July 30, 2021
Thomas Jerome Devine, of Houston, TX, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on July 30, 2021. He was 87 years old. Born in Houston, TX on January 9, 1934, to the late James Joseph & Amelia Myres Devine, Tom was one of five children. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a law degree and was licensed to practice in the State of Texas in 1959. Tom was a Life Member of the Ex-Students Association at UT, an avid Houston Astro fan, and enjoyed a bit of golf from time to time. Always determined to succeed, Tom answered the call of entrepreneurship at a very young age when he started selling the Saturday Evening Post and Collier magazines door to door in the third grade. Tom lived by a philosophy that his dad instilled in him at a young age: No job degrades a man; a man degrades himself by doing a poor job. He carried that truth with him throughout his life as he started practicing law in Austin, TX which ultimately led him to forming the first commercial polygraph testing company in the U.S. that earned him a spot on national tv, an editorial in Time magazine, and write-ups in over 50 newspapers globally. He also lived by the doctrine of Scroll III from The Greatest Salesman In The World that reads, “I will persist until I succeed”, which is exactly what he did when he obtained the exclusive license to distribute ICEE in 11 nations and over 40 cities in the United States thereby becoming the founder and President of National ICEE Corporation. Tom was also the CEO of Dallas Systems, Inc., played a critical role in helping the startup of Afro-American Distributors, operated a picture framing franchise called Frame Factory for 26 years, and designed/licensed a medical processor that would save hospitals and the environment by disposing of medical waste onsite. After licensing the medical waste patented technology to BFI, Tom continued to explore new challenges and at 74 years old, he hosted a radio show on 950 AM called, “Small Business Radio Talk Show” that was designed to help entrepreneurs solve the most common problems with buying/selling a business, franchising, and commercial leases. Tom was a guest lecture at both Rice University and The University of Houston, sharing his business and legal wisdom with hundreds of students. At 85 years old, he once again charged forward in his pursuit to empower the small business owner by writing and publishing the book, Starting, Operating, and Terminating a Small Business. Tom was a beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and entrepreneurial pioneer whose innovation, perseverance, strength, love, and devotion will be forever remembered by those who had the privilege to know and love him. He loved his family & friends unconditionally and encouraged his daughters to do the same by using love to open the hearts of others and greet each day with love in their hearts. He thoroughly enjoyed watching his grandchildren come of age and took great pride in all their accomplishments. Tom lived his life by the covenants of the Holy Bible and because of that, he never met a stranger. He loved selflessly, believed in serving his fellow man, and thought about others before himself. He was fiercely patriotic and carried the Constitution in his shirt front pocket daily as a reminder of the supreme law of the United States. Tom was preceded in death by his parents James Joseph & Amelia Myres Devine; sister, Patricia Devine Nielsen; brother James Bernard Devine; brother-in-law Charles Boyce; and nephew J.J. Devine. Left to honor Tom and remember his devotion are his beloved sisters Ann Devine Nutt and her husband Winston; and Rosemary Devine Boyce. He will also live on through his four daughters Tara Devine Poer and her husband, Steve; Tracy Devine Chipley and her husband, Brent; Jody Devine McGuffee and her husband, Dion; and Toni Devine Chandler and her husband, Rick, and stepdaughter, Seleesha Mathews and her husband, Jason. He was a proud Poppa/PaPa Tom to 16 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He was also the beloved Uncle Tommy to many nieces and nephews. In addition to his family, Tom was loved and cared for by many close family and friends. Greg Schutte, was Tom’s business partner, dinner buddy and close trusted friend. Ed Clarkson, a friend since college who remained involved with Tom weekly until his final days. Anne Devine, Tom’s niece was also a close friend and support during his final months. All were very loved by Tom and their friendship was greatly appreciated. Tom’s family would like to extend gratitude to all the staff at Heart-to-Heart Hospice and the Magnolia EMS for their attentiveness and loving care during his final days. The family will greet friends who wish to pay their respects on October 8, 2021, at 10 am at Evelyn’s Park, 4400 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire, Texas 77401, for a Celebration of Life Reception. Graveside services and burial will be held on October 9, 2021, at 10 am at Oakwood Cemetery, Waco Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Tom’s name to: St Thomas High School, 4500 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77007-7332 The Addison family and staff of Magnolia Funeral Home extend condolences to Thomas' family and friends during this difficult time. The services mentioned above are being completely organized by the family with assistance from various ones in the cities mentioned.
Thomas Jerome Devine, of Houston, TX, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on July 30, 2021. He was 87 years old. Born in Houston, TX on January 9, 1934, to the late James Joseph & Amelia Myres Devine, Tom was one of five... View Obituary & Service Information
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