BETHLEHEM — James P. Devine, always known as Jim, of Bethlehem, passed peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, May 24, 2020.
Jim was born December 23 1957, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in Ozone Park, N.Y., until he was 13 years old. He moved to Waterbury with his parents, Salvatore and Kathleen Devine, where his vast love of vehicles began with the purchase of his first car at the age of 14. The car was not running but Jim, who was the ultimate critical thinker, figured out how to get it running with no prior knowledge of how to do so.
From that moment Jim’s extraordinary career in antique and unique auto restoration began. His knowledge of all things cars (and almost everything else), was unrivaled, and he was known for saying “If I can’t fix it, it must not be broken.”
Jim’s love for cars had no limits and went beyond cars you could drive. He was a long term award-winning member of the Town of Newburgh Model Car Club for well over 20 years. After his graduation from Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Jim got his pilot’s license, broadening his love and understanding of all things mechanical and encouraging his love for all things aeronautical.
His boisterous personality and infectious laugh were unmatched and he always had advice or a funny anecdote for anyone who crossed his path. In Jim’s own words, “the only unforgivable sin was not checking your oil.”
As a native New Yorker, his heart bled blue as he was a diehard Giants and Yankees fan. His deep love for family and friends was truly unmatched and genuine to the core.
He was a father to a few very special and lucky individuals, but father figure to so many. He made sure that everyone who crossed his path was looked after and loved with every fiber of his being.
Jim was a mentor, expert, friend, parent and loving family member to all who knew him, and his knowledge and love will be missed dearly.
He is survived by his partner, Elizabeth; six children, Chris, Jennifer, Megan, Ethan, Evan and Sydney; three grandchildren, Frankie, Kyle and Maggie, and a great number of loving family members.
No services are scheduled at this time but a memorial celebration will take place at a later date.
Donations in his honor can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, a charity near and dear to Jim’s heart… and remember to check your oil.