January 12, 1949 ~ June 3, 2022

Born in: Medford, MA
Resided in: Bethany, CT

Mary Ellen McDevitt passed away peacefully at home on June 3, 2022. She was born in Medford, Massachusetts, the daughter of the late James and Rita McDevitt. She is survived by her devoted spouse, Denise McGowan, loving sister Margaret and brother-in-law William Monagle of Lynnfield, MA, brothers Thomas (Patricia), John (Maureen), William (Lauren), and James McDevitt, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
She was a lifelong educator and received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Fairfield University. “Ms. Divitt,” as her students called her, treasured her days in the classroom throughout her many years in the New Haven public school system. She had a gift of knowing how to engage each child and encourage their strengths.
As a staunch supporter of animal advocacy over her lifetime, Mary Ellen gave a loving home to many dogs, cats, geese, horses, chickens, and sheep. Her happiest years were spent in Bethany with Denise, caring for her horses and rescue animals, riding her infamous tractor, collecting tools, cooking fabulous recipes and tending her garden. She viewed the world through an artist’s eye and had a deep appreciation for the beauty and majesty of all of nature. She enjoyed music of all kinds from Gregorian chant to Klezmer, Broadway tunes, Latin melodies, opera, classical, and pop. She was an avid reader, completing two books a week, and never missed a chance to peruse Denise’s medical journals and discuss the latest research at dinner.
More recently, Mary Ellen taught us by example to be brave and steadfast in the face of adversity and illness. Her deep faith, nurtured by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, was her sustenance. Her boundless energy, strength, and ability to connect with whomever she met will be remembered fondly by family, friends, neighbors and caregivers. She was a genuinely unique soul, a vital presence with an engaging sense of humor, a loyal friend and confidante, and a loving and devoted spouse, sister, and aunt. She will be greatly missed.
Friends may visit with her family on Wednesday, June 15th from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden prior to her Memorial Service, which will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. Mary Ellen’s burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fair Haven Community Health Center, 374 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT, 06513 or The Animal Haven Inc., 89 Mill Rd., North Haven, CT 06473.


Visitation: June 15, 2022 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


Funeral Service: June 15, 2022 1:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


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  1. Dear Denise and Family, I read with sadness the passing of Mary Ellen. I will always remember the time in Dr. Langs office, while she was there waiting for her office visit, I went to chat with her. She made me laugh so hard I had uncontrollable tears running down my face. What a great lady ❤ with a tremendous sense of humor! My deepest sympathy to you and family. With much fondness, Roberta Kristy

  2. Dear Denise and family
    My sincere condolences to you during this most difficult time. May the memories you have with Mary Ellen sustain you in the days to come. My prayers are with you and Mary Ellen. May she rest in our Lord’s eternal peace.
    Vivian Orie

  3. Denise and the McDevitt Family,
    What a beautifully written tribute for an amazing woman. I’m very sorry to hear the sad news, and am sending my heartfelt sympathies to all of you. Although I haven’t seen Mary Ellen in several years, I will always remember her sense of humor and her love of animals. It’s wonderful to read how many animals were the fortunate recipients of her love and care through all these years–truly something special. Thinking of all of you.

  4. Dear Denise and family,
    I was very sad to read of Mary Ellen’s passing. I knew her for several years as we attended St James’ Episcopal Church in New Haven. She was always such a delight to know; she had a wonderful sense of humor, a deep faith, and a sincere habit of kindness to others.

    Joe and I send love and sincere condolences to you and to her whole family.

    With loving sympathy for your loss,

  5. She was a beautiful example of what a true human being should be: loving, caring, unselfish, and a gift back to the Creator who made us!

  6. When you experience a loss of a very special friend words don’t come easily. MaryEllen McDevitt was a loyal, steadfast, loving friend that once you meet her, loved her, you never forget her.

    My deepest sympathy to Denise McGowan, M.D. and to the McDevitt family.

    Mary M McNulty Canton, Ma

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