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Daniel C. Devine

August 2, 1934 April 16, 2021
Daniel C. Devine
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Obituary for Daniel C. Devine

Hon. Daniel Costigan Devine, 87, of Beverly Hills, Michigan, passed away peacefully on April 16, 2021 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak with his loving wife of 61 years, Barbara, at his side. In addition to his wife Barbara (nee Smith), Dan is survived by his seven children: Dan, Jr. (Katey); Kevin (Claire Hughes); Tim (Julie); Tom (Valerie); Emily Ellison; Molly (James) McClear; and Ned (Jennifer). Dan was proud and loving Papa to 21 grandchildren: Dan III (Lee Anne), Megan (Zachary) Walters, Dominic, Ted, Tom, Nolan, Heather (Ben) Friedli-Ratzlaff, Tim, Lucy, Penny, Annie, Molly (Austin) Stumvoll, Matthew, Martin, Henry, Madison, Emily, James, Evelyn, Lilian, Josephine, and great grandson Kenneth, along with many adoring nieces and nephews and in-laws.

Dan was born in Detroit, Michigan in August 1934 to Alan R. and Margaret (Carey) Devine. He was predeceased by his parents and all five of his siblings, whom he adored: Alan, Ted, Jim, Geraldine, and Margaret.

Like his brothers and his father and grandfather before him, Dan graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School where he made lifelong friends including Gerrold McPartlin. At the University of Notre Dame, Dan joined the Naval ROTC program and made lifelong friends there as well, including Clement O’Neill, Jim Olin, Jerry Kelly. Following graduation from ND and a few years in the Navy at Foley Naval Air Station in Mobile, Alabama, Dan returned to Detroit to attend Detroit College of Law, from which he graduated in 1961. He followed his grandfather, father, and brothers (and was subsequently followed by niece Deborah Devine and sons Dan and Tim) into the practice of law.

While a student at DCL, Dan met the love of his life, Barbara, while she was working as a nurse at Providence Hospital in Detroit, and he was visiting his ailing grandmother. They married in 1960, and Dan passed away just two days shy of their 61st wedding anniversary. Theirs was a love and adventure-filled life, with many memorable hours spent at the family’s home and the old cottage in Lakeport and numerous family road trips especially up north or to Ontario and Quebec with the whole gang, plus “Gramps” (Dan’s father-in-law) and only three 8-tracks which everyone could sing along with: “The Sound of Music” and “Fats Domino’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2” and “Beatles ’65.”

Dan was a devout Catholic and attended mass daily for many years and served as a Eucharistic Minister. He loved to sing and did so with great gusto and a nominal sense of pitch. His favorite song was the hymn “How Great Though Art,” followed closely by “The Notre Dame Victory March” and “Anchors Aweigh!” He also enjoyed many rounds of golf with Barbara. Even after Alzheimer’s robbed him of his ability to play, he loved to ride the cart and offer advice.

Dan enjoyed his career as an attorney and practiced law with a passion. He was particularly fond of trial work, especially opening and closing remarks to juries and cross examination of witnesses, where his gift for oratory and his ability to connect with people and tell compelling stories were on full display. He began in practice with his grandfather, father, uncle and brothers at Devine, Kent and Devine in Detroit and then moved to Oakland County to practice law with Condit, Denison, Devine, Porter, Bartush, McGarry and Janies, followed by solo practice and concluding his career with Beier Howlett in Bloomfield Hills.

During his career, Dan specialized in family law and was a member of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Michigan Bar Association’s Family Law Section, as well as serving as president of the Oakland County Bar Association and a hearing panel chair for the State Bar Attorney Grievance Board. Earlier in his career, Dan had served as an assistant Oakland County prosecutor and served a short term as Circuit Judge in Oakland County in 1966.

In addition to his legal work, Dan also served in many civic and volunteer roles, including Parish Council president at Holy Name Church in Birmingham; Dad’s Club president (and Bingo caller) at U-D Jesuit High School; Birmingham City Commission, the Lions Club, the Notre Dame Club of Detroit, Right to Life Michigan and many more.

Dan’s greatest joy was his family. He coached the little league teams, outfitted everyone with skates from Maskill’s Hardware for Quarton Lake, repaired and fitted skis and gladly took along any friends who wanted to join in the fun. He was fond of boats, too, and didn’t seem to mind that his choices in watercraft usually required as much time tinkering with motors or sails as with actually boating. He was also a loyal customer at the old Neighborhood Hardware in Birmingham because he relished home repair and woodworking projects, from building endless garage shelving and storage, pruning trees, and repairing all manner of electrical and plumbing fixtures to nearly catastrophic septic tank excavations and many home-made auto repairs, often involving hose clamps and duct tape. He was not easily discouraged in these projects, nor in much of his life, and he enjoyed learning by doing and was always willing to lend a hand mending a fence, hanging wallpaper, or installing a sink.


Though discreet in keeping the confidence of his peers, Dan was a proud and enthusiastic Friend of Bill W for more than 30 years and was forever eager to help new friends find their footing and provide ongoing support. He never missed an opportunity to meet someone new and would say, “Call me ‘Dan!’” and “They call me ‘Pops!’” His catch phrase when friends or family stopped by was “Glad to have you aboard!” And he meant it.

A funeral mass will be said in Dan’s memory on Saturday, August 14 at 10 a.m. at Holy Name Church, 630 Harmon Street, Birmingham, Michigan. Donations in Dan’s memory may be sent to the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament, 29575 Middlebelt Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334.

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