H. Howard DeVane, 19, student, saved H. Alfred Hitson, 22, student, from drowning, Americus, Georgia, January 16, 1950. While swimming in a lake, Hitson suffered cramp in water eight feet deep 70 feet from the bank and called for help. A man attempted to reach Hitson in a rowboat, using his hands to paddle, but he could not control the boat and later swam to the bank. DeVane disrobed to his underdrawers and swam 130 feet to Hitson, who flailed his arms at the surface. He took hold of Hitson, who immediately grasped DeVane and began to climb upon him. They were submerged together. DeVane freed himself beneath the surface, and they rose. Hitson then grasped DeVane at the neck. To break the hold, DeVane struck Hitson a hard blow between the eyes, and Hitson became limp. DeVane towed him 55 feet to wadable water, and another man carried Hitson to the bank. He was revived. 3638-41927
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Howard DeVane, 87, of Marietta, Ga., died on Aug. 24, 2018. He was born to Lorell and Edna Earl DeVane on June 23, 1931.
DeVane was a student at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus in 1950 when he saved a man from drowning. He studied pre-law at Emory University in Atlanta before joining the Marines during the Korean War. He graduated from Georgia Tech in Atlanta and spent many years as a mortgage broker in Marietta and Savannah, Ga. DeVane then joined the General Services Administration as a real estate specialist auctioning real estate seized by the U.S. Marshals from drug dealers, as well as auctioning surplus government real estate.
He served as a coach in Little League baseball and basketball and was a member of Smyrna First United Methodist Church. An avid gardener, his garden was on the Cobb County master gardeners’ annual garden tour. His garden was also on the Georgia Native Plant Society’s garden tour, and he served as the organization’s president. DeVane also was a member of the Georgia Perennial Plant Association, going on their garden tours to Scotland and Italy.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Shirley Woolbright DeVane, and sons, Harvey and Brad.
He was buried at Kennesaw Memorial Park in Marietta.
(Edited from an obituary published on the website for the Carmichael Funeral Home in Marietta.)