Obituaries

Trooper 1st Class Thomas W. Devlin, MSP

September 5th, 2020

Thomas William Devlin, Massachusetts State Trooper 1st Class, of Wilmington, passed away at his home on September 3, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Tom was born December 18, 1961 in Boston, and was raised in Lexington, the youngest of seven children. He was a member of the 66th RTT graduating from the State Police Academy on December 6, 1985.

Tom trained with SP Grafton and went on to patrol SP Weston, SP Framingham, and SP Andover. His last assignment was with SP Concord. Throughout his career, he patrolled every highway and secondary roadway in Eastern Massachusetts. Tom earned the Medal of Lifesaving in 1999, State Police Troop Commendation in 2004, and the State Police Division Commendation in 2015. While serving the citizens of the Commonwealth, Tom sustained injuries in the line of duty on July 26, 2018. On September 3, 2020, he succumbed to those injuries.

An illustrious 35-year career with the Massachusetts State Police is why most know Thomas Devlin’s name. During these 35 years, he was responsible for saving multiple lives, and has received countless accolades and honors to commend his performance. However, as close friends and family know, his job was far from the top of the list of reasons why he was an incredible man of God, husband, father, and citizen. Tommy, as he was affectionately called, was the model of selflessness and sacrifice. He would willingly and generously give endless time, money, and resources to those that he loved, without ever asking for anything in return. His days revolved around time with family, despite a typical work schedule of 60-70 hours a week. He adored his wife of 27 years, Nancy, and loved nothing more than to spend time with her in the home that they built together over the years. They shared this space with their four children Matthew, Rachel, Paul, Hannah, and fully embraced the chaos that a big family brings. Time spent there took the form of doing the things that he loved with the people he loved, including chopping firewood out back behind his house, watching movies with his boys, snuggling with his dog Sheena, listening to Mumford and Sons, and sitting on his favorite recliner on the porch. None of these activities were without laughter, and Tom loved to laugh. He had a smile that is impossible to forget and found joy in making others laugh as well, even if by way of a “dad joke.” His sense of humor was one of his best qualities and helped to carry him through whatever life would throw at him. This remained constant even after he was hit on the highway on July 26, 2018.

Tom was conducting a routine traffic stop at the end of his patrol shift on Route 3 in Billerica when he was struck by a motorist who had failed to move over and eventually drifted to pin him against the car he had pulled over. He suffered numerous injuries internally and externally, and over the course of the past two years, had undergone six major surgeries to attempt to reconcile them. Tom leaned heavily on his family during this time as well as his strong faith in God. He encouraged those around him to do the same and was constantly pointing others back to their Creator. His life became a testament to faithfulness and mercy, and he remained meek in the face of great pain. Never once complaining or feeling sorry for himself, he took everything in great stride, and quickly gained the respect of every doctor or medical staff he came in contact with. His kindness and gentleness were apparent a mile away, and he became a favorite patient everywhere he went.

Eventually, Tom’s body tired of the surgeries and constant battle to regain health. He returned home to spend his last days with the people he loved the most in the place he loved the most. Surrounded by his four beautiful children and devoted wife, Thomas Devlin passed on Thursday, September 3rd. It was fitting that the house he had built on peace and safety was where he found both of those things at last.

His family is devastated by the senseless loss but finds solace in the fact that he is no longer in pain and has been fully healed by the loving hands of Christ. The outpouring of support and stories from those who had met Tom over the years inspires them to keep his legacy alive by mirroring everything that made him who he was; to work hard without seeking recognition, place others before yourself, and lead with a quiet spirit that will leave a lasting impression. His smile, laughter, and character will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to experience them. Above all else, he was an incredible husband, father, brother, uncle, and son; kind, resourceful, patient, driven, and dedicated. His formidable career on the Massachusetts State Police reflected each of these traits all the more.

Tom was the beloved husband and best friend of Nancy Elaine (Peterson) Devlin, devoted father of Matthew William Devlin, Rachel Claire Devlin, Paul Thomas Devlin and Hannah Elaine Devlin, all of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late Paul V. and the late Mary B. (Melly) Devlin. Devoted brother of Paul Devlin of Lexington, Mary Fredrickson & husband Peter of South Weymouth, Eileen MacPherson & husband Keith of Waltham, Kathleen Devlin of Wells, ME, Patricia Puopolo husband Francis of Georgetown, and Lt. James Devlin, MSP of Worcester. Treasured brother-in-law of Stephen & Jeanne Peterson, Robert & Carla Peterson, James & Kimberly Peterson, Cynthia & Kevin Kilday, all of Wilmington, and Michael & Susan Peterson of Westford. Tom is further survived by scores of nieces, nephews, friends, and fellow troopers and police officers who adored him.

