LCol Hugh E.A. Devitt, CD
We regret to advise the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Devitt, CD (Ret'd) who passed away peacefully on 16 August 2006 in Victoria after suffering from a stroke earlier in the month.
Hugh was born in 1921 in Ottawa and grew up in Ottawa. He graduated with Honours from Glebe Collegiate Institute in 1939 and entered RMC that autumn where he distinguished himself in canoeing, rugby and marksmanship all while excelling academically. He graduated from RMC in 1941 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Engineers. He served in Camp Petawawa, Camp Debert, Vernon, Terrace and Prince Rupert before proceeding overseas in July 1943 with the 1st Canadian Railway Operating Group (CROG), RCE. From 1943 to 1945, Hugh served as Administrative Officer for 1st CROG in UK, France, Holland and Germany and later as Second-in-Command of 2/3 Canadian Field Park Company, RCE.
From 1946 to 1953 he served in Army Headquarters, in Camp Chilliwack and on exchange with Royal Engineers in Chatham, England. That was followed by two years as General Staff Officer II (Tech) in the Office of The Chief Engineer. He attended Army Staff College in 1957 and was subsequently appointed Senior Highway Superintendent of the Northwest (Alaska) Highway Maintenance Establishment in Whitehorse in 1958. "Devitt's Folly" is known, amongst Sappers, as the section of the highway washed out by beavers that had dammed a stream that crossed the highway. Promotion to LCol in 1961 saw him appointed as Head of the Engineering Development Group, Army Equipment Engineering Establishment.
Hugh retired in 1962 to join the Civil Aviation Branch in Ottawa. Then followed periods as: Coordinator, Mirabel Airport; Regional Manager Airports Ontario; and he was General Manager at Pearson Airport, Toronto 1972-76. In 1976-81 he was Project Manager, Stage III Terminal 2 and Cargo Terminal Expansion at Pearson International Airport. That assignment was followed by three years as Director of Operations for the Ontario Pavilion Expo '86.
In retirement, Hugh lived in Victoria and traveled extensively to China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Canary Islands. He was a steadfast member of the RMC Club and the Military Engineer Association of Canada.