William Clarke Devereux, 90, died on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, succumbing to the cancer he had so valiantly battled. Clarke, as he was known to his friends, was born in Chicago on May 18, 1931, to William Patrick Devereux and Margaret McCormick Devereux. He attended Resurrection Grammar School and was a proud 1949 graduate of St. Ignatius. At Ignatius, he played football and ran track and continued with football and track at Loras College, until interrupted by the draft. He served in the army during the Korean War as a first sergeant. In 1995, at the dedication of the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C., he was proud to find that his photo was one of those chosen to be etched in the wall of the memorial. After the war, he returned to graduate from Loras.
In 1956, he married Patsy McGowan, his senior prom date and the love of his life. They raised their family in Oak Park and River Forest where enjoyed supporting his children’s teams, scouting, and activities while at St. Edmund School. As the father of daughters, he helped found the grade school girls’ basketball team and tournament. The father of five Trinity graduates, he always held a special place in his heart for Trinity.
He founded the Devco Foil Stamping and Embossing Company, now run by his son, Doyle, and thoroughly enjoyed his career as a character actor appearing in over 10 films, including Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Stepmom, Adventures in Babysitting, and Only the Lonely. A constant as an usher at the 10:30 Mass at St. Luke, in over 30 years he only missed 10:30 Mass when he was traveling the world with Patsy. He loved encouraging his grandchildren to swim, read, and travel the world. Clarke, or Pa, as he was known to those who loved him most, made an indelible impression on everyone he met.
Clarke is survived by his wife, Patricia, and his seven children, Mary Pat, Monica (Chris Columbus), Clare (James) Roche, Clarke (Kathleen), Aimee, Doyle (Meredith), and Elizabeth, and his 18 grandchildren, Robert Ayres, Patrick Ebzery, Mary Monica Ebzery, Eleanor Columbus, Brendan Columbus, Violet Columbus, and Isabella Columbus, Mary Clare Roche, Michael Roche, Clarke Roche, Rose Roche, and Daniel Roche, Maeve Devereux, McCormick Devereux, and Quinn Devereux, Desta Clare Devereux and Mimi Elizabeth Devereux, and Dominic Devereux. He is also survived by Sr. Margaret Devereux, BVM, Marilyn (the late Joseph) Lawlor, Joseph (Joan) Devereux, Maureen (the late Martin) McGowan, James (the late Maria) McGowan, and John (Judith) McGowan; and many nieces and nephews. Clarke was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Angela Devereux Ebzery.
Visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 25, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Peterson-Bassi Chapels 6938 W. North Ave. Friends are asked to meet Saturday, Nov. 26, at St. Luke Church for Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m., followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.