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Oh, to be in Delaware…

There are times, like today, when The Legal Genealogist looks forward to a destination just like a little kid getting ready for a trip to Disney World.

I’ve never been to the Wisconsin Historical Society, and today I will fix that with a tour — and get to share my enthusiasm with folks there tomorrow at an all-day workshop.

But there are times when I could wish with all my heart that I could be somewhere other than on an airplane, that it really was possible to say “Beam me up, Scotty” and shorten the time spent getting to where I want to go.

Times like today.

When a dear friend, colleague and mentor is laid to rest in Wilmington, Delaware — just about the same time my plane takes off headed for Wisconsin.

Donn Devine (L) receiving the prototype of the BCG award bearing his name from BCG President Rick Sayre (R), December 2018

You will understand better why so many of us want to be there, today, when Donn Devine is remembered at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine Church and then laid to rest at Cathedral Cemetery if you take the time to read his obituary in the Delaware News Journal: “Donn Devine, lawyer, civil rights marcher, city planner, co-writer of state song, dies at 90.”

Read it slowly.

Savor it.

And then understand that it doesn’t begin to do the man justice.

Those of us who knew him mourn with the Devine family today. Our lives are the better for having shared moments with him, and the poorer for our loss.

Those who didn’t have the chance to know him are less fortunate still, but his work and his legacy will live on.

Rest in peace, dear friend… and know that the hearts of the entire genealogical community are there in Wilmington today.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Rest in peace, dear friend,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 17 May 2019).

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