In Memory

Don DeVola

BORN: October 31, 1949 (in Kansas)
DIED: January 29, 1974 (San Francisco, California)

From The San Francisco Chronicle - Thursday, January 31, 1974

Gate Bridge Jumper Is Identified

    The 24-year-old man who plunged to his death from  the Golden Gate Bridge Tuesday was identified yesterday as Donald R. Devola, a stock clerk. 

    Devola climbed over the rail on the bridge at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.  His body was recovered two hours later by two Army MPs near Fort Point.

    Devola, according to a friend, had lived in San Francisco for eight months.  Since he arrived here from Wichita, Kan., he worked in several stores as a stock clerk. 

    Leroy Stevens, the friend who identified Devola’s body, said the two had shared an apartment until two weeks ago.

   “We had a lot of talks.” Stevens said.  “He just couldn’t handle life.”  Stevens came to San Francisco with Devola from Kansas.



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09/01/08 04:01 PM #1    

Connie Hale (Rhodes)

This tall handsome fellow and I walked together down First Street about everyday from Chisholm to the front gate of his Aunt (s) house where I said good-bye with a wave.

Don was a quiet young man with deep rooted conversations. He was a beautiful gifted pianist. His long strong fingers would literally fly over those keys leaving me in amazement.

I always felt that Don could and would achieve his dreams in all things. And I felt such a deep disappointment and hurt in my soul at his passing.

I can’t help but wonder if I failed him as a classmate, friend, as a child in Christ as we sat together in Sunday school or what ever… I still feel saddened at his lonely passing.

01/05/09 05:15 PM #2    

Leroy Buller

Don was a very nice person. Would not have hurt a fly. I went to school with Don from grade school. He was a boy being raised by a very proper Mother. Don was rather special because he did not have the experience of having a father in the home. His Mother raised him with a tendency to look at the world from a female perspective. That caused Don a lot of grief.

I remember in Sophomore gym class, Don was one of the very few guys to accomplish (if my memory serves me right) 15 pull ups - pull ups! Heck, I could not do one!

Rest in Peace Don....

07/10/14 03:12 PM #3    

Beverly Roberson (Jackson)

Don was a great friend from the time we met when his Aunt counseled at scout camp through high school.  We used to skip school together to play piano whereever there was a fantastic instrument.  His passing years ago greatly affected my life. I have devoted years of my career to ensuring that his life lessons would not be lost.



07/03/16 06:37 PM #4    

Tom Collier

From Judy Entz (Bauer)

Don was so handsome... so sophisticated... so gracious... he gave me his friendship and I will be eternally grateful.

This world was never meant for one As beautiful as you. For they could not love you. But still your love was true. And when no hope was left inside On that starry, starry night You took your life as lovers often do. Now, I understand, what you tried to say to me... And how you suffered for your sanity... And how you tried to set them free. They would not listen, they did not know how. Perhaps they'll listen now.

from Don McLean's "Vincent"


Tom -

Yes, please do add my post... I think those that knew him well will understand it without any further explanation. He once played Starry Starry Night for me in his campus apartment at Bethel College.  I worried then that he might be suicidal. We were close friends in the art department and at campus events. He often played piano for me and I have not heard such rich music before or since... he was very gifted and his playing blessed me.

I would like to make contact with Don's mother if she is still living. (In 1974 she sent me a letter with that San Francisco newspaper clipping and a personal note.)

Judy Entz (Judy Bauer, friend from Bethel College days.)

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