John Devereux III, 83, home builder

October 03, 2006

John Ryan Devereux III, a retired Howard County home builder and steeplechase rider who founded a pony club, died of stroke complications Saturday at the Lorien Columbia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The Columbia resident was 83.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Chevy Chase, he was a 1942 graduate of the Landon School for Boys in Bethesda. He enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific, attaining the rank of sergeant.

After the war Mr. Devereux attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He moved to Howard County in 1949, where he bought a 175-acre dairy farm and operated it for several years. He then went into the building business and constructed homes in Glenelg, Columbia, Rockville and other areas.

Mr. Devereux was a lifelong riding enthusiast and served as master of hounds of the Howard County Hunt. While riding in the Grand National at Butler in 1958, Mr. Devereux was injured and was left partially paralyzed on his left side. He then gave up steeplechase riding, but remained interested in the sport and was a founder the Howard County Pony Club in Glenwood.

In his free time, Mr. Devereux read history books.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville Pike in Clarksville, where he was a longtime parishioner.

His wife of 53 years, the former Barbara Lawson Shriver, died in 1999.

Survivors include four sons, John R. Devereux IV of Martinsburg, W.Va., Joseph Devereux of Ellicott City, William Devereux of Mount Airy and David Devereux of Finksburg; six daughters, Barbara D. Burch of Brookeville, Susanne Armstrong of Winchester, Va., Elizabeth Devereux of Ellicott City, Sibyl Lavin of Marriottsville, Mary Ryan Haller of Ellicott City and Hannah Barrett of Stewartstown, Pa.; two brothers, Joseph S. Devereux of Potomac and C. Kemp Devereux of Berryville, Va.; six sisters Helen Devereux Egan of Ocean View, Del., Anne Rogers Devereux of Chevy Chase, Agnes D. Blair of Amherst, Mass., Sibyl K. Devereux of Miami; Virginia D. Sparrow of Kensington and Patricia D. Crowley of Oak Hill, Va.; 17 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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