Francis L. DeVoll

1926 ~ 2019


Obit Photo Fran DeVoll

   Francis DeVoll, age 95, former NWA Seattle Manager of Flight Operations, passed away quietly Wednesday morning, November 6, 2019, at the Harbor View Adult Family Home. His son Michael had spent the day with him.

   After graduating from high school in Madelia, Minnesota, Fran attended business school then followed the lead of many young men of the time and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He served in the 15th Army Air Force, flying 25 missions over Europe as a B-24 Liberator nose gunner. Thus, began a lifelong love of flying. After VE day he was reassigned stateside to Buckingham Army Air Base at Fort Myers, Florida where he met Lorraine, his wife of 65 years who predeceased him in September 2010.

   Fran and Lorraine relocated to Minnesota where he finished school then took a job in 1947 with Northwest Airlines (NWA), feeding his love of flying and travel. This started a lifetime of travel adventures to all parts of Asia and later with Lorraine to Europe and Africa as well as continuing trips to Asia.

   After son Michael was born, Fran and Lorraine relocated to the new western hub of NWA in Seattle, Washington, where he eventually became Base Manager of Flight Operations and remained there until his retirement in 1989.

   When son Michael was old enough to join the Boy Scouts, Fran took an increasingly active role at the troop and council levels. When Michael was in High School, the family arranged a private student exchange with Shinko High School in Kobe, Japan, hosting a student in their home. They were so impressed with the idea they founded and operated The Rainier Beach Cultural Exchange organization for ten years before turning it over to Rotary.

   The family loved to travel and did so extensively, at one time taking Michael out of school and traveling about the Asia Region for a month with no airline nor hotel reservations as they visited Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia and the Philippines.

   Francis is survived by his son Michael of Richmond, VA (Harriet), brother Robert DeVoll of Union City, CA (Mary), and extended family.

  • DeVoll Family