. He ultimately retired from his welding career at age 67, although he regretted not working longer because he loves it so much.
Dorothy and Patrick were long-time residents of Rumson starting in the early 1970's and for many years were active members of Holy Cross Catholic Church and later members of Nativity Church in Fair Haven. He also sang in the choir for many years at St. George’s By The River Episcopal church, also in Rumson. This came about when he walked in to their rehearsal one day and asked, “Do you need any tenors?” Dorothy, however, ruled the roost, and so he had to go to church twice on Sunday, once to sing and once to fulfill his Catholic obligation! In addition to their church membership, they were also members of the Irish Federation of Monmouth County.
In 1987, he and Dorothy built a vacation home in Maghery, at the site of his birthplace, and spent many years traveling to the small village to visit friends and family. Everyone there knew all of their comings and goings, and there were many card games, sing-songs, and visits by family and friends to this warm and inviting home. His last visit was in February 2020, a month before the pandemic started.
Patrick was a talented man, and thoughtful husband and father. He wrote cards for all occasions, and they always ended with a thoughtful note or poem, and a reminder of his love. Perhaps the only activity he loved as much as his job was going to Monmouth Park race track to play the horses. If he’d had a good day at the track, there might be a dinner out with the family or a few dollars in a greeting card. His other favorite tradition was playing his union number in the lottery each day when buying his newspapers each morning.
In addition to his children, Patrick is survived by his siblings, Donal (Dungloe), Celia Gallagher (Dungloe), Dolly McCole (Maghery) and Rosaleen Ward (London), and his sister-in-law Sheila Devenney (Maghery), brother-in-law Brian Madden (Peekskill, NY), brother-in-law James McLaughlin (Avon, NJ), sister-in-law Nancy Tully (Avon, NJ), and Dorothy’s sister-in-law, Patricia McLaughlin (Tinton Falls, NJ). He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Cornelius (Connie) and James, and his sisters Grace, Mary, Nancy, and Kathleen. He will be sadly missed by many nieces, nephews and cousins in Ireland and here in the states.
Family and friends may visit on Tues., May 24th from 3-7:30pm at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Ave., Red Bank, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Weds., May 25th at 1pm at Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Patrick’s memory to the charity of your choice.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.johnedayfuneralhome.com.
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