Family and friends are invited to Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte.62), Wilmington on Thursday, September 10th from 4:00-8:00 P.M. A Celebration of Trooper Thomas Devlin’s life will take place on Friday, September 11th at noon on the Wilmington High School Field, Wildwood Street, Wilmington. Interment follow at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Trooper Thomas Devlin’s memory to Home Improvement Ministries (H.I.M.), 213 Burlington Road #101-B, Bedford, MA 01730, https://himweb.org/donate, an organization close to Tom’s heart. Those who wish to donate to the Devlin Family Foundation, or to the Trooper Thomas W. Devlin Memorial Scholarship to benefit graduating Wilmington resident seniors who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement, may send their donation to the care of James Peterson, 314 Main Street, Suite 104, Wilmington, MA 01887, https://trooperdevlinscholarship.org.

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48 Entries in Guest Book for “Trooper 1st Class Thomas W. Devlin, MSP”

  1. Valerie Maher says:

    My sincere heartfelt sympathies to the Devlin and Peterson Families on your loss of Tommy. I was shocked to see it on the news. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this shocking and painful time. Wish I could do more to comfort you.
    Sincerely,
    Valerie Maher

  2. Carlo Bertazzoni says:

    To The Devlin Family,

    I want to express my deepest condolences on Tom’s
    passing. Tom and I had been friends since the 5th grade.
    I remember him as a kind, thoughtful, caring person. Although we didn’t stay in close touch, I often thought of him
    especially when I saw State Police cars drive by. I would say to myself, “Tom is out there protecting us.”. May he rest in peace. He was a great friend and he will be missed.

  3. Karen agresti says:

    To everyone in the Devlin Family,
    I am so saddened by the news of Tom’s passing. He had such a kind heart and He helped make the world a better place. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  4. Nelson Family says:

    Please accept our deepest condolences to all..

  5. Debbie Keyes Tagliaferri says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the Devlin family.

  6. Walter Golub says:

    I only knew Tom mostly through his wonderful extended family, but also as a teammate on the rugby field. Great place to build camaraderie and develop lasting relationships. May he rest in peace and keep smiling.

  7. Mr. Staffier says:

    Rachel, Hannah, Paul and family I am so sorry to hear the news about your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. He was such a nice man and helped raise four wonderful children. He is watching over you and and protecting you from above.

  8. Nadja McHale says:

    Nancy, Matthew, Rachele, Paul and Hannah
    My heart is broken for you all. What a remarkable husband and dad Tommy was and I will pray for each of you as you try to make sense of your impossible loss. God will be there for you and your dad is watching over you now.
    I am so very sorry, the world has lost an exceptionally kind and caring man.
    God Bless you all,

  9. Frank West says:

    Karen and I as well as Colleen and Frank Jr express our deepest sympathies over the loss of Tom. May God bless Tom and his family now and always.

  10. Toto Family says:

    My condolences to the Devlin and Peterson family. So very sad.

  11. Susan La Raia Price says:

    Dear Nancy, Matthew, Rachel, Paul and Hannah,

    As Scripture says, when one member suffers we all suffer….we are grieving with you during this time of intense loss. We are honored to have known Tommy and your whole family for that matter. When your kids were at our home, we were delighted. You and Tommy have raised such beautiful Christian children. God’s radiant light just shines through your family. May Tommy’s redeeming memories of love, grace and kindness be your strength. We all look forward to seeing him again in heaven. Love and Prayers, The Prices

  12. Just a Citizen says:

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice. May you Rest In Peace.

  13. Richard Scurto says:

    Tom I’m so proud of the life you have lived…..you will be missed by many. We grew up together back as kids in Franklin school and I’ll always remember you.

    You are with Jesus now, that’s the best place to be old friend.

  14. Brian MacWilliams says:

    i do not believe I have ever read a more tender and moving tribute than this. Officer Devlin, we never met, but the respect I have for the men and women in uniform is immense. You served with pride and your family of officers still serving carry you inside. Your family was your greatest accomplishment here on earth and they will keep you in their hearts until they are reunited with you in Heaven. What a glorious day that will be. I thank you for your service that ultimately cost you your life but it seems that you gave it willingly in the line of duty without regret. Bless you Officer Thomas Devlin.

