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Dorothea M. DeVine, beloved nurse, dies at 82

Dorothea M. DeVine, 82, of Oyster Bay hamlet,

Dorothea M. DeVine, 82, of Oyster Bay hamlet, died on Dec. 2, 2012. Credit: Handout

Dorothea M. DeVine was kind, nurturing and attentive, a consummate nurse even long after she had retired from a career in public health.

At the Oyster Bay assisted-living facility where she spent her last six years, DeVine had a warm smile for everyone and was known as "Nurse Dot."

At home earlier in her life, her phone rang constantly with relatives' requests for medical advice or attention.

One cousin once called with a bean stuck up her nose; another frantically summoned DeVine to her side when she was in labor, DeVine's daughter remembered.

DeVine, of Oyster Bay hamlet, died Sunday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 82.

"Everyone said she had the ability to make you feel comfortable," her daughter, Karen DeVine-Taglia, 42, of Oyster Bay hamlet, said Tuesday.

DeVine, who was raised in Oyster Bay, received a nursing degree from Adelphi University and a master's degree in public health from Columbia University.

She began her career in labor and delivery at Flushing Hospital Medical Center and later worked with the Nassau County Department of Health as a public health professional, aiding polio patients at the height of the 1950s epidemic.

"She loved being a nurse," DeVine-Taglia said. "After she retired, she dedicated her life to volunteering."

DeVine did so with the Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island and its Oyster Bay chapter and with Meals on Wheels.

"Meals on Wheels delivers a hot lunch in the afternoon and a sandwich for dinner," DeVine-Taglia said. "If she sensed someone wasn't having a good day, she would go back in the evening and make sure they were all right."

DeVine-Taglia guessed that there are countless other examples of her mother's random acts of kindness.

DeVine also volunteered with St. Dominic Church in Oyster Bay and worked with her husband, Francis, at his Oyster Bay funeral home.

She loved the water and piled her kids into the car during summer months, heading to Beekman Beach in Oyster Bay.

Krystal Ross, clinical supervisor at Harbor House assisted-living facility where DeVine lived, said DeVine read voraciously and never turned down a chance to dance. "She was always smiling, always upbeat."

Ross said DeVine carried a baby doll everywhere with her -- as other Alzheimer's patients do at the facility -- and cared for it constantly as a nurse would.

Aside from DeVine-Taglia, DeVine is survived by her son, Paul DeVine, 40, of San Diego, and two granddaughters. Her husband preceded her in death.

Visiting hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., at Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home Inc. in Oyster Bay. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Dominic Church, with interment to follow at Locust Valley Cemetery.

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