Christian 07

Robert Larry De Vault

August 7, 1936 ~ January 19, 2022 (age 85)


Robert Larry De Vault

Robert Larry De Vault was born on August 7th 1936 to Robert Hugh De Vault and Aureita (Dalton) De Vault in Fairmont, West Virginia.  Nine years later, his only sibling and brother, Keith Dalton De Vault, was born.  Larry said of his baby brother “he was the most beautiful baby with fluffy, curly blonde hair.  I was so happy I wasn’t alone anymore.”  The two brothers were lifelong friends and continued to play chess together over text during Larry’s last months of life.

Larry graduated from Fairmont State College, Fairmont, West Virginia, and completed a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry on a fellowship at Purdue University in Indiana.  Go Boilmakers!  He was proud of his educational achievements and would talk science with anyone who would listen and engage.  This year, 2022, he finally reached lifetime membership with the American Chemical Society.  He was proud of this accomplishment because, as he told his children, “I never have to pay yearly dues again.”

He met Julia Sue Hudson in Fairmont in 1955 and they married on February 1st 1957 at the United Methodist Church in Fairmont.  They were the best of friends and were always holding hands.  Soon their children came along, Adonica in 1957; Robert in 1958; Juliana in 1958; and, Charlotte in 1963.  Larry and Julie created a loving home for their family.  Favorite events included trips to the Jersey Shore, holiday meals, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree - dad hung the lights, the kids hung the ornaments, and mom finished the tree with perfectly placed tinsel.  Movies with big buckets of buttered popcorn were matters of great importance as were games.  The game of Hearts was popular with a (mostly) healthy amount of competition.  Recently, the family added Five Crowns and Train Dominoes. Larry played games up until the last few weeks of his life and even grew to be comfortable with losing on occasion.

Oh, and there was music!  Larry sang in church choirs and community chorales and theater.  He once directed the musical “Carousel” to perfection.  But, what he loved the most was Barbershop music.  He was the bass in several quartets including “The Four Closures”; “ The Empire Statesmen”; and “The Skyliners.”  Larry sang in several choruses and under the direction of Jay Giallombardo the chorus won the international silver medal several times. There are two kinds of singers in the world: those that sing bass and those who want to sing bass!

In Larry’s professional life as a biochemist, he worked at Bristol Laboratories, New York, and Abbott Laboratories, Illinois.  With research teams, he was awarded 10 patents for work in antibiotic research.  Forever a scientist and researcher, he chose to change careers and support laboratories around the country in pharmaceutical sales. Once, he traveled to England to assist with specialized laboratory equipment.  There he purchased an English tea set for Julie.  This tea set remains a treasure to the family.

His research went beyond the lab as he managed Julie’s type two diabetes.  Pin pricks, insulin, charts, and graphs became his focus for 22 years until Julie suddenly died of a stroke in the Spring of 2002.  His heart was shattered.  He clung to his children and they to him.  They managed the best they could as they struggled to adjust to the loss of the central figure in the family.

Larry found comfort and new life in Catherine “Kate” Pirro.  They met in the church choir (of course) and married in the Spring of 2003.  Central to their life together was the Presbyterian Church of Palm Harbor and The Clearwater Choral.  They enjoyed crossword puzzles and daily comics.  Larry integrated Kate’s four children and four grandchildren without hesitation.

Larry continued his research in areas of autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s trying to discover how to care for people he loved.  Science and scientific research are difficult to understand and cures are always hiding.  He read material and looked for ways to raise the quality of life for those suffering.  This was the best way for him to care.  And while his children and family sometimes thought his ideas a bit far-fetched, they admired his efforts.

Everything changed for Larry in July 2021 when he suffered a mild stroke.  He rebounded in many ways - his sharp mind and humor were still with him.  However, he lost the ability to care for himself and Kate.  He moved in with his daughter, Charlotte, and son, Rob.  Everyone was hopeful for a strong recovery; however, the prostate cancer that Larry had been managing, reared an ugly head.  The last several weeks of Larry’s life have been surrounded by his children.  Taking turns they, along with his grandchildren, provided him with love and care.  They shared many, many memories and reminded Larry that he has loved well.  

Now, Larry is in the arms of angels including his parents, his favorite Aunt Hazel Custer, his beautiful wife, Julia, and his nephew, K. Michael De Vault.  He is survived by his wife Kate; his brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Judy, who have already been officially declared the patriarch and matriarch of the De Vault family (God bless them!). His children will never forget him.  He leaves Adonica Lynne De Vault (Kathryn Spencer); of Portland, Oregon; Robert Larry De Vault, Jr. of Oldsmar; Juliana Mae De Vault Heidlauff (Ken), of Crested Butte, Colorado; and Charlotte Lee De Vault May of Oldsmar.  His grandchildren include Maegan Alberico (Stephen), Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Adrienne Crawford (David), Tucson, Arizona; Meredith Chesney (Tim), Cleveland, Ohio; and Meranda, Makenzie, and Michael May, the Chicago area.  His 11 great grandchildren will hear tales of their “Paparonni” for many years to come.  They include Avery, Lucius, Eden, and Shiloh Alberico; Bentley, Clayton, Lillian, and Micah Crawford; and Abby, Macallan and Harrison Chesney.

Kate’s children also hold dear memories of Larry “Papa.”  They include Kathleen Pirro; Elizabeth Wilson, Anthony Pirro (Karla Demas) and Dorothy Pirro.  Grandchildren include Madelyn, Emanuel, and Maya Wilson, and Deen Hassan.  Additionally, Kate’s sister and brother-in-law, Richard and Dee Hudgens were loving and supportive to Larry.

Psalm 96:1-2

“Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord all the Earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name.”

Larry has joined the choir of angels and it’s a good thing as they were in need of a strong bass.  To remember Larry, sing a song, play a game, or watch a movie with a big bowl of popcorn.  And please do it with those you love - life is so much better that way!

Memorial Service for Robert Larry De Vault

The Office King of Kings Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon, is inviting you to scheduled Zoom meeting. Please Note that this service will be Held in:

Pacific Time: 1 PM

Arizona/Mountain Time: 2 PM

Central Time: 3 PM

Eastern Time 4 PM

Topic: Robert Larry De Vault Memorial Service

Time: Jan 23, 2022, 01:00 PM (US and Canada)

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