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Dorothy Devine remembered

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Dorothy Devine

Dorothy Devine

One of Pembroke's leading citizens is being laid to rest today.


The life of Dorothy Devine (nee Delaney), Pembroke's first female deputy mayor, a tireless political organizer, a woman of ironclad faith who worked for the hospital auxiliary and her church of St. Columbkille's Cathedral, will be celebrated in that very church on Saturday at 11 a.m. with a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial.

She was born Oct. 7, 1923, in Manotick, Ontario. As the seventh child of a large farming family, she learned the value of hard work, the importance of family and the generosity of giving to the community. She was a tireless advocate for a variety of causes in Pembroke over the years and pioneered working outside of the home for a generation of women.

A single mom of five, Dorothy also operated the Voyageur Bus Terminal in Pembroke for more than 50 years, with son Michael later joining her in the business.

Les Scott, a long-time member of Pembroke city council, served with Devine on council since she was first elected in 1972, then watched as she became deputy mayor from 1975 to 1976. After she took a nearly 20 year break from city council, Devine was re-elected for the 1991 to 1994 term.

“I was there the whole time she was there,” he said, and become one of her closer friends.

“She was a feisty lady, who believed in hard work, and a tireless advocate for a number of causes over the years,” Scott said. “She could be a force to be reckoned with.”

He said if Devine saw or heard of someone who was in trouble, who needed a voice or was facing economic or cultural barriers, she'd be there for them 150 per cent.

She gave the same dedication and effort to any organization or cause she became involved with, the councillor said.

“Dorothy was a very community minded person,” Scott said, and one he was privileged to call friend.

Terry McCann, who served as mayor during Devine's term on council, said he also felt privileged to have known and worked with her.

“The word that may highlight one of Dorthy's many wonderful characteristics is determined,” he said. “Determined and steadfast to carry out her duties as she personally resolved would be in the best interests of the city, and she did so at each council meeting.”

“Her life experience assisted and helped all of us who were privileged to be on the same team,” McCann said. “She had the heartfelt characteristic that when she was critical of you – and she was often disapproving of my decisions – you still loved her.”

Dorothy Devine is predeceased by her husband Gerald, three sisters and seven brothers.

She is survived by her children Carole (Joseph Conway), Michael (Debra Metzger), Susan, Paul (Cindy Webb) and Mary (Terry Olsheski). She will be missed by her friends and her large extended family, including her grandchildren Megan (Cameron Scott), Mary Ellen (Adam Melynk) and Matthew Conway; Emily and Daniel Devine; Colin, Philip and Rachel Wheaton; Ashley, Kimberly and Brittany Devine; Mark, Alyson, Kathryn, and Laura Olsheski, and her great grandson Elliott Conway-Scott as well as her many nieces and nephews. 

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