The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 23, 2013

John ‘Jack’ James DeVenney

Hickory High’s 1st drum major was civic organizer


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---- — WETUMPKA, Ala. -- John “Jack” James DeVenney, a resident of Wetumpka, passed away early Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013, in his home. He was 88.

Mr. DeVenney was born Aug. 28, 1924, in the Pittsburgh area to John James DeVenney and Clara Belle Shetler DeVenney.

Raised in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Jack was the first drum major and drummer at Hickory High School, Hermitage. He was also a drum major for the U.S. Navy’s Drum and Bugle Corps while he served for almost three years during World War ll, seeing battle in the South Pacific and Guam.

He was then transferred to Washington, D.C., where he served in communications in the White House and Pentagon. During that time, he also traveled throughout the United States teaching twirling and auxiliaries.

In the mid-’60s, he met and married Shirley Dunford Ross and moved to Wetumpka. He organized many civic events for the city, including Christmas on the Coosa, New Year’s ball drop/media display, Fourth of July celebration, Crate Race and Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor observances.

He and Shirley conducted halftime camps at 23 major universities and several European countries which included national competition at Notre Dame University in Indiana with more than 5,000 participants. He was National Rules Commissioner for the National Baton Twirling Association.

Jack retired from Bell Telephone Co., Sharon. He and Shirley owned and operated A Touch of Class, a ladies clothing, formal and bridal store in Wetumpka.

Mr. DeVenney is survived by: his wife, Shirley, Wetumpka; a daughter, Kelly Wood, Chattanooga, Tenn.; sons, Kai DeVenney and his wife Peggy Sue, Knoxville, Tenn.; and Master Sgt. Krist DeVenney and his wife Amber, Duke Air Force Base, Navarre, Fla.; a sister, Colleen Radish, Howland Township, Trumbull County; sisters-in-law, Mary Louise DeVenney, Shenango Township; Kathleen “Kathy” DeVenney, Hermitage; and Glenda Fowler and her husband Joe, and Kathy Davis, all Wetumpka; seven grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Betty Lou Kahl and her husband Jim; Pickens Osborne and her husband Alfred Harvey; and Anthony “Tony” L. DeVenney and Richard “Dick” W. DeVenney.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jack’s name to Elmore County Humane Society, 255 Central Plank Road, Wetumpka, AL 36092; or DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Attention: Gift Processing, Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.



Calling hours: The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today (5-24-13) in ELLISON FUNERAL HOME, 8801 U.S. Route 231, and 10 a.m. to time of service Saturday (5-25-13) in First United Methodist Church, 308 Tuskeena St., both Wetumpka.

Service: Funeral services at 11 a.m. Saturday in the church with the Rev. Kevin Kelly, pastor, officiating.

Interment: Will follow with full military honors in Pine View Memorial Gardens, Wetumpka.