Obituary of Virginia Jean DeVente
Jean DeVente passed away peacefully at Waveny Care Center, New Canaan, CT on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at the age of 88. Jean was born August 18, 1931 in Bayonne, N.J. and predeceased by her parents, Peter and Santa DeVente and brother, Angelo (Sonny) DeVente. She is survived by her partner in crime and fun, Evelyn Fitzsimmons, Norwalk, CT., nephew Daniel DeVente, niece Valerie Leavitt, great nieces, nephews, especially close cousins--Deanna Gianni, Carla and Joe Meli --and their children Thomas and Anthony all from Long Island, N.Y. Jean lived in Woodside, Queens attending local schools and moving to Connecticut in 1978. She later retired from Machlett Labs in Stamford, CT. She spent most of her time with family and friends, always making them laugh. Known as “Mama Jean” to the LGBTTQ+ Community, she was an early and ardent gay rights activist. Mama Jean was integral in starting the Pride March in 1970, served as Grand Marshal at a number of Marches during the early 70’s and only missed two of fifty Pride March’s due to illness. She was a key member of Gay Activists Alliance and Lesbian Feminist Liberation and spoke at many rallies in Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Her legacy in gay rights history is to be celebrated and remembered. Thank you to the staff at Waveny Care Center for their heartfelt caring and massive amounts of patience over Jean’s years there, allowing her to entertain staff and residents with her escapades and keep them anticipating her next antic. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Waveny Care Center, 3 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT 06840 (waveny.org) in Jean’s memory. 0
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