|Birth: ||Mar. 9, 1901|
|Death: ||Oct. 5, 2002|
Leone Harkin Devitt lived an active life of 101 years from March 9, 1901 to October 5, 2002. She was born at the family farm in Archer, Iowa to Dixon and Margaret (Ollinger)
Harkin and was the sixth of twelve children. At this time electricity and automobiles were new luxuries and her family had both.
She taught in country schools in the Archer area during the time of World War I, the flu epidemic, and when women were gaining the right to vote. She developed an early love of travel and adventure when she and her uncle drove across the country in an open car to California in 1921. Later, during the Great Depression, she moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to live with her sister, Berniece Watson and work for J. C. Penney. She met Phil Devitt and they were married at St. Joseph's Cathedral, on June 15, 1937. They lived and farmed near Harrisburg, close to Phil's family. They raised four children, Derene, Jeanene, Jim and Jerry, who were born during the years of World War II and the rationing and shortages experienced at that time.
Following a lifetime of farming, Phil died in June of 1960. Leone continued to live on the farm until 1967 when she moved to Sioux Falls. For the next 30 years she continued to be an active member of St. Mary's Parish, which was a very important part of her life. She was active in the Harrisburg Women's Extension Club, the McKennan Hospital Auxiliary and the Prince of Peace Retirement Center Auxiliary. She received special recognition for her volunteerism. She loved knitting, baking, canning and bridge, and often said that she wished that she had learned to play golf. She loved her friends and there were many. She traveled with them to Europe and to other U.S. cities.
At the age of 99 years she moved to assisted living at Prince of Peace Retirement Center in Sioux Falls. She celebrated her 100th birthday there at a grand gala where her four children and spouses, 15 grandchildren and spouses, seven great-grandchildren, and more than 100 other relatives and friends were in attendance on March 9, 2001. Later Leone moved to assisted living in St. Louis, Missouri to live near Jeanene's family and celebrated her 101st birthday there.
After leaving the nest, Leone's children lived long distances from her. As a result, she traveled many miles across the U.S. to visit. In their absence and the absence of her grandchildren, she received support from the Devitt and Harkin relatives who lived in the area, especially from the Tom and Joan Burns family, the Grace Devitt family, and Peggy and Warren Kemp. Derene and Bob Meuriss live in Tigard OR; Jeanene and Joe Dugan live in St. Louis, MO; Jim and Wendy Devitt live in Bozeman, MT; and Jerry and Shelley Devitt live in Golden, CO.
Leone has one surviving sister-in-law, Grace Devitt, of Sioux Falls. Phil and her grandson, Luke Devitt, preceded her in death, as well as all of her siblings and their spouses and all of Phil's siblings and their spouses, except Grace.
Leone's family is grateful for the support that has been given to her during the years of her life. Memorials may be directed to Prince of Peace Retirement Center or any of their choice.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather with the family for lunch and fellowship at Holy Spirit Catholic Church Parish Hall following the committal service.
Phil Devitt (1899 - 1960)*
Saint Michael's Cemetery
South Dakota, USA
Plot: Section 8
Created by: Dr Marie C.Karban DVM re...
Record added: Apr 06, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88131647