  15. Beth Ritchie Pidgeon says:

    Having read about this wonderful man’s life, I felt compelled, out of respect and gratitude, to send my deepest sympathies to his family and friends…Having grown up in Wilmington, ( recognizing familiar names in his obituary) I know what a tight knit, supportive community it is. May you all find strength in that during this sad time ..God Bless

  16. Michele Hall Armou says:

    I remember Tommy as a little boy, he was so sweet. I lived across the street. What a testament to Tommy! I am so saddened to read this and my deepest sympathies go out to his family and all the Devlins.

  17. Melissa Gavin Whitney says:

    Thinking of the wonderful Devlin clan at this very sad time. I hold on to the great memories of our childhood and Tommy’s impish grin. Know that you are all in my heart, always.

  18. Kevin P. Doherty says:

    Brian MacWilliams said it all.
    Rest in peace.

  19. John Reid says:

    To the Devlin & Peterson family. I am so sorry to see of your terrible loss.
    I only met Tom a couple of times through his wonderful Father-in law the late
    Sergeant Herbert Peterson.It only took those few moments I was in his presents & in his home to do some cable TV work, to know that he is indeed one of the GOOD GUY’S.
    I feel so blessed to have had the moments I did with Tom. He really made me feel like I had known him forever.
    May God Bless & Rest your wonderful soul Sir Trooper Tom Devlin.
    Thank you for all your Services. Rest in peace now Trooper Tom Devlin.

  20. Peter Watson says:

    To Tommy’s family and friends,
    I send my deepest condolences on your loss. We were teammates on the rugby pitch in the 80s, and I’ll always treasure the positive and supportive attitude he brought to everything he took on. I remember how proud and happy he was as he embarked on his career with the MSP. He was the right man for that job.
    Rest in Peace.

  21. Walt says:

    What a beautiful testimony Tommy’s life exhibited. We can take comfort in knowing that Tommy went before you all to help set up house before you arrive.

    John 14:1-3
    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

  22. Louise Mc Rae says:

    I do not know Officer Devlin or his family but wish to extend my deepest sympathy and blessings to them. This is a tragic loss and I am certain the community surrounding them will hold them in prayer as will I.
    God be with them.
    Louise Mc Rae

  23. Steven J Raffaelo says:

    I am so sorry for to hear of this. I talked with Tommy every morning at the massdot depot on Concord road in Billerica as I am employed there. Same stuff different day lol. He is very missed. He was a good man.

  24. Steve Lynch says:

    Hannah, Paul, and the Devlin family, you are in my thoughts as I send you my condolences on the passing of your Dad. After reading the tremendous story of your Dad’s life, it is no wonder that his children are wonderful too. The lessons your dad taught you through his character, integrity, and sense of humor; all those good qualities live on in you. Although I didn’t have the chance to know your father, I know he must have been someone special to have raised, with your Mom, a fine family such as yours.
    Steve Lynch
    Wilmington High School

  25. Mrs. Hobart says:

    God is close to the broken hearted…under His wings you will find refuge. Dear Nancy, Matthew, Rachel, Paul and Hannah, I pray you will find comfort in these words from Psalms as you grieve the great loss of your husband and dad. He was so deeply devoted to each of you. He was a vital part of the Abundant Life Christian School community during your years there as a family and he mentored many through his generous and Godly presence. He blessed me and my family and it was an honor to know him. With much love and continued prayer from Georgia, Mrs. Hobart

  26. Jim & Marcia Balducci says:

    We met Tom & Nancy at the “Home Improvement Ministry Retreat” with Paul & Virginia Freisen. We happen to be sitting with them at the same table. Just the short time of conversation we had with them and hearing Tom’s story we felt blessed that God had given us that chance to meet them.We pray that the Lord will surround you and your family with His almighty love and walk with you daily while you mourn his loss. Our condolence, Marcia & Jim Balducci

  27. Linda Tedford says:

    Nancy and family,
    I am so saddened by your loss. I know that he is with our heavenly father and I just pray that he will sustain you all through this time. I have many found memories of you guys at family camp, beginning with you guys being in one of my first small groups many years ago. I pray that God will carry you all through this time.

  28. Cammy Morteo says:

    To Eileen and a the rest of the Devlin family, I would like to express my deepest sympathies. I didn’t know Tom personally, but I often remember Eileen talking about her little brother. It is very difficult to lose a sibling, but always know that he is at peace and no longer suffering. Be assured my prayers for you all.

  29. John and Denise Garrett says:

    We were so saddened to read of Tommy’s passing and the story of his recent struggles. He is a true Hero! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.

