Cover photo for Paul F. McDevitt's Obituary
Paul F. McDevitt Profile Photo

Paul F. McDevitt

d. September 12, 2016

McDEVITT, Paul F. Age 74 years. Of Housatonic and South Boston, formerly of Charlestown, Dorchester, and Braintree, September 12th.

Son of the late James P. and Agnes (Dunn) McDevitt.

Graduate of St. Gregory Grammar School, B.C. High, Boston College, and UMass Boston. Former Second Lieutenant in the Mass. National Guard. President of Modern Assistance Programs, Inc.

Sober one day at a time for 38 years.

Beloved husband of State Auditor Suzanne Bump.

Paul is also survived by son Neil of Housatonic, son Andrew and his wife Jennifer, and their sons Kole and Liam of Attleboro, sister Catherine Lent and her husband William of Mt. Kisco, NY, sister Marie Biggs and her husband John of Lake Forest, IL, brother Attorney Daniel McDevitt and his wife Marie Downey of Quincy, sister-in-law Joanne McDevitt of South Boston, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was pre-deceased by his brother James.

He loved his family, his home in the Berkshires, politics, college sports, the fellowship of AA, and stories, especially his own.
Paul's life was defined by service to others, with a special devotion to those burdened by addiction, mental illness, poverty, and incarceration. A Boston high school teacher in his early years, in 1967 he became the youngest person ever elected to the Boston School Committee. In the 1970's, Paul became engaged in the social activism at the Paulist Center in Boston. Cooking at the Wednesday night Supper Club for the poor and homeless led to chairing the board of Project Bread. Through the ensuing decades he helped lead Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Friends of the Shattuck Shelter, Gavin Foundation, Maria Droste Counseling Services, and Edwina Martin House, even as he continued ministering to individuals and organizations in need, whenever and wherever he found them. Julie's Family Learning Center and Haley House were other favorite organizations. This year he was honored when the Paraclete Center in South Boston, whose board he chaired, named its building McDevitt Hall.

The combination of Jesuit instruction and the reawakening of his own spirituality through Alcoholics Anonymous compelled Paul to live this life of service, which also became his profession. Modern Assistance Programs, which he founded 30 years ago, has helped thousands of area individuals and families recover from the effects of substance abuse and mental health afflictions. Paul particularly appreciated that the long-term relationships between management and worker found in unionized setting enabled him to create services which provided not just treatment but healing.

His professional achievements included a Cushing-Gavin award in 1995 from the Boston Archdiocesan Labor Guild and recognition from the National Addiction Counselor's Association.

Paul was extraordinarily gifted as a leader, mentor, speaker, counselor, and friend. Throughout his life, even during his recent illness, Paul dispensed wisdom, compassion, and humor in equal measure. He never was motivated by acclaim in his charitable or professional work. It was simply how he put his faith in action.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Margaret Church of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, 800 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, on Friday morning, September 16, at 10 A.M.

Friends may visit with Paul's family at the IBEW Local 103 Hall, 256 Freeport St., Dorchester, on Thursday, from 3-8 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Paraclete Center, 207 E Street, South Boston, MA 02127, Edwina Martin House, 678 North Main St., Brockton, MA 02301, and Maria Droste Counseling Services, 1354 Hancock St., Quincy, MA 02169.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul F. McDevitt, please visit our flower store.


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