Francis David Devos Jr., 76, of Crookston, MN, passed away Monday afternoon, January 9, 2023, at Essentia Hospital in Fargo, ND after battling cancer for 11 years.
Sonny, as he was affectionately known throughout his life, was born on June 29, 1946 at Grafton, ND, the first born of 10 children of the union of Francis David and Marian Ann (Rose) Devos Sr. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Catholic Church and educated in the Grafton School system through the early years of high school. Following a family move to Crookston in 1963 he attended Central High School where he lettered in track 3 years and football 2 years before graduating as a member of the Class of 1965.
Sonny then began working for Northwest Lumber owned by Mike Madigan. Mike’s son, Tim, would later author a book titled “Every Common Sight” in which one of the main characters was modeled after Sonny. The two remained close for many years and Tim would always call him “Franny”. In 1991 Sonny married Doris Smith at the Cathedral. He considered himself blessed to become a father figure to Doris’ children: Jill, Tim, Jeremy, and Troy. Sonny was later employed at Simplot and by Hugo’s Grocery Store in Crookston where at the time of his retirement in 2011 he held the position of night supervisor.
Sonny was a longtime member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception parish. One of his favorite pastimes was bowling in local leagues and that talent earned him a Bowler of the Year award. Sonny also enjoyed fishing and visiting area casinos. He was devoted to the family he gained from his marriage and very proud to be grandpa to 8 beautiful grandchildren. Until his mother Marian’s passing in October of 2021 Sonny devoted his life to being her primary caregiver for over 15 years.
Sonny leaves behind a large and loving family including his 4 step-children: Jill Garcia of Shelly, MN, Tim Smith (Sabrina Butterfield) of Grand Forks, ND, and Jeremy Smith and Troy Smith of Crookston, MN; 8 grandchildren; brother, Lenny (Luanne) Devos of Crookston, MN; four sisters: Joyce Murphy of Grand Forks, ND; Diane Mutscher of Grand Forks, ND; Linda (Russell) Brown of Crookston, MN; and Darlene (John) Olson of Grand Forks, ND; sister-in-law, Cheryl Devos of Crookston, MN; brother-in-law, Bob Mutscher of Sioux Falls, SD; 15 nieces and nephews; and 23 great-nieces and nephews.
Sonny was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Marion Devos Sr.; 2 sisters, Irene Mutcher and Theresa Mutcher; 2 brothers, Chuck Devos and infant brother, Ronald; 3 brothers-in-law, Ronnie Mutscher, John Mutcher, and Tom Murphy; 4 nephews, Chad Mutscher, Matthew Brown, and twins, Shawn and Shane Murphy; and several aunts, uncles, and extended family. Sonny’s memory will be forever in the hearts of all who shared in his life.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Francis “Sonny” Devos Jr. will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston with The Rev. David Baumgartner, presiding. Visitation will be that day from 12 Noon until the time of the service. The funeral will be livestreamed by going to www.crookstoncathedral.com and clicking on the prompt to view. Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements and messages of condolence may be given to the family on his obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com.