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Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Devereaux

Deceased: 2017-08-06


ICTE Fall: 1994

Reverend Thomas W. Devereaux, a retired priest of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, passed away on August 6, 2017 at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco as the result of complications following surgery. Father Devereaux was born to Dr. John Devereaux and his wife Adele in Port Huron, Michigan, on April 3, 1938.

He attended local schools in Port Huron before attending Sacred Heart High School Seminary in Detroit for grades 10 through 12. He did undergraduate studies in Kitchener, Ontario; Kansas City, Kansas; Port Huron and Hardin’s Creek, Kentucky. He did his early studies for the priesthood in Memphis, Michigan and Darlington, New Jersey. He completed his preparation for ordination at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Eugene Cathedral, Santa Rosa, on June 1, 1968.

After ordination, Father Devereaux became an Associate Pastor at St. Rose of Lima Church in Santa Rosa before moving to Humboldt County to become Associate Pastor at St. Bernard Parish in Eureka and a teacher at St. Bernard High School. During his time in Eureka he also served as Associate Director of Catholic Charities for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties and resided at Sacred Heart Parish in Eureka. He was appointed Pastor of Assumption Parish in Ferndale in 1974, and then Pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Fortuna from 1979 to 1985. He then returned to Sonoma County and served as Pastor at St. Philip Parish in Occidental (1985-1989), St. John the Baptist Parish in Healdsburg (1989-2004) and St. Peter Parish in Cloverdale (2004-2012).

On his retirement in 2012 he took up residence at St. Rose Parish in Santa Rosa, where he continued to be actively involved in the life of the parish. In addition to his parish duties, Father Devereaux served Vicar for Spiritual Life of the Diocese from 1978 to 1987 and as Diocesan Director of Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Affairs and Eastern Catholics from 1987 until the time of his death. He was very actively involved in the formation of Permanent Deacons in the diocese and served as a personal spiritual director to many people. In 1987 he became a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, in which he held the rank of Knight-Commander at the time of his death.

He continued his education beyond his seminary studies and earned a Doctorate in Ministry from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD from the Graduate Theological Foundation (which included studies at Oxford University, England). He was a voracious reader and accumulated a very wide-ranging library; he travelled extensively and enjoyed taking photographs on his travels; he also enjoyed painting, picture-framing, live classical music, and keeping up regular correspondence with people he had met in many places around the world.

Father Devereaux was predeceased by his parents and is survived by his sisters Mary, Barbara, and Joan and his brother James, as well as by numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grand-nephews. He is also remembered very fondly by the many parishioners to whom he ministered over nearly five decades of faithful and dedicated priestly service in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. May he rest in peace.

There will be a Vigil Service on Tuesday, August 15th at 4:00 p.m. (preceded by visitation from 2:00 p.m.) at St. Rose Church, 398 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. A Funeral Mass (followed by a reception in the parish hall) will be celebrated at St. Rose Church on Wednesday, August 16th at 6:30 p.m. Burial will take place at St. Bernard Cemetery, 3975 Broadway Street, Eureka, CA 95503 at Noon on Thursday August 17th. Arrangements under the care of Lafferty and Smith Colonial Chapel.