Devon Howard

Devon Howard

Loving, handsome, caring, giving, adventurous

Devon was a kind, caring, giving person, an easy-going child, and an amazing older brother to his younger sister, Hannah. He was a daredevil, always up for new adventures, and loved to keep people laughing. Devon spent his free time outdoors at Lake Anna, fishing, on a jet ski or a boat. He also loved hiking in the woods or mountains. His birthdays were always a day all about him and since he was a St. Patrick’s Day baby, all the decorations were green.

His mom recalled a memorable event that happened when Devon was four. He thought it would be interesting to put a watch battery up his nose. When it got stuck, his mom rushed him to a hospital and as they were sitting in the waiting room, Devon, still sobbing, said, “Look, Mom,” and there was the battery in his hand. They quickly exited before meeting with the doctor.

Though Devon was a certified meat cutter, he also loved landscaping. In good weather, he could be found outside, maintaining someone’s yard to perfection. Devon was always willing to help anyone. His mom, Sheri, recalls a time when he stopped to help two homeless men. He brought them food and toiletries and fed them. After sharing time at a bonfire together, Devon invited them to spend the night.

Devon had some difficult losses over the years prior to his death, both of his grandparents died in the same year. His cherished aunt passed away, his parents divorced, and his beloved stepsister was murdered.

In active addiction, Devon would isolate from family and was quick to anger. His mother felt helpless and was constantly worried about him. Devon’s biggest goal in life was to conquer his addiction, so he could be free to decide what to do with his future. He sought treatment himself and made all the arrangements. Devon was proud to be sober. He looked healthy and loved living in California; unfortunately, sobriety was short-lived, and Devon relapsed.

His mom misses everything about him; his beautiful face, getting his phone calls, and hearing him say “I love you, mom.” “His absence in my life is miserable,” she said.

Both Hannah and Sheri are advocates for educating the public and bringing awareness to the issues around substance use disorder. Hannah is now a NARCAN trainer and was recognized by a Virginia U.S. Representative for her dedication and advocacy. Sheri said, “I will always be Devon’s voice and never stop educating and sharing resources regarding addiction.”

Devon’s mother, Sheri Gauthier, provided the information for this narrative.

March 17, 1992-May 8, 2019

Age 27-Lived with the disease of addiction 6 years

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