For 29 years, Dennis and Kathleen Devlin were man and wife, parents to four children. In a house on a small hill in upstate New York, they watched sunsets and laid plans to grow old together.
But Dennis Devlin, a battalion chief for the New York City Fire Department, is gone now, leaving Mrs. Devlin to try and hold on to their bond.
So, Chief. Devlin's hobbies have become her hobbies. Every morning, she's out on a three mile run, a habit she never cared for when her husband was alive, but one she hopes now will prepare her for a coming race that she is planning in his honor.
"I can hear him sometimes telling me not to get tired, pushing me," she said.
It is also because of her husband that no day passes without Mrs. Devlin thumbing through one of the 23 photo albums Chief Devlin labored over, for decades, meticulously labeling and dating each photograph. (The last photo he ever entered, taken three months before Sept. 11, was one of him in a helicopter flying over Lower Manhattan, staring at the World Trade Center.)
"We complained about him taking so many pictures, everywhere we went," she said. "But having those albums now is such a joy. We all look at them and think how blessed we are that he took the time and that we were a happy family."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 9, 2001.
Dennis L. Devlin, 51, a 23-year resident of Washingtonville, New York, a New York Fire Department battalion chief of the 3rd division in Manhattan, died at the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Visitation is scheduled for Friday, September 28, 2001, 5-9 p.m., at David T. Ferguson Funeral Home Inc., 20 North Street, Washingtonville. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m., at St. Mary's Church, Washingtonville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are appreciated to Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York, Widows and Children's Fund, 204 East 23rd Street, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10010 or Engine 75 Ladder 33, World Trade Center Fund, 2175 Walton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468. Arrangements entrusted to David T. Ferguson Funeral Home Inc., Washingtonville, New York.