Michael Joseph Devito of Upper Montclair died after a short illness on May 22, 2023, surrounded by love. He was 72.
He was born on Sept. 29, 1950, in Goshen, New York, to Peter J. Devito and Pauline Conklin Devito.
He was a man of many talents. After graduating from college in 1972, Mr. Devito embarked on a career as a noted stained glass designer and craftsman, whose works were shown at juried shows throughout the Northeast. In 1977 he opened Reflections Craft Gallery in Goshen to showcase his work and that of regional jewelers, pottery makers and leather goods designers.
A skilled writer since his youth, in the early 1980s Mr. Devito decided to go into marketing copywriting. Several years later he began technical writing for software documentation, and from then on was an in-demand freelance technical writer whose clients included some of the largest banks, telecommunications companies and accounting firms in the United States.
Mr. Devito was a self-taught guitarist from age 15. He specialized in playing the blues. Early on he taught himself slide guitar, for which he became well known. Mr. Devito took creative detours in other styles, including years of instruction in classical guitar and jazz guitar. He played in several popular ensembles, which gigged all over the New York metropolitan area. Mr. Devito was expert in finding and modifying unusual electric guitars and amplifiers. In these ways he was most generous and helpful to other guitarists. Mr. Devito’s musical ability, collaborative spirit and generosity will be missed by the musicians he befriended and played with.
Mr. Devito’s other passion was fast transportation devices. Over the years he drove many powerful, foreign-made motorcycles and sports cars. He obtained his pilot’s license and owned a small two-seat propeller plane. He loved flying his plane over the beautiful terrain of upstate New York and New England.
He adored his wife, Mary. Together they enjoyed hiking and exploring Vermont and later buying Grammy’s Cabin in Arlington. He loved being Papa to Vivi and Gus.
Mr. Devito is survived by his wife, Mary Chalek; her children, David Chalek (Shari Cruz) and Isabel Chalek and her children, Vivienne and Augustine Tomasetti; his twin brother, Peter G. Devito (Alanna Smith) of Goshen, New York; his sister, Mary Chris Hill (David Hill) of Micco, Florida; Mary Hill’s children, Chandler, Tanisha, Cyrena and McZorn; numerous cousins; two great nieces and a great nephew.
Mr. Devito was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Ann Wendover Devito; and infant brother, John David Devito.
Mr. Devito leaves behind countless friends and loved ones who will never forget his humor, warmth, intelligence and loving spirit.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Funeral arrangements were made by Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, Montclair.