Monday, April 28, 2008

Arnold Devlin Obituary

ARNOLD C. DEVLIN - 1946-2008 it is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and brother, Arnold Devlin on Wednesday, April 25, 2008. Arnold was a loving and devoted husband to his wife Ramona (Bouchard), supportive father to his daughter, Maryam Meaghan Devlin devoted grandfather to his grandson, Aziz Devlin, loyal to his brother Michael Devlin and sister Catherine (Grich). Many in-laws, nephews and nieces survive him. Arnold was a remarkable man, a mentor to many. He touched many peoples’ lives.
Arnold spent the last 25 years working in the North in Ontario and Quebec servicing Native and non-Native communities. Many good friends and colleagues will sadly miss him.

A service will be held at the Bessette Funeral home in Granby, Quebec on Saturday May 3 at 1:00 p.m.followed by commemorative gathering at Les Petits Cailloux, 625 de la Montagne, Abbotsford; Tribute to Arnold at

Supportive comments can be posted on

A commemorative service will be held on Saturday May 10 at Vale Community Centre in Thunder Bay from 11:30 to 1:30.


Al Garnon said...

I first met Arnold and Remona back in 1972-3 I believe, when I was a 15-16 year old residing in a group home in Rosemere Quebec. I was a lost angry young person who hadn’t found my direction in life yet and was too self absorbed to care anything about what people thought of me, that is until I met them.

I had been through so many professional care workers of all kinds in my life and I am sure a lot had written me off as unsalvageable through the years. I didn’t want anyone to get too close to me, as I had always held out false hope that one day I could rejoin my real family, who I hadn’t lived with since I was seven.

Arnie was a chameleon, you didn’t see him coming and when you did he didn’t seem to be what he really was. I don’t think I could have stomached another social worker lecturing me about how I was ruining my life, or attempting to find me through my past, or get me to admit that I should write off my past and look to the future.

Arnie did not lecture! When he spoke to me, it was a conversation that held important tidbits of information like CODE hidden in plain view or subliminal messages to get me to do what I had been bucking to do, for so many years.

He didn’t say he cared but he sure showed that he did. He and Remona even shared what little private time they had by inviting me to their retreat in Abbotsford on several occasions or to his parents house in Cape Cod. We went mountain climbing in the Green Mountains in Vermont and the Adirondacks in NY. He had a contagious excitement for life and was like a kid when sharing those things that he loved with the people he chose and I am proud and forever grateful to have been one of them.

He taught me parenting skills that I would have lacked and he gave me patience when dealing with others. He taught me philanthropy and how contact with others, regardless of how fleeting, could leave an impression so indelible as to last a lifetime. I will miss him greatly!

I want to thank Mona for sharing him so selflessly throughout the years with everyone and tell Megan that I truly understand her loss. You guys are in my thoughts and I will see you later this year.



Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Devlin Family said...

the following message was sent to the staff at Northeastern Mental Health Centre "It is with much sadness and grief that we hear of the passing of Arnold Devlin, Program Administrative Manager of the Regional Children's Psychiatric Centre of Northeast Mental Health Centre (Sudbury Campus). Mental Health has lost a true Champion, Advocate, and Leader.
Arnold's constant, predictably warm, assured manner, his big hearted mindful compassion,and skilful leadership will be remembered every bit as much as it will be missed. He had a remarkable respect and commitment to the highest of clinical and ethical standards.
We, his friends and colleagues have lost someone whose appetite for living and zest for whatever project he had on the go had a tendency to become a part of our own lives.
His work covered a number of areas: Native Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, advanced service planning, the multiprofessional team, and Quality of Care. He held office in a number of Provincial and National Organizations, notably in National Suicide Prevention.
Arnold worked for NEMHC for two years. Prior to coming to Sudbury he worked for Dilico, a Native Service Agency, based at The Lakehead in Northwest Ontario. Originally a Teacher of Special Needs Children, Arnold pursued a calling to Social Work which, in turn, lead to pioneering work in Native Mental Health in Northern Quebec and Northwest Ontario.
Arnold was an Athlete in the most sincere way. An elite collegiate runner in his youth, he progressed through marathons, triathlons before immersing himself in the world of Cycling. A recent, second, broken collarbone was taken in the best of spirits along with the good natured teasing that followed. Arnold had become a world authority on Six Day Racing and was writing on this subject in a scholarly way.
Arnold has left us through the Western Door, all too soon.We will celebrate his memory through his work, its continuation , and our commitment to his Values.
Our Condolences, Love, and Thoughts go out to Mona, his widow, Meagan his daughter, and Aziz his grandson."

