L. Charles DeVoe

L. Charles "Chuck" DeVoe

Born in Indianapolis March 18, 1930, passed away peacefully at age 83 on December 28, 2013 after a 3 month battle with Melanoma cancer. He will be greatly missed by family, and by his worldwide network of friends.

Chuck enjoyed a full and successful life. He met his life companion, Jody, at age 15 in dancing class. They married at age 22, and enjoyed 61 - 1/2 years of marriage, friendship, travel and adventures.

Chuck excelled in all things athletic. He was the oldest of 3 brothers - all athletes - and a nationally ranked junior tennis player. He also played basketball and football at Park School.

Chuck attended Princeton University, where he was part of the great class of 1952. While there, Chuck captained the basketball team and was named to the All Ivy League team. He also played tennis. Chuck never lost a singles or doubles match in the three years he played varsity tennis at Princeton.

After Princeton, Chuck served in the Korean War as a second lieutenant in the artillery branch of the U.S. Army. In Korea, he helped build a basketball court on the frozen ground on which he and other officers played games against other military units.

Chuck returned home and joined the family business, the L. M. DeVoe Company (manufacturer's representatives in the electronic industry). His professional life exemplifies his entrepreneurial spirit. He helped many start their own businesses, and helped his son Michael acquire and develop the Portage Point Inn in Onekama, MI.

Meanwhile, Chuck continued his pursuits and successes in tennis and basketball. In tennis, Chuck went on to win 11 Indiana State men's championships. He played in the U.S. Clay Court tournaments held in Indianapolis annually into his 40s, including a memorable win over #3 nationally ranked Charlie Paserell when Chuck was 36.

In 1965, Chuck joined forces with his brothers John and Steve and others to found the Indianapolis Racquet Club, the first indoor tennis facility in Indiana.

At age 47, with Jody's encouragement, Chuck started playing the Senior Tennis circuit and enjoyed great success into his early 80s. He played matches in 17 different countries. He played on 20 U.S. Cup teams, winning 8 international titles. Chuck won 67 U.S. senior age group national titles (25 singles and 44 doubles); 13 European titles (5 singles and 8 doubles); and 3 World doubles titles. Chuck held the US #1 senior doubles ranking for 11 straight years, and was ranked #1 in senior singles in the US 4 different times, and #1 in the ITF at least once. This tennis success allowed Jody and Chuck to travel extensively, and to embrace a worldwide network of friends. Chuck was inducted into the Midwest Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 1967, Chuck was a founding owner, along with his brother John and other investors, of the ABA Indiana Pacers. Chuck served as President of the Pacers for 8 years, prior to their entry into the NBA. During Chuck's years of involvement, the Pacers were the most successful ABA franchise, winning 3 ABA Championships, and appearing in 5 ABA finals.

Chuck was a man always on the move. Sitting still was never an option. He was a fierce competitor in every arena of life - and he was always gracious whether he won or lost. Chuck embraced and championed diversity in sports, and the diversity that brought to the rest of society. His physical presence will be missed dearly, but his wonderful spirit and drive will live on to continue to inspire others. "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." Thomas Campbell.

Chuck is survived by his wife, Jody; his only surviving brother, Stephen E. DeVoe; his daughter Anne Lawler (Bainbridge Island, WA, husband Brian); sons Michael (Onekama, MI, wife Jane) and George (Indianapolis, wife Deidre); 7 grandchildren (Evan, Cameron and Patrick Lawler; Annie and Teddy DeVoe; and Ben and Andrew DeVoe); 1 great granddaughter (Lola Joy Lawler); and numerous sister and brother in laws and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Leslie M. and Edna DeVoe, and his brother John C. DeVoe.

Private services will be held. Friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Chuck's life at Woodstock Club on Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the NJTL (National Junior Tennis League).

