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Joe McDevitt, ex-freeholder and former ACHS teacher, dies at 53

Joe McDevitt, a retired Atlantic City High School teacher, coach and former Atlantic County freeholder, died Thursday from complications of COVID-19. He was 53.
The Ventnor man was remembered by family and friends as a selfless man who was always helping people and adored his wife and two teenage children.
“He donated a lot of time and effort to the community,” Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said. “It’s a great loss.”
McDevitt most recently filled the Ventnor representative spot on the Atlantic City Board of Education.
“This is truly sad news and totally unexpected,” board President Shay Steele said. “I would like to express condolences on behalf of the Atlantic City Board of Education to Mr. McDevitt’s entire family.”
“He was one of those people who would reach in his own pockets if kids didn’t have something,” said longtime friend and Board of Education member John Devlin.
“I knew he was one of those guys you could always tap for information and advice,” Devlin said. “You just don’t have anything bad to say about him.”
McDevitt came from an Atlantic City family. His father was on the Beach Patrol. He has two brothers, Mike and Local 54 President Bob McDevitt.
“He was huge on helping people that didn’t have much,” said his son, Robert McDevitt, 16. “He cared about the students and his colleagues so much. As a politician, he loved everyone and wanted to do the best for both parties and is a true patriot.”
Robert said his father put everyone ahead of himself, especially his beloved wife, Ailyn.
McDevitt’s passion was football, from Holy Spirit to Notre Dame to the Dallas Cowboys.
His heartbroken wife talked of the love her husband had for everyone.
“I’m amazed how we can go everywhere and everybody calls him Mr. McDevitt, my favorite teacher of all time,” said Ailyn McDevitt, adding that her husband’s co-workers became his lifelong friends.
My kids adore him, everyone that he get to know loves him,” she said of her husband’s “golden heart.”
“I am lifeless at this moment, as my life and every fiber of my being was pull out of me,” she said. “I am beyond broken.”

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