Janet Devine

November 8, 1929 - August 20, 2016
Portage, MI



Thursday, August 25, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

7:30 PM The Rosary will be recited.

Driving Directions


Friday, August 26, 2016
12:00 PM EDT
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 West Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-5165
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

St. Vincent dePaul Society
513 Eleanor Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 388-4544
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Janet Devine lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was accompanied by an unwavering faith and joy in her heart. A loving wife and mother, Jan was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren she treasured. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

The year 1929 is often remembered for the Great Depression with the crash of the stock market on October 29th that year. It was just after that historic October day that Guy and Gladys (Bryant) Kistler were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Janet Lou on November 8, 1929, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was the youngest of three children and was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Bud and Dave. Her father worked at Kistler Heating and Cooling and then at Shakespeare Company. He was an avid conservationist in Southwest Michigan. Her mother was known for being an excellent seamstress.

In many ways Jan was a young girl of her generation. She enjoyed things like roller skating, riding bikes, and spending time at the family cottage on Wolf Lake where she did plenty of swimming and fishing. Jan attended local schools and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1947. From there she went on to study occupational therapy at Western Michigan University.

After graduation, Jan went to Wallum Lake, Rhode Island, where she worked as the Director of Occupational Therapy at the State Sanatorium. It was there that she met the love of her life, Joseph Devine, who was a teacher there. Although they both had eyes for others initially, they connected and their love grew. Jan and Joe enjoyed being together and went dancing, hiking, and were even in a play together. After a bit more than a year, they were married on June 19, 1954, at St. Joseph Church by Fr. Fitz. The newlyweds then spent their honeymoon in Warren’s Point in Little Compton, Rhode Island, and Joe worked as a lifeguard there that summer. They then moved to South Bend, Indiana, that fall where he attended Notre Dame. While there, they were blessed with their first two children. Joe’s work took them all over the world including to Naples, Italy, and Adana, Turkey, which is where they welcomed their third child into their hearts and home. The Devine family also went to Wiesbaden, Germany and Sculthorpe, England, where their family grew with their fourth child. They really loved traveling Europe, but with a growing family they moved to Jamestown, Rhode Island, and later to Cranston, Rhode Island, where their family was completed with the births of their last two children. One final job change brought them full circle to Portage, Michigan. Jan was a loving and devoted mother who was there to support her children in all their events and activities.

Throughout her life Jan was one to keep busy. She was a faith filled woman who was very active at her church, St. Catherine’s. She was an integral part of the Befrienders and also knit prayer shawls and prayed the rosary. Later, she became involved in ministry formation. Although she was focused on raising her children during their younger years, Jan took a position at Bronson Hospital working the information desk and as a switchboard operator. She spent about 15 years there before retiring in 1995.

Even after retiring Jan remained busy. Jan always loved the holidays and was an amazing hostess for Thanksgiving and Christmas with extended family both in Rhode Island and in Michigan. As husbands passed away, Jan remained close to her sisters-in-law. She annually returned to Rhode Island where she enjoyed clam chowder and lobster rolls at George’s Restaurant in Galilee. She also had annual trips to California to visit Michelle, Susan, John, and their families. She had a love for the water – oceans and lakes, and collected lighthouses reflecting the many places she visited. A sports fan, Jan loved following Notre Dame and football in general. As a music fan she liked big band and Gaelic music as well as music from Frank Sinatra.

Described as spiritual, insightful, genuine, and compassionate, Janet Devine was a blessing to everyone she met. She had the sort of smile that could light up a room, and she could effortlessly build up others and make them feel safe no matter what was going on. Jan treasured her family, and she always said how they were her lifelong gifts who blessed her long after she said goodbye to her beloved husband. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

Janet K. Devine, of Portage, died August 20, 2016, at White Oaks Assisted Living, Lawton. Jan’s family includes 6 children: Michelle (Michael) Munn, Patrick (Debbie) Devine, Susan (Gary) Heppell, John (Mac) Devine, Karen (Jeff) Townsend and Diane (Phil) Salinas; 15 grandchildren: Austin Munn and Kaitlin DeMers, Joseph Devine and Erin Hines, Kristi Devine, Tyson, Ross and Shane Gregg, Rebecca, Samuel and Catherine Townsend, Jacob, Nicholas, Alexandria and Jessica Salinas; 11 great-grandchildren and many favorite nieces and nephews. Jan was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Devine in 1996 and by 2 brothers: Bud and Dave Kistler. Visit with family and friends on Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where a rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday 12 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church followed by a luncheon in the church hall. Burial will take place Monday 2:30 p.m. Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Jan’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent DePaul.