Obituary for Henry DeVries
Henry “Big Hank” DeVries, 76, The Villages, FL passed into our Lord’s arms May 13, 2017, surrounded by family and friends. Hank was born April 7, 1941, in Evergreen Park, IL. He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry & Henrietta DeVries, his sister Floretta Iacono, his daughter, Laura Williams, and his first wife, Beverly Ekholm who was the mother of his two children, Laura and Timothy. He will be greeted with wagging tails by Shotzie, Cody and Sammy. Hank is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 39 years, Marilyn (Chinni). Also surviving are his son, Timothy (Jeri) and their son, Benjamin; his granddaughter, Megan Compton, and her children, Evan & Hanna; and his grandson, Robbie Williams, and his daughter, Kylea. Hank had many siblings: Brothers Denny (Carol), Bill (Carol), Jim (Diane), George (Tammy) and Chuck. His sisters Marlene DeVries, Carol (Mike) Garner, June (Barry) Saidat, and Henrietta (Mike) Timm.
He had many nieces and nephews that he loved and was so proud to be their uncle plus many cousins too numerous to mention. Hank graduated from Oak Lawn Community High School in 1961 where he was a member of the 50 year all-star teams in basketball, football, boys cross country and track. He attended the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, IA and played AAU basketball. He worked 30 years for the Chessie System (now CSX Railroad) in the Chicago area, first as a trainman and retired in 1997 as a Power Coordinator officer for CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, FL. Hank and Marilyn retired to The Villages in 1997 where Hank golfed and played baseball. He loved volunteering for many years with New Life Carpenters for Christ building ramps for people who were handicapped. Almost every day Hank proudly wore his New Life Carpenters for Christ T-shirt with his carpenter’s suspenders. Hank’s family and friends will miss his giving heart, his ready smile, his big hugs and his joking manner.
Visitation will be from 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Saturday, May 20th followed by a religious service at Beyers Funeral Home Chapel, Lady Lake, FL with Pastor Daryl Allen of Community United Methodist Church, Fruitland, Park officiating. Afterward there will be a Celebration of Life brunch at La Hacienda Recreation Center in The Villages. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to New Life Carpenters for Christ, PO Box 57, Fruitland Park, FL 34731.