Former educator and active community member John Devos, 77, died at his home Thursday.
Devos taught in the Union School District from 1965 through 1995.
Longtime friend Leroy Strubberg served with Devos in the Union Ambulance District. The two met when Devos moved to Union.
“I have known him since day one,” Strubberg said. “He was very much loved as a teacher.”
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. the Oltmann Funeral Home in Union. Burial will be private.
Devos was born in Belgium on March 22, 1935, and lived there during World War II during both German and American occupations. In 1946 he came to America by himself; his mother came earlier.
In 1954 he graduated high school and in 1962 he graduated from the University of Missouri.
In February 1963 he married Mabel and moved to Union where he started a family. He has three sons and three permanent foster children and five foster grandchildren.
“He is an exceptional individual and always involved in the community,” Strubberg said.
Devos was chairman for the building of Stierberger Stadium and coordinating the community drive for the high school track.
Strubberg noted that in 1969 Devos joined the Union Ambulance Service, an all-volunteer force which he signed up for duty and made many runs.
He donated his time to learn how to be a paramedic and then taught others in Union how to be EMTs.
“That was type of dedication he had,” Strubberg said.
He has served on the ambulance association board and including serving as president.
In 1974, Devos helped organize the Union Ambulance District.
For 12 years Devos worked with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and helped organize an Explorer post. He went to camp with each of the groups.
Also for 12 years he was involved with the Union Band Boosters and twice served as its president.
Devos served on the Union R-XI School Board and helped form the Union Optimist Club.
He has been involved with the Franklin County board for the handicapped and was very active during the preparation of the current Rainbow Center.
Devos served on the R-XI Foundation for 20 years, from 1986 to present. He was instrumental in the continuity on the different foundation boards. He served as secretary for several years and was responsible for helping set up the scholarship program.
Devos had served on the board of directors at the County Seat Senior Center.
Devos was a recipient of a Union Area Chamber of Commerce Long Haul Service Award.