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.
View Original Notice → Trooper 1st Class Thomas W. Devlin, MSP