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In loving memory

Phillip DeVito
September 8, 1929 - November 27, 2011

SALEM - Phillip DeVito died at home in Salem on Sunday, Nov. 27. Born in Flint, Michigan to Giovanni and Harriet DeVito, his siblings include Albert (dec.), Melba (Puls) and Leonard. His joyful boyhood was filled with playing many sports, performing as soloist in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Boys’ Choir, and happy summers at YMCA camp (as a camper, counselor, lifeguard and dining room steward). 
When his family moved to Portland, he completed high school at Central Catholic in 1947. He worked his way through college, and graduated U. of Portland in 1954. His most satisfying jobs were those serving the public in private clubs and many of Portland’s top restaurants. He found enormous pleasure in providing the best possible dining experience to his guests which led him to dedicate his efforts to the study of wine as it enhances fine dining. As his career advanced, he was honored in 1967 by the Chef De Cuisine Society of Oregon for his meritorious service to the wine industry – the first of numerous honors and recognitions for his contributions to the developing wine and hospitality industries of Oregon. It was written that “his story is largely Oregon’s story of a growing love affair with fine food and fine wines.” 
Phil married his first wife, Alice, in 1950. They raised their family in Milwaukie, Oregon, and later divorced. He leaves children Susan (Gerspach), Greg, Paul, David, Julie and step-daughter Shannon Page, plus six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. 
After twenty-five years in Portland, Phil accepted a job in 1972 as Maitre d’Hotel and Cellarmaster for Salishan Lodge on the Central Oregon Coast – his happy and successful work for twenty –two years. In 1976, Phillip married Janice Busch Morrow at St. James Episcopal Church in Lincoln City. He was a fine step-dad to Shannon. When Phil retired in 1994 from Salishan Lodge, he and Janice moved to Salem, Oregon, where he began a restaurant and wine consulting business. They recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
Phil was a gentle and warm man who expressed great love – for God, his devoted wife Janice, his large extended family and friends, for the customers he served, for music, justice, and for pretty much everyone and everything positive that he experienced. His zest for life, strength, courage during recent illness and optimistic view of the world will keep him forever cherished in the hearts and minds of all who knew him.  
Funeral is 1:00pm on Monday, Dec. 5 at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, 1525 Glen Creek Road NW, Salem OR 97304 with reception from 2:30-4:00pm at nearby Chemeketa NW Viticulture Campus, 215 Doaks Ferry Rd. NW, Salem. Next day is 11:00am burial at Crescent Grove Cemetery, 9925 SW Greenburg Road, Tigard.
Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service, 605 Commercial Street SE, Salem, welcomes those who wish to pay their respects to Phil on Saturday, Dec. 3 from noon-2:00pm or Monday, Dec. 5 from 9:00-11:00a.m. Other times may be arranged by phoning in advance 503-364-2257.
Memorial donations may be made to Marion-Polk Food Share of Salem, or Prince of Peace Episcopal Church Building Fund.
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