Cover photo for Mary DeVay's Obituary
Mary DeVay Profile Photo
1924 Mary 2014

Mary DeVay

August 5, 1924 — September 1, 2014

Mary Alice Bambach DeVay passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on September 1, 2014, in Davis, California just a few weeks after her 90th birthday.

She was the beloved wife of James E. DeVay for close to 68 years. She was the loving mother of six children: Susan Shinneman (Chuck), Liz Broderick (Kevin), Sally Andrews (John), Joseph DeVay (Jill), Paula Dolliver (Don) and Mike DeVay (Melissa). She has 14 grandchildren: Lauren Thornsberry, Reilly Sweetland, Mathew DeVay, Paul DeVay, Rachel Jacobson, Erin Henitz, Amelia Broderick, Brent and Chris Dolliver, Dione Umbach, James Andrews, Molly Kollross and David Andrews. And she has 11 great grandchildren: Quentin and Cleo Thornsberry, Kelsey and Charlie Sweetland, Ella and Julia Henitz, Justin Dolliver, Kaylee, Jordan, Penelope and Tenley Kollross. Mary also leaves behind her beloved black Labrador retriever, Ben. She was predeceased by her parents, Ferdinand and Mary Francis (Collier) Bambach from St. Paul Minnesota and her brother, Raymond Bambach, of Pensacola, Florida and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary Alice was born in St. Paul, Minnesota to Mary Frances and Ferdinand on August 5, 1924. Her mother died soon after giving birth. Her grandmother, Elizabeth Collier, helped raise her. When she turned five, she attended boarding school at the Visitation Convent where she was well educated and trained as a classical pianist. She went on to attend the University of Minnesota and majored in English and Fine Arts. On December 27, 1947 Mary Alice married the love of her life Jim DeVay, who was studying to receive his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. They moved to Davis in 1957 where he accepted a professorship in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis.

In addition to her duties as a full time mother and wife, Mary Alice was an active volunteer at St. James Catholic Church and S.T.E.A.C, the local food pantry. She was also a master gardener and worked at the UC Davis Arboretum. Mary Alice was a gifted artist.

She owned and operated a shop called The Woolery in Bodega, California for many years where she sold beautiful imported Irish woolen goods, and displayed her own artwork as well as other local artists.

Mary was a beautiful woman, treasured by her family and friends for her witty personality and great sense of humor.

The family wishes to thank Sutter Hospice for the care and guidance they provided during Mary Alice's last days.

The viewing will be held Friday, September 5, 2014 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at Wiscombe Funeral Home. A rosary will be recited following the viewing from 8:30pm - 9:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 3:00 pm at St. James Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, September 6, 2014.

Previous Events

Friday, September 5, 2014
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home - Davis

116 D Street
Davis, CA 95616

Friday, September 5, 2014
8:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home - Davis

116 D Street
Davis, CA 95616

Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, September 6, 2014
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
St. James Catholic Church

1275 B Street
Davis, CA 95616

Cemetery Details


Davis Cemetery

820 Pole Line Road
Davis, CA 95618

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary DeVay, please visit our flower store.


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