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Updated: 12/18/2013 08:00:03AM

Donald W. DeVries

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Donald W. DeVries

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Donald W. DeVries, 84, of Venice, Fla., died Monday, Dec. 16, 2013.

Don was born Dec. 2, 1929, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Garrit and Polly DeVries.

In his teens, Don embarked on his passion and profession of building homes with his father, Garrit, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

An Army veteran, Don was stationed in the Philippines during the Korean War.

In 1955, Don married his lifelong partner and beloved wife, Helen.

Don moved his family to Venice in 1971 and continued his career, building more than 40 homes in the Venice area.

In addition to his career and raising a large and loving family, Don coached his sons in Little League baseball and was an active member of Venice Presbyterian Church. Don’s passions included traveling, hunting and fishing and living a life of grace and love in the spirit of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

But by far, Don’s enduring legacy is measured in the love for and of family and friends, a loving legacy that touched so many lives.

He is survived by his wife, Helen; brother, Bern, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; sister, Elinor VanderSchuur, of Jenison, Mich.; daughter, Paula and husband, Mike Evans, of Nokomis, Fla.; son, Joe and wife, Aline O’Connor, of Nairobi, Kenya; daughter, Mary DeVries of Mount Dora, Fla.; son, Jon, and wife, Cheri, of Venice, Fla.; son, Chris, and wife, Heather, of Melbourne, Fla.; son, Andy, and wife, Samantha, of Nokomis, Fla.; son-in-law, Kip McCord; grandchildren, Nicole and husband, Mike Gartley, Allison Schuler, Susie and Dexter McCord, Amina and Helena DeVries, Cameron Evans, Naomi, Chloe and Gabriella DeVries, Natalie Hays, Ellie and Julia DeVries, Maxine and Iris DeVries, and Luke and Katya Funk; and one great-grandson, Aidan Gartley.

He is also survived by many in the Venice community who will honor the memory of this good man.

Services: A Memorial Service will be held at Venice Presbyterian Church Thursday, Dec. 19, at 4 p.m. Farley Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. To send condolences, visit:

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to South County Food Pantry, 800 South Tamiami Trail, Venice FL 34285.