Donald Irwin Devan

Date of Birth

May 29, 1939

Date of Death

July 10, 2009

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Don Devan was born May 29, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York to Pearl and Joe Devan. He grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York with his younger brother Steven and sister Phyllis. After graduating from Poughkeepsie High School, his lifelong interest in the sciences earned him a scholarship to study physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, where he was a member of the Kappa Nu fraternity.

In 1963 he married Pepa Ferrer and, after a year of marriage, the couple moved to Santa Barbara where they raised their two sons, Matthew and Joshua. Don worked as a software systems analyst for GE TEMPO, Information Science, Oceanographic Services, MariPro, and SAIC. In 1978, his work in computer image analysis lead him to be selected as a member of the Shroud of Turin Research Project in Turin, Italy. He and Pepa also co-founded the Santa Barbara Parent Support Group (Toughlove) together with Joan Sullivan. In his spare time, he was an avid drummer, West Coast jazz fan, Chinese cook, sci-fi addict, and solver of Jumble puzzles.

In 2000, after four strokes and five heart attacks, Don began a seven-year journey of repair and renewal founded on the loving care of his family, his daily yoga practice, and the invaluable support of the family of friends he met at Jodi House (The Brain Injury Association of Santa Barbara), which he treasured as a place “to be accepted for exactly who you are, not for who you were, or who you might be when you get better.” In the years that followed, Don taught computer courses at Jodi House and served on the Board of Directors.

In March of 2009, Don was found to have an inoperable brain tumor. In the months that followed, a steady stream of friends and family came to share moments and memories. He was also able to hold his second granddaughter, Hannah, for the first time. In the early morning hours of July 10th, 2009, with Pepa at his side, he passed peacefully away.

He is survived by his former wife and faithful friend, Pepa Devan, by his son Matthew and girlfriend, Heidi Head of Santa Barbara, by his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters, Josh, Ciji, Zella and Hannah Selvoy-Devan of Portland, Oregon, his brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Shirley Devan of Williamsburg, Virginia and his niece, Hillary Nicklas of Berkeley, California. Preceding him in death are his mother, Pearl, his father, Joe, and his sister, Phyllis Devan Miller.

The family is most grateful for the loving care of Jodi House, Mission Terrace, Easy Lift, South Coast Caregivers, Santa Barbara Rehabilitation Center, Visiting Nurses/Hospice and doctors Mesipam, Gelberg, West, Fried, Fisher, Jones and Rosenblum, and to all the family and friends who have been so supportive.

In lieu of flowers to the family, please consider a donation to Jodi House at:
1235C Veronica Springs Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 563-2882
Dontate To Jodi House by Clicking Here


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