Leona Virginia (Cormier) Devlin, 85, died of heart failure, at her home in Beaufort, SC. She was born in Waltham, MA, the third of five children to Mary and Henry Cormier. She graduated from Waltham High School and married her high school sweetheart, Gerard M. Devlin. At the time he was serving on active duty with the US Army. A combat veteran paratrooper, he had earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge while fighting in Korea. The newlyweds honeymooned on route to his next duty station at Fort Campbell, KY, assigned to the famous 11th Airborne Division. \n \nWhen eventually the 11th Airborne Division deployed to Germany, Jerry had enough points (given his combat experience) to take his family with him. They crossed the Atlantic in a crowded troop ship, with their first child, 6-month old Michael, for the 10-day voyage. "That crowded troop ship was no Queen Mary let me tell you," Leona would later joke with friends. Upon debarking in Bremerhaven, the dependents were herded aboard an unheated troop train for the multi-day journey to Munich. "There was no dining car, and no provision for diaper service or laundry," In the brown-shoe Army of that day, dependents were at best an after-thought, Leona recalled. Still, Army wives looked out for each other and the family survived and thrived. During Jerry's deployment in Germany, they travelled extensively through Europe, visiting cities they had only seen in movies. Leona was fluent in French, and loved Paris, especially the gardens of Versailles. \n \nUpon returning home, then Sergeant Devlin completed Army Ranger School, then Officer Candidate School. Now 2nd Lieutenant Devlin received his first company command, and Leona became the commanding officer's wife, and de facto mother hen to the other wives and families. Jerry took every college course the Army offered, and eventually was promoted to Captain.Taking seriously her role as wife and helper, she assisted him with his studies.\n \nHe served two tours in Vietnam, and was grievously wounded. Leona flew to The Philippines to be at his hospital bedside as he recovered from multiple surgeries. He was medically retired in the rank of Major, the recipient of the Purple Heart, 3 Bronze Stars for Valor, and the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's next highest valor award to the Congressional Medal of Honor. They retired to Massachusetts and Jerry reinvented himself in a new career as a military historian.\n \nLeona typed nearly 1,000 pages for the manuscript of his first major work, "Paratrooper," which sold in the multi-thousands, in hard cover and paperback, and remains the definitive work in that field. This was followed by two more successful military histories. The couple retired to Hilton Head Island, where Leona took over running a day care center, with Jerry acting as general handy-man. \n \nThey purchased a double lot in Rose Hill in Bluffton, SC and engaged an architect. Leona was able to design her dream house with exterior gardens and in indoor conservatory. She had always loved flowers and had a green thumb. She was particularly partial to orchids,and was elected vice president of the Savannah Orchid Society. Leona also served on the Flower Guild of their church in Bluffton, St. Gregory the Great.\n \nLeona's special talent extended to entertaining, and the Rose Hlll home was a splendid setting. Their annual Christmas party was a formal sit-down, and included guests from among the paratrooper and Ranger community of retirees, as well as such notables from his book tours as Secretary of State Alexander Haig, General Gavin, actors Van Johnson and James Coburn, and businessman Ross Perot (who asked Jerry to be his biographer). \n \nLeona was predeceased by her husband Jerry who finally succumbed to his wounds in 2016, and her two older brothers Norman and Jerry Cormier. She is survived by her three children, Michael, of Beaufort, SC, Deanna-Lyn Reilly of Ridgeland, SC, and Patricia Petree of Central, SC, and by two grandsons, Robert and Joseph, and three granddaughters, Michelle, Ann, and Rose and 4 great grand children. Leona is also survived by two younger sisters, Deanna Cormier Trotta, and Linda Cormier, both of Waltham, MA.\n \nThe family will receive friends on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 10 o'clock am at St. Peter's Catholic Church on Lady's Island. Funeral Mass will begin at 10:30am followed by burial in Beaufort National Cemetery.