Joseph Robert Devine


CHIEF Joseph Robert Devine, 88, of Merrimack, NH and Edgewater, FL passed away surrounded by family on February 7, 2022. Born February 25, 1933, Joe was the son of Joseph S. Devine and Gladys (Evans) Devine. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. Joe received a Bachelor’s Degree from Bryant University. Joe proudly served in the US Army during the Korean War. Starting his police career in the Army as a Military Police Officer on Governor’s Island in New York. After the death of his father, Joe was discharged from the Army and began his law enforcement career at the Johnston Police Department. Exceling through the ranks, Joe retired as the Deputy Chief in Johnston after 17 years of service. He continued his calling in public safety as a Chief in St. Johnsbury, VT; Claremont, NH and later settled in Merrimack, NH where he proudly served the Town of Merrimack for 22 years as their Chief of Police retiring in 2002. Joe’s exemplary service to public safety was often recognized as being an innovator of community policing. One of Joe’s favorite pastimes was out on the golf course. He started as a caddy as a young boy and grew to love this hobby. He recalled his hole in one story many times and would clutter his shed with endless “found” golf balls. Besides Joe’s accomplished career in law enforcement his greatest loves were his loving wife of 46 years, Debra and his son, Joey. Joe loved spending time watching and coaching Joey play sports, vacationing with family or golfing with his friends and colleagues. He was often seen volunteering and participating in the community that he helped flourish. In 2002 following his retirement, Joe and Debbie became snowbirds and loved their time in the sun at their home in Edgewater, Florida. Joe often called it the best of both worlds, sunny days year-round.  Joe was blessed beyond measure when he became a “Hop” to his three grandsons, Nathan, Jacob and Lucas; the second generation of “the three Devine sons”. Hop was a pivotal monument at sporting events where he was found cheering on the boys. Along with his parents, he is predeceased by his brothers, William Devine, Donald Devine, Edward Devine and sister, Evelyn (Devine) Zukel. Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Debra (McCauley) Devine, his son, Joseph Devine, Jr. and his wife, Keri (Mayo) Devine; grandsons, Nathan, Jacob and Lucas Devine and a loving extended family.  Please honor Joe the way he would have greeted you, a smile and a handshake. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the Merrimack Crimeline c/o Chief Joseph R. Devine Scholarship Fund, PO Box 701, Merrimack, NH 03054 or the Home, Health and Hospice Care, 7 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack, NH 03054. Services were held on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 from 4-7pm at Rivet Funeral Home in Merrimack, NH. A funeral was held on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 10:00am at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Merrimack, NH. The burial will be held privately with the family in Johnston, RI.