Professor DeVor was born on April 18, 1944, in Milwaukee, the son of Robert and Betty (Hale) DeVor. He was a graduate of Lake Mills High School, class of 1962 and later he received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Richard married the former Jearnice Luedtke on April 5, 1968, in Madison. She died on May 18, 2011.
Professor DeVor had served on University of Illinois faculty since 1971. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000, the highest honor that can be accorded an engineer in the United States. He was a dedicated researcher and teacher. He mentored more than 150 M.S. and Ph.D. students who have assumed leadership roles in academia and industry.
He received numerous teaching awards from the University of Illinois, including the College of Engineering Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence in 1985; the Campus-wide Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1987; the College of Engineering Halliburton Engineering Education Leadership Award in 1989. He also received the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Award in 1993 and the S. M. Wu Research Implementation Award in 2010. In 1983, 1997 and 2008 he received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award for outstanding technical paper contributions and received the 2003 ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award.
Professor DeVor was a past president of the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He had a passion for serving his community and had been the president of the Lake Mills Area Community Foundation.
He is survived by his mother, Betty (Gerald) Roth of Oconomowoc; a brother, Robert Jr. of Lake Mills; three cousins, Richard (Anne) Hale of Plano, Texas, Jeffery (Mary) Hale of Hartland, and James (Karen) Hale of Lake Mills; his beloved Boston Terrier, Holly; other relatives and friends; his professional colleagues; and of course, his many students. He will be greatly missed. He was also preceded in death by his father.
Private family services will be held. If desired, memorials may be made to the Lake Mills Area Community Foundation. The Claussen Funeral Home is assisting the family.