Archie Raymond Devitt

1920 - 2007

Archie Devitt, a trombonist and band director, taught for over thirty years at four schools in the Seventh-day Adventist school system. He was noted for his enthusiasm and ability to build successful band programs.

Archie was born and raised in North Dakota, one of six children of Conrad and Caroline M. Biesterfeld Devitt. He enrolled in the U.S. Army in February 1941, where he played in dance bands. He started attending SDA church services in Tillamook, Oregon, became an SDA, and married Minnie Belle Schultz in 1942. He attended Walla Walla College, now University, after World War II ended in 1945 and graduated with a 1950.

Devitt was hired to be the instrumental teacher and band director at Columbia Academy in Washington state following graduation and taught there for the next decade. While at CA, he completed a masterís degree at the University of Oregon in 1960. His thesis was titled ďA comparison of the Musical Needs of the Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School Teachers in the North Pacific Union Conference and the Training Provided at Walla Walla College.Ē In that same year he became band director at Campion Academy in Colorado, where he taught until 1970, when he was hired to teach at Monterey Bay Academy in California.

In 1975 he became band director at Central Valley Junior Academy in Washington, now Grandview Seventh-day Adventist School, and taught there until his retirement in 1982. He assisted in the music program at Upper Columbia Academy for a short while following retirement and was living in Longview, Washington, at the time of his death, at age 87.


Sources: Information provided by Lynn Wheeler, August 2012; Mathison/Nordeen Family Tree,; WWII Enlistment Records; 1930 U.S. Federal Census Records;North Pacific Union Gleaner, 7 July 1942, 2; Central Union Reaper, 11 October 1960, 7; personal knowledge.