Cover photo for Thomas Lee DeVine, Sr.'s Obituary
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1953 Thomas 2024

Thomas Lee DeVine, Sr.

August 28, 1953 — April 30, 2024


Thomas “Tom” Lee DeVine, Sr., a cherished son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, died peacefully on April 30, 2024 at the age of 70. 

Tom DeVine was born in Watertown, South Dakota, the fourth of six children born to Russell and Evelyn DeVine.  He met his wife, Deborah “Deb” DeVine, nee Carson, when they were in eighth grade, and spent the next few years wooing her by pretending he was failing classes he was actually acing just so he could call her to ask for “help” with his homework. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1971 and attended the University of South Dakota, where he joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and got in enough trouble to have really good stories but not enough to prevent him from graduating, which he did, with a degree in political science and economics in 1975. Tom married Deb a few weeks later, on July 19, 1975. 

The young couple moved to Colorado, where they had their first daughter, Angela. Work soon moved the young family to Harlingen, Texas, where a son, Thomas Jr., and another daughter, Anne, were also born. Their years in the Rio Grande Valley also introduced the now family of five to South Padre Island, which would remain a favorite destination for them. Job transfers then took Tom and his family to San Antonio, Texas and Anaheim, California before bringing them back to Colorado in 1986. 

When Tom was 35, he decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer. He spent the next three and a half years going to night school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law while also working a full-time job, paying a mortgage, and taking care of three kids and a dog. He graduated with his Juris Doctorate degree in 1992, and spent the next 31 years happily working in a profession he made more noble by his membership in it. He became a leader in real estate law, speaking at the annual real estate symposium several times, serving six years on the real estate section executive council, including as its chair, co-authoring the Colorado chapter in the 2nd and 3rd editions of the ABA treatise Commercial Lending Law, a Jurisdiction by Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law, and authoring the Deeds of Trust chapter of the CBA/CLE Colorado Real Estate Forms Handbook. Tom worked at a handful of prestigious law firms in Colorado and the West, with his last 11 years at Holland & Hart.  He became licensed to practice in Texas in 2000, and he proudly re-took his Colorado oath of admission in 2004 when two of his kids also became lawyers.  

In 2009, Tom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He promised his kids that he would die with lymphoma and not from it, and he kept that promise with the help of Deb, a well-respected oncology nurse who hand selected the doctors and nurses who treated Tom, was with Tom at every appointment, and coordinated his care with specialists. Tom also promised himself that he would live long enough that all of his grandkids would remember him. At the time, he had one granddaughter. By 2024, Tom had eight grandchildren, and every one of them will remember their Papa. 

Having lymphoma never defined Tom. He continued to work, to play golf, to fish, and to travel, going to Scottland four times, northern British Columbia four times, Paris, France once, and South Padre Island too many times to count.  

In the last years of his life, nothing brought Tom more joy than those eight grandchildren. He often quipped, “If I had known how much more fun being a grandparent was than being a parent, I would have done it first.”

In 2020, Tom and Deb bought a second home on South Padre Island and became “winter Texans.” The couple spent the first part of 2024 on the island, where they hosted friends and family, ate their fill of fish tacos, watched the sun melt into the Laguna Madre over cocktails, and Tom rode his bike 10 miles almost every day. 

Tom enjoyed the mental challenge and professional satisfaction of being a lawyer, but in his final days, his proudest accomplishments in life were all those that occurred outside of the office: a happy marriage of nearly 50 years, children who are finding their own professional success while keeping their primary focus on their own families, friendships that spanned decades, and an impact on others that is beyond measure.

Tom is survived by his wife, Deb; his three children and their spouses, Angie (Dayro), Tom (Megan), and Annie (Jimmy); his eight grandchildren, Audrey (15), Laurel (13), Finnegan (13), Ronan (10), Evie (9), Cormac (8), Clara (6) and Lucy (5); his mother, Evelyn (102), his sister, Patricia, his brother, Tim, his sister, Michele, and 16 nieces and nephews. Tom was predeceased by his father, Russ, his oldest brother, Terry, and his youngest sister, Lisa. 

In lieu of flowers, the DeVine family kindly requests donations to the University of Colorado Anschutz nursing education fund (, the Holland & Hart Foundation (555 17th Street, Suite 3200, c/o Corporate Group Paralegal, Denver, CO 80202), or Abiding Hope Lutheran Church, 6337 South Robb Way, Littleton, CP 80127. A memorial service celebrating his life and legacy will be held beginning at 11 a.m. on May 14, 2014 at Abiding Hope Lutheran Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Lee DeVine, Sr., please visit our flower store.


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