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Faithful to brother’s memory for decades, while grave marker goes missing

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PHILADELPHIA — The last thing 73-year-old John DeVos wanted was to be thrown out of a graveyard. But he crouched onto his knees a week ago at Greenmount Cemetery, at the very patch of grass where he had watched them bury his 11-year-old brother in 1948. And with a screwdriver and small spade, he began to poke and dig.

A flat granite slab with the inscription “MICHEL DEVOS” had gone missing. And if anyone could swear it had been there, in that exact spot, for decades, it was younger brother John. Because for eight years, every Sunday after church, starting at age 7, John had walked a mile from home to Michel’s grave and left flowers. His shattered mother had insisted on it.

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