MINNETONKA, MN – Wayne DeVries passed away in Minnetonka, MN on October 4, 2018 at 93 years of age having lived a long and generous life. Wayne Douglas DeVries was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on Sunnyside Farm November 22, 1924 to Peter and Lenora DeVries. He attended Henry Neil, Roosevelt and Aberdeen Central High public schools as a young man. Following graduation from high school as a 17 year-old, he attended the University of South Dakota for the fall term of 1942 in order to reach his 18th birthday whereupon he promptly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January of 1943 to serve his country in World War II. Wayne was truly one of the Greatest Generation. He served with courage in the 4th Marine Division in the Pacific front. He fought as a gunner on a Sherman tank in the battles of the Marshall Islands, Marianas, Tinian and finally, Iwo Jima. He earned two Presidential Unit Citations for valor on Saipan and Iwo Jima and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in October of 1945. Wayne returned to Aberdeen and entered Northern State Teachers College and graduated with a teaching degree in 1949. His time at Northern was marked by numerous accomplishments including surprising success in athletics (football and basketball) even though he didn’t participate in these in high school. He eventually was inducted into the Northern State College Athletic Hall of Fame. He often said, though, his most important achievement in college was meeting his future wife, Barbara Lewis. Following graduation they were married in June of 1949 and began their 65 years together in Britton, South Dakota as high school teachers. Wayne taught math and coached. In 1951, they moved back to Aberdeen where Wayne began 30 years working with his father and ultimately owning and running DeVries Dairy. Their family grew to include four children during those years and Wayne became an active leader in many community organizations and Northern State College. He was a regular at the “Y”, recognized as an outstanding racketball player. In 1980, Wayne, Barbara and youngest daughter Jane moved to Iowa City, Iowa to begin a new career; first as a John Deere dealer and finally as owner, with Barbara, of Expressions Furniture. They immersed themselves in all the opportunities of a university town and made lifelong friendships. Wayne and Barbara moved to Minneapolis in 2013 where he lived until his death. His wife and life partner Barbara passed away in 2015 after 65 years of marriage. Wayne was a caring man, generous to a fault and loved the opportunity to talk with and get to know anyone. His love of the family lake cabin at Pickerel Lake in South Dakota brought him and those around him many years of joy. Wayne was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, their youngest daughter Jane DeVries Cooper in 2015, and sister, Yvonne Bissell.
He is survived by sons, Doug (Cathy) of Denver, CO, and Brian (Jeannette) of Woodbury, MN, daughter Ann Schulze (Mark) of Edina, MN and sister Joanne Larson of Eden Prairie, MN; 11 grandchildren, Andy DeVries of Atlanta, GA, Katie DeVries of Denver, CO, Abby DeVries of Denver CO, Peter DeVries of Brooklyn Park, MN, Scott DeVries of Roseville, MN, Allyson Lorang of Woodbury, MN, Elizabeth Schulze of London, England, Anna Schulze of Silver Lake, CA, Laura Schulze of Maui, HI, Ellen Cooper of Studio City, CA and Audrey Cooper of Studio City, CA, and 14 great-grandchildren. Memorial Service, 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 10th at The Historic Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel, 1 Tower Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55450. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Northern State University Foundation for the Wayne D. DeVries Scholarship Fund for Marine Veterans. 620 15th Ave SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401.