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Raymond F. Devine, banker who lived an artistic, giving life, dies at 81

Raymond Devine, who died Dec. 6 at age

Raymond Devine, who died Dec. 6 at age 81, never married and had no children. Credit: Family photo

Art filled the life of Raymond F. Devine of Huntington Station, but being a banker paid the bills and that was the career he chose.

"He was quite an artist. It was too bad he passed it up when he got into banking," his sister Rita Devine of upstate North Granville said in a recent interview.

"I don't think he resented giving it up," she said. "With banking, he was going to get a pension. Art was not very lucrative."

Raymond Devine, who died Dec. 6 at age 81, never married and had no children.

His sister said his life was devoted to banking, painting and community service. He volunteered with the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts and other organizations, she said.

He was born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn on June 22, 1933. The following year, his family moved to a house on Taft Avenue -- now known as East 18th Street -- where he lived until his death.

He attended South Huntington High School -- now Walt Whitman -- and was treasurer of the South Huntington Board of Education in the early 1960s, his sister said.

He studied art at Hofstra University and got his bachelor's degree from LIU Post, his sister said. He also attended the American Institute of Banking.

He worked at the original Bank of Huntington and successor banks, including the Bank of America, before retiring as a vice president in 1988, his sister said.

He handled the opening of many bank branches in Nassau and Suffolk counties, she said. One of his final projects was shepherding the opening of a branch in the Huntington Quadrangle in Melville, she said.

After retiring from banking, he became president of the Melville Cemetery Association, which runs the cemetery of the same name, and worked there until his death.

"He just looked like you would expect an old-time banker to look. He was well-dressed, polite, carried himself well," said Roger Troiano, the current president of the cemetery association.

"He was well known in the community. He loved animals and I think he must have donated to every animal rescue group there is," Troiano, of Huntington, said.

Devine's sister said he found inspiration for his landscapes when he visited her former vacation home on Lake St. Catherine in Vermont.

"There are murals on the walls of the family home in Huntington, a wall and ceiling: New England scene with trees, a barn, house and rolling hills," Rita Devine said. He also did decorative paintings on cabinets.

"It cost him $5,000 to have his couch redone. That's how fastidious he was about details," she said.

He is survived by another sister, Audrea Sloat of Huntington Station. He was predeceased by another sister, Gertrude O'Leary of Huntington, and a brother, Wallace Devine Sr. of Huntington.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 10 at St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church in Huntington Station. Burial was at Melville Cemetery.

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