Ernie Devlin

Ernie Charles Devlin, 58, of Colstrip, Mont., passed away on Thursday, April 4, 2019, surrounded by his family in a Billings, Mont., hospital.

Graveside Service: 1 p.m., Saturday, June 15, Memorial Park Cemetery of Sioux City.

Officiating: Rev. Sheryl K. Ashley.

Military Rites: Conducted by the United States Air Force.

Ernie Charles Devlin was born in Escondido, Calif., on Dec. 8, 1960, to Ernest D. and Jennie

(Smith) Devlin. He attended Crestmore High School in San Bruno, Calif., and graduated from

Escondido High School in Escondido Calif., in 1979. He graduated from Ashford College in 2015 with highest honors.

Ernie joined the Marine Corps in December 1979. He married the love of his life, Roxann

Backer-Devlin, on June 25, 1982. Together, they welcomed their first daughter, Taima, in June


Ernie left the Marine Corps in September 1984 and joined the Air Force on Feb. 14,

1985. Ernie and Roxann welcomed twin daughters, Tarah and Torey, in January 1986. They

experienced military life together as Ernie was stationed at USMC Base El Toro, Calif.; Edwards

AFB, California; Hahn AFB, Germany; Spangdahlem AFB, Germany; and Minot AFB, North Dakota.

Ernie retired from the Air Force in June 2003 after 23 years of loyal service to his country. After retiring, Ernie worked at Well’s Enterprises in LeMars for five years. He and Roxann moved to Colstrip, Mont., in the summer of 2008 where Ernie worked for PPL Montana as a trainer until the time of his passing. Ernie passed peacefully surrounded by his four greatest blessings, his wife and three daughters.

In addition to his great love for his family and friends, Ernie had a deep love for his country. He was deeply honored to have served his country for 23 years. He enjoyed his work with PPL Vets and was proud to call his fellow Marines and Airmen brothers and sisters. His military family was as important to him as his biological family. Ernie was thankful for everyday that he was given and lived his life to the fullest.

During Ernie’s time in the military, he served as a youth coach for many sports. To him, the wins and losses were not important. He was more concerned about helping to enhance the lives of his athletes. Wrestling was his passion, and he shared it with many young wrestlers. As well as coaching, he supported his daughter’s efforts in sports and all of their other endeavors.

Ernie was more than a husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather, he was a friend to many. He never met a stranger and treated everyone as if they were a part of his family. Ernie would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need and tried to have a positive attitude at all times. He always looked for the best and brightest in every situation and would help others see it as well. He was truly a superhero who now has wings under his cape.

Ernie had a special bond and love for his grandchildren. He enjoyed spending as much time with them as he could. His grandchildren thought of him as “the best and greatest Papa ever.”

His love for life and family will continue to live on through his family.

Ernie is survived by his wife, Roxann M. Backer-Devlin of Colstrip, Mont.; his daughters, Taima

(Brian) Randall of Panama City, Fla., Tarah (Sean) Lawler of Defiance, and Torey (Tony) Hill of Kingsley; eight grandchildren, Jayden, Karah, Easton, Kaidynce, Kayleigh, Teagan, Searah, and Rhyker; brother, John (Ann) Devlin of New York; and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by father, Ernest D. Devlin; mother, Jennie Devlin; brothers, Jack Smith, David Cammock, and Robert Devlin; two grandsons, Bryton and Brenden; and one nephew.

The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Anthon is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at