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John O. DeVries II, real estate salesman

After serving in Marines, he played football at Maryland, lacrosse at Virginia

By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

6:04 PM EDT, July 11, 2012

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John Oliver DeVries II, a retired real estate salesman and former lacrosse player, died July 7 of complications after surgery at Gilchrist Hospice. He was 83 and had lived in Roland Park.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Keswick Road, he attended the old Mount Washington Country School for Boys and was a 1946 graduate of Loyola High School, where he played football and swam. He then enlisted in the Marine Corps and was stationed in Guam. He also played on a Marine football team.

After military service, he attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he played football. He earned a liberal arts degree at the University of Virginia, where he played lacrosse and was a 1951 All-America honorable mention. He belonged to the Zeta Psi Fraternity.

"He never changed in appearance or personality. He was a sweet, wonderful man," said E. Morgan "Puttie" Loane Jr., a fraternity brother and friend who lives in Lutherville.

While in college, he met his future wife, Nancy Marie Ferguson, who held the title of Miss Lynchburg, Va.

Family members said he continued to play lacrosse on the Mount Washington Club team until about 40 years ago. He had been team captain.

After working at Bethlehem Steel, he joined the old W.H.C. Wilson Co., a real estate firm, and sold residential properties in Roland Park, Ruxton and Guilford. He later worked at Hill & Co. and retired about 10 years ago.

"He was the quintessential gentleman and an honest Joe," said his godson, J. Carroll "Jake" Boone of Baltimore. "He worked hard for his clients, and they appreciated it."

Mr. DeVries played golf and tennis and was a past member of the Baltimore Country Club.

A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., where he was a member.

Survivors include a son, John Oliver DeVries III of Rodgers Forge; three daughters, Marrell Louise DeVries Harrison of Glen Arm, Nancy Jenkins DeVries of Baltimore and Elizabeth Hooper DeVries Snider of Lutherville; a brother, J. Roland DeVries of Annapolis; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife of 57 years died in 2007.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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