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Published by The Indianapolis Star on Dec. 31, 2013.
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33 Entries
I recently learned of Chuck's passing. Chuck and I hit it off immediately. I was the tennis pro at Eagle Creek in Naples where Jody and Chuck were members. My uncle worked as a photographer for the Pacers back when Chuck was involved. Being from Mooresville,In I knew about Chuck from my interest in tennis and the connection from my Uncle. It was a dream come true to become friends with Chuck and play tennis with him. I was a young father and I learned so much about life from Chuck. He always took the time to talk to me about not just tennis but life. Chuck was always larger than life to me. My heart goes out to Jody and the whole family.
Michael Raymond
May 21, 2014
Chuck and I crossed paths as young tennis competitors. We were evenly matched and had great respect for each other's sportsmanship and skill. He's a role model for young men to follow. Steve Potts
April 20, 2014

Goodbye Chuck, Godspeed.

Robert J. Doner
January 28, 2014
Jody: Chuck was a prince. We all will miss him in the tennis world. My condolences and best wishes to you. God Bless you and hold you close.
Suella Steel
January 19, 2014
My condolences to the family. I enjoyed meeting Chuck and Jody at various international competitions. They were great people. My parents also send their condolences to Jody and the family. They miss seeing you at tournaments.
Carolyn Nichols
January 16, 2014
I had the good fortune to have had Chuck and all the DeVoes touch my life. What a blessing they have been to me in so many ways.
I once heard a minister say that if you can be a positive influence on 10 peoples lives you have been a success. In the case of Chuck I wonder how high that number really is.
Deepest sympathy to this fine family.
Brad Holmes
Brad Holmes
January 5, 2014
We all have lost a great gentleman, a wonderful person and a great friend. May time help heal this terrible moment f or. All of the Devoe family. My heart feels for you.
Bill Herman
January 5, 2014
I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck for the first time last summer. What a humble and genuine man. A true gentleman who left the world better off that he was here. He'll continue to be an inspiration.
Scott Tarter
January 4, 2014
One of the most dynamic men I had a privilege to meet. I regret not hearing more of his stories. My best to Jody and family. Tim Queisser
January 3, 2014
We met Chuck on his visits to Crooked Lake. Such a delightful and interesting personality. "A life well lived"
George & Colleen Banta
January 3, 2014
Chuck DeVoe was a true gentleman, in every sense of the word. He was one of the good guys.

He and Jody have been an integral part of my life since birth when Jody and my mother, Mary Bond, shared a hospital room as Anne (DeVoe Lawler) and I were born - 2 days apart. That formed a lifelong friendship between our two families, so much that I have always considered Jody and Chuck to be my second parents.

Chuck will be missed by many people and his ethics of “playing fair” should be emulated as it extended from business to sports to family and friends.
I will miss his sense of humor and genuine interest in others.

Our thoughts are with all of the DeVoes, especially Jody, as she ends one chapter and starts another.

Jody, we love you and hope that time will help you get through this.

Emily and Howdy Gilchrist
Sarah, Martha, Sam & Ashley
Emily Gilchrist
January 2, 2014
I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to attend Chuck's Celebration of Life. And what a wonderful life to celebrate! My heart goes out to you, Anne, Mike and George. I have fond memories of being with all of you during our childhoods. Your father was so kind to me when I was a little girl. My prayers are with you, your mother, and all of your families.
Susan Schaefer
January 2, 2014
Chuck was an amazing father-in-law, who blessed me with his love, wisdom, support and encouragement in the almost three decades I have been honored to be a part of his family. All my love to him and the love of his life, Jody. He will live on in my heart forever.
Jane DeVoe
January 2, 2014
I first met Chuck on a tennis court when we were both young men. I liked him immediately. However we did not see each other again for many years because I had quit competing in tennis. When we met again, we were separated by a tennis net, this time at a senior national grass court tournament. He beat me easily, and took pity on me following our short one-sided match. He explained to me what I needed to do in order to play on that strange grass surface---which seemed to me like a short cropped sheep pasture lined as a tennis court.

I began competing regularly in national tournaments. We became friends but that didn't stop him from beating me repeatedly on a whole variety of surfaces, denying me a chance for first place and a coveted gold ball trophy. Finally, he took pity on me and agreed to play tennis on the same side of the net in a grass court tournament. We were a strong doubles team and we won it. I had my first gold ball.

