Cleo Devoto, 1912-2010


Cleo Devoto, a longtime residence of Lakeport, passed away on July 19 in San Diego.

She was born to Madison and Edna (McQuiddy) Anderson on Aug. 31, 1912, in Rebel Creek, Nev., near her parents' large cattle ranch in Battle Mountain.

When she was about 12 her parents sold the ranch and moved to an apartment house which they bought in San Francisco. She attended Galileo High School in San Francisco and then Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.

She met her future husband, the late Judge Ralph V. Devoto, when he rented a room in her parents’ apartment house. They married in 1932 and moved to his home town of Santa Rosa where he practiced law.

They moved again to Lake County in 1938 when they bought Lake County Title Co. and lived for many years on S. Main Street at the corner of 16th Street.

With her husband Cleo was busy with many activities. In the 1940s the local Red Cross held their annual swimming classes on the beach at their home. Later she took up horseback riding with her children and was an active member of the Clear Lake Horsemen.

To pasture their horses they bought a ranch in south Lakeport. She grew hay there and also planted walnut trees. They later sold this ranch and bought several walnut orchards and a pear orchard in Big Valley. In 1971 she began to grow winegrapes which went into several prize-winning wines.

Judge Devoto passed away in 1983 and, shortly after she moved to Rossmoor, a retirement community in Walnut Creek.

She sold her apartment in Rossmoor in 2005 and moved to a senior residence, first in Moraga, then in Ukiah and finally in San Diego near her daughter.

She is survived by her son, Steve of Kelseyville; her daughter, Janis Devoto, of San Diego and Boulder, Colorado; five grand children; 10 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

No public service is planned.