Dr. D. Marr
Program Medical Director
Regional Children's Psychiatric Centre
Northeast Mental Health Centre
Sudbury Campus

Dr. T. M. Quigg said...

I worked with Arnold during the 1990s at the Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. He was without doubt one of the most passionate advocates for First Nations health care that I have ever met. Through a period when we were dealing with a suicide crisis of such epic proportions that our communities had one of the highest suicide rates in the world, Arnold worked tirelessly to stem the tide of the epidemic. There is no doubt in my mind that his hard work and dedication in the midst of the crisis saved literally dozens of young lives.

It was truly an honour to know him and to serve with him.

He will be greatly missed by all that care about First Nations health care.

Dr. T. M. Quigg
Collingwood, Ontario

Steve said...

Have recently returned from St.Paul and the Devlin "celebration". Many thanks to Lynn, Bob and other friends and family who were so gracious w/ their homes, and memories. The Camp gang continues to exchanges stories of tales of Devlin as the hiking leader, including loading up other counselors' packs w/ rocks as a "joke". LIfe in the Big Ring! To Arnoldo!

Rochelle Vincent said...

Dear: Megan

I really don't know what to say, but Sorry for the loss of your father...I don't know if you'll remember who I'am(Rochelle Jeffries)...We went to school together in J.K...I tried looking for you in 2004 before I got married, but couldn't find you..Well I'd just thought I'd stop by and let you know your in my thought's and prayer's and hope to hear from you later.

EugeneV said...

" Je viens aujourd'hui d'apprendre la mort d' Arnold, et celà me rend infiniment triste ... J'avais pû apprécier sa gentillesse et son esprit de partage lors de nos échanges par e mail depuis deux années ... J'espère que le dernier voyage en Europe et notamment au Mémorial des combattants Canadiens en FRANCE aura été un grand souvenir pour lui ... J'aurais été heureux de le rencontrer ...

Toutes mes condoléances , et mes pensées affectueuses à sa famille ...

Je garderai longtemps le souvenir de ce bon camarade


Patrick POLICE

Catherine Grich said...

2yrs have passed since Arnold left us. I think of him almost every day. When I'm distracted I think that I should call Arnold and tell him about such and such. Then I remember that that is no longer possible. He was my older brother and a major influence in my life. I always looked to him for support and guidance, from the time when I was a toddler and he took me to a neighbor's to dry out after I fell into a pond, to the time he visited my at nursing school and I was upset over the treatment of my latest beau. He was already to go after him but I talked him out of it, though I was pleased that he cared so much. My mom told me that my first words were Arno and that one time she saw him put a newspaper on a neighbor's step so I could sit down without getting my snowsuit dirty.
I guess he was born taking care of others. When we were at Cape Cod he organized us to build a "hut" in the back yard using wood we found around town. It included a second story and window of real glass. We used it for everything, from eating lunch, a restaurant, a theater and finally for a duck house for 2 ducks we rescued from the duck farm in the next town. I remember that he ran out of duck food and rode his bike the 20miles to the farm and back, carrying a 25 lb bag of food. He was one remarkable person and I was blessed to have him in my life. I miss and hope that there really is a heaven and I will see him there sometime in the future. Cathy

Robert Schoen said...

When I first met Arnie and Ramona in 1969, there was no such thing as the Internet. There is now, and whe Arnie's name crossed my mind a few minutes ago, I did a Google search, only to discover he passed in 2008. I worked with him for a few short months in 1969 at a department store, Roos-Atkins, in downtown San Francisco, and for a short time we were friends--he took me to an indoor track meet and was well-versed in long-distance running. We went to a couple of parties together, where I was introduced to his lovely girlfriend, Ramona, aka Mona. We worked together through that Chrismas season, and then went our separate ways. I still live in N. California (Oakland).
My regards and belated condolences to Mona. Arnie was a great guy.

Robert Schoen
Oakland, CA