Lucy and I both have very fond memories of our times with Chuck and Jody, especially when Chuck and I played on the USA super senior cup teams and competed in international tournaments. My life was enriched by Chuck's friendship. I am sure there are many other people who feel that way, too. Our hearts are with Jody and the rest of Chuck's family.
Joseph Russell
January 1, 2014
I was only around Chuck on one or two occasions when I was with my friend and Chuck's son Mike, but he was so gracious and kind to me... my prayers go out to His wife and the family at a very difficult time.
January 1, 2014
Our Love and thoughts with the DeVoe family. Chuck was a wonderful man and will be missed dearly. <3 Guy & Kitty Markusfeld
Guy Markusfeld
December 31, 2013
A class act, and a major figure in the early years of the Pacers.
Mark Montieth
December 31, 2013
I can't think of a better role model for anyone--man, woman, young, old--than Chuck DeVoe. You knew he would never stop growing. An exceptionally well lived life.
Dan Hull
December 31, 2013
More than an incredible athlete...a true gentleman.

Jody, our hearts go out to you on this great loss.

Chuck, I know you're in heaven smiling down on my drop shots.

Rick Eichman
Rick Eichman
December 31, 2013
A Great Man.
Marty Gick
December 31, 2013
Chuck, my uncle, was a wonderful man. He was always kind and genuinely interested in people's lives. He will be missed.
Cindi Sparenblek
December 31, 2013
Chuck was always so kind to me and all
the South family. Jody my heart goes out to you. My mother love all of your wonderful family. God welcomes Chuck home. God Bless you all. Charlie South
December 31, 2013
I will miss Chuck greatly and will always remember our tennis hitting sessions while I was a tennis professional at Eagle Creek in Naples Fl.
Michael Brandon
December 31, 2013
Very sad to hear the news today, but will always remember the happy times we had together, both on and off the tennis court. Condolences to all the family from
Ian and Christine Dowdeswell
December 31, 2013
Chuck, my father-in-law, was always a thoughtful presence in our lives. He was a wonderful grandfather and mentor to Anne and my three sons. We miss him already.
Brian Lawler
December 31, 2013
Chuck DeVoe was an inspiration to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. I cannot think about Chuck without remembering his Jody, who was always there cheering for him and supporting him in all of his many endeavors. He left a legacy that his family and community will always cherish. His legacy will by deeply appreciated by boys and girls playing tennis in the National Junior Tennis League of Indianapolis. Love to all members of the DeVoe Family and his many friends. Love always! Barbara and John Wynne
December 31, 2013
Chuck was my hero for the 24 years I lived in Indianapolis! His tennis game was so perfectly beautiful to watch. Beyond that he was always such a gentleman. He shall live in my heart forever.
Jim Hansen
December 31, 2013
What beautiful memories you all share of such a great husband, father, grandfather, brother and kind man. May God wrap you in these memories and give you peace during this very difficult time of loss. His life was great and his presence will be missed.
Leslie Carey Wilson
December 31, 2013
What a man of accomplishment and family! You will be missed!
Karin Langlie Glass
Daughter of Arthur S. Langlie
Class of 52
December 31, 2013
My heart is heavy! Chuck was one of the 3 most influential men in my life! A friend, a teacher, and a father figure. A quiet,strong presence. It IS a gift to know him and he will live within me the rest of my life. I spend this New Years Eve day trying to control my tears. My condolances to all the Devoe clan.
Peace and Love,
Bill Marshall
William Marshall
December 31, 2013
Our memories of Chuck are very special. Let your memories comfort you. Lean on us to help in any way we can to comfort you. With Sympathy
Becky and Dave Hamilton
December 31, 2013
RIP Chuck. You led a wonderful life, an inspiration to all who knew you. You and your two brothers, Steve and John, show everyone what a life lived with grace and dignity can do for a community. I feel blessed to have known you and your brothers and I will miss your being part of the community you did so much for.
Randy Foxworthy
December 31, 2013
Sending thoughts and prayers to Jody and family. I have many memories of hearing about Chuck and Jody throughout the years from my parents, Jean and Dick Steele. I have always admired the fact that my mother, at age 83, still keeps in touch with her group of "high school friends" and I know how sad she was to learn of Chuck's passing.
Carol Broughton
December 30, 2013
Showing 1 - 33 of 33 results