Date of death: 11/16/2018
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1948
(News story) Andy Devine, who continued as a force in support of children, and especially parents, even decades after retiring as the first judge of Lucas County Juvenile Court, died Friday in Mercy Health St. Anne Hospital. He was 96. He had developed sepsis, his daughter Laurie Jacob said. Just days earlier he was at a board meeting of the Parents Institute at Lourdes University in Sylvania, which the institute calls his “brainchild.” It opened in 2014. “He was charming and driven, and when he had a mission, he wouldn’t let it go,” his daughter said. Judge Devine since the early 1990s had told others of the need for an interdisciplinary center that combined education, research, and parental involvement. “I can speak from a lot of experience on the bench of the importance of parents and how the community is supporting or not supporting them,” Judge Devine told The Blade in 2003. Dan Pompa, a retired administrator of juvenile court, said: “It was always about passion. There was work to be done. He saw he had to do it. He had to be a leader. “He was a good person, and he did a lot of good for this community,” said Mr. Pompa, who regarded the judge as a mentor. “This community is a better place because of Andy.” Judge Devine was elected in 1976 to the new juvenile court judgeship. He had urged legislation to create such a specific judgeship in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. He did not seek re-election in 1988, although he was a visiting judge for several years. “He considered the juvenile court judgeship the most important elected position in the county, because it had as its purpose the protection of all the children in the county,” Mr. Pompa said. In the late 1970s, he introduced the Court Appointed Special Advocate program, best known as CASA, to Lucas County Juvenile Court. He’d heard a presentation by the director of the first CASA program, based in Seattle. Once home, he asked the Junior League of Toledo to investigate how CASA could work in Lucas County. Months later, the Junior League led the first training, and the program has continued since. He also enlisted the Junior League as he started CARES, or Chemical Abuse Reduced Through Education and Services, and spoke around the country on the importance of addiction prevention. “He was one of the first people in this country to recognize the issue of substance abuse as it related to teenagers, especially delinquent teens,” Mr. Pompa said. Judge Devine served on state and national associations of juvenile court judges and juvenile justice groups. He was an early board member as the Rev. Everett Mills in the early 1980s founded Mountain Mentors to pair local adults with juvenile offenders for a backpacking journey to New Hampshire – and guidance once home. Judge Devine persuaded the juvenile probation department to help with funding. A lawyer and Democrat, Mr. Devine was successfully elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1954 and served three two-year terms. He served one term as a Lucas County commissioner, during which he promoted – unsuccessfully – a charter form of government for the county. He took a respite from politics in 1965 and 1966 and was elected to Toledo City Council in 1967. He was sponsor of the city’s handgun control ordinance and in 1968 the gun licensing office issued him identification card No. 1. He later served as housing judge on Toledo Municipal Court. “He made friends easily, and he had a lot of people who were working on his side,” his son Patrick said. “He won election after election, because people knew who he was. He was a hard campaigner. He was a good self promoter.” Formerly Old West End residents, he and his wife lived in South Toledo in recent decades. In the 1980s, Sophia Lloyd, a young woman who’d lived at Miami Children’s Home, stayed with the Devines while attending college. “She and my dad became especially close, and she and her family are part of our family to this day,” his daughter said. Mr. Devine was born Dec. 4, 1921, in Shelby, Ohio, to Rose and Dennis Devine. With an eye toward the priesthood, he left Shelby High School and attended seminary, including St. Meinrad in Indiana. “He thought was called to something else, and it turned out to be public service,” his daughter said. He received his law degree from Marquette University and was a member of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Parish. Surviving are his wife, the former Lorene Hecker, whom he married Oct. 3, 1953; sons, Patrick, James, and Paul Devine; daughters, Mary Ellen “Mimi” Devine-Touhey, Laura Jacob, and Jean Spinazze; 20 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.