    Our heartfelt condolences, John and Denise Garrett

  30. Chris Casey says:

    My deepest condolences to Tom’s loved ones, in their time of intense grief, upon his passing from injuries suffered in the line of duty. He served with distinction and lived a life of honor and love, until making the ultimate sacrifice.
    We have all been the beneficiaries of Tom and his extended family.
    Rest In Peace. Chris (LPD retired)

  31. Grateful Citizen says:

    My deepest condolences to the Devlin family. I will keep you all close in my prayers during this sad time. What a beautiful tribute to a true hero- thank you for your service and your ultimate sacrifice. May you Rest In Peace Trooper 1st Class Thomas Devlin

  32. McLeod says:

    What an incredible life lived. My condolences to your family during this very hard time.

  33. Robert Tierney says:

    May the grace of god bless tommy
    With eternal rest and peace I knew him well from my time with mass dot

    Always had that smile wit and compassionate spirit
    You will be greatly missed rest easy my friend

  34. Peter Carbone says:

    Nancy and Family,
    I was shocked and saddened to learn of Tom passing. He was an exceptional person and he touched many lives through out the years. He will be missed by all of those who knew him, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has lost one of its most devoted and selfless civil servants. My condolences to all of you and may he rest in divine peace.

  35. Tom Ruggiero says:

    My thoughts and prayers to your family. You were truly one of the “Good Guys.” May you Rest In Peace. Tom Ruggiero

  36. Tom Ruggiero says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family. You were truly one of the “Good Guys.” May you rest in peace.

  37. Thomas Roller says:

    God rest your soul, my brother-in-blue, and comfort your family, friends and comrades.

    Ret. P.O. Tom Roller
    NYPD
    Sterling, Ma.

  38. Anthony Parello says:

    RIP your were a hero who fought the good fight.
    Rest easy now.

  39. Mandy Trout says:

    The Devlin family…. I just want to extend my deepest sympathies to you all. I had only met Tom a few times (one being at my uncle Donnie’s wake). I always heard such great things about him from Shayne. You guys were always so welcoming to him. Every time I saw Matt the first question would be, how’s your dad doing…. It’s not easy for those left behind but he is in the most glorious place now. He will forever be an angel looking down on you all. I’m so very sorry for your loss??

  40. Peter Merlini says:

    To the Devlin Family. My Deepest Sympathy for Tom Devlin ‘s passing. I met Tom & his brother Jim many years in the 1980’s. We all had many great memory’s at the State Police Picnic. Tom’s smile and sense of humor would light up the whole State of Massachusetts. At this time I am deeply saddened
    For the loss of a great friend, family man and a great Trooper that he was. May
    May God Bless Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Devlin, To bless him as he enters his Kingdom. Amen !!! ????

  41. Lauren and Pablo Rodriguez says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. As a son and daughter in law of a fallen officer, we feel your tremendous pain you must be going through right now. We thank you for your service and your ultimate sacrifice. We pray for you as you are received in heaven and know you will continue to watch over your family. We pray the family finds solace in your memory. We send all our love.

  42. Carolyn Sylvester says:

    Nancy and kids, I am so sorry about your loss. Tom was a wonderful man and his smile was contagious. I am praying for you all to be surrounded with the many friends to support you at this time. With love, Carolyn

  43. The Sadowski/Guarino Family says:

    What an amazing man, may he Rest In Peace.
    Our deepest condolences to Nancy, his children and all his family and friends.

  44. Anne McNamara Moran says:

    Dear Paul and family, so sad to hear of your loss. May the good Lord bring comfort to you all during the coming days. All my best, Anne

  45. THEODORE HURLEY says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the Devlin family.

  46. Larry Lepore says:

    So sorry for your Family’s loss.
    From the Lepore’s of the South

  47. Thomas O’Leary says:

    We never formally met however I entered the Boston Police Academy on July 10, 1985. We had a day of sports competition between our academies so in essence our paths probably crossed as we traveled out to Framingham to compete in various athletic events. Well Godspeed my friend to you and your family from a 35 year veteran of the Boston Police and a job well done. In my thoughts and prayers ????????????????????????????????

  48. Thomas O’Leary says:

    We never formally met however I entered the Boston Police Academy on July 10, 1985. We had a day of sports competition between our academies so in essence our paths probably crossed as we traveled out to Framingham to compete in various athletic events. Well Godspeed my friend to you and your family from a 35 year veteran of the Boston Police and a job well done. In my thoughts and prayers ????????????????????????????????

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