Michael Patrick Francis Dervin
On Saturday, May 23, 2020, Michael Patrick Francis Dervin departed this life following a brief illness leaving behind his greatest love, his wife of forty-five years Irene Beth Byer Dervin, his son Todd Raphael Gallant, his four grandchildren, his sister Johann Dervin Ivey, his eleven nieces and nephews, his twenty-five great nieces and nephews, and his twenty-six great-great nieces and nephews.
Michael is the son of James Joseph Dervin and Mary Margarette Hughes Dervin and was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Andrew’s Grade School in Drexel Hill and graduated from West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia. He attended LaSalle University and served in the US Marines Corps while being stationed with his older brother Jim at Cherry Point, North Carolina.
After Michael retired as a District Manager with the Electrolux Corporation, he became an official “snow bird” living half the year in Philadelphia and making his home the other half of the year in Cape Coral. He was an avid tennis player and fisherman, but his greatest joy was the other love of his life, Chipper, his boat. As a young child Michael gained a lifelong love of the water while learning to sail at the Jersey Shore.
Michael was the authentic modern Renaissance Man. Not only did he possess a beautiful tenor voice and loved the theater, but he could “cut the rug”. Michael loved art, architecture, and working on old homes. He also relished entertaining the younger generations as an accomplished story teller and as the family historian. Michael was not what you would call a fan of social media; instead he gobbled up books. He was a veracious reader and enjoyed discussing and debating the concepts and ideas of his latest find. Yes, Michael loved the arts, but he was also a man of action: If something needed to be done, he made it happen. It has also been said that in his younger years he was famous for quoting poetry or a limerick or two while throwing a well-placed punch. Family legend has tagged young Michael as quite a boxer.
But Michael’s greatest passion was his volunteer work with the Elwyn Institute in Delaware County. He dedicated his time and energy to special needs adults through teaching and developing workshops to encourage independent living. He gained an understanding that there are no absolutes and care can be transformed to benefit the individual. He also worked with autistic children before many were even aware of the condition. Michael was honored with several awards for his work, but he never mentioned these awards since he believed that he could never give to his students what they had given to him.
If there is a word to describe Michael Dervin, it is OPTIMISM; he was a “people person” who loved his extended family and took responsibility for each one of them. In his final days, it was his nieces, nephews, and the great nieces and nephews, and the great greats, and the close family friends’ adult children who called and thanked him for being a second father to them and for his ability to give unconditional love. These actions speak volumes of just who Michael Dervin was. Only this strong, burly man could get away with saying with the utmost sincerity upon making an exit: Have a Happy!
At the end one of the youngest great, great nieces stated: Don’t cry, Uncle-Uncle Mike is in Heaven…And so he is… with his parents, his sisters Mary Lucinda Dervin McCullough and Ellen Patricia Dervin, and his brothers James Joseph and Francis Xavier Dervin. Michael Patrick Francis Dervin, you have served and loved well…
Internment will take place at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Buck County, Pennsylvania in late September. A notice will be sent.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the VA. During Michael’s illness the VA volunteer staff was so generous and helpful, and his wife and family will always be grateful for their kindness during this difficult time. If you choose to donate, make your check payable to the VA and in memo write: In Memory of Michael Dervin. Mail your donation to: Lee County VA Health Care Center, Attention: Voluntary Service, 2489 Diplomat Parkway E., Cape Coral, FL 33909.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.