You are here

Former Bellingham retailer Jack DeVries, 83, dies

Published September 14, 2018

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (BRAIN) — Jack DeVries, a veteran Bellingham retailer and collector of all things bicycling, died Tuesday, Sept. 11. He was 83.


A onetime bicycle newspaper delivery boy, DeVries began his career in the bike industry working for Times Bicycle Shop in Bellingham in 1950 at age 16. In 1969, he opened his own shop in town, Jack’s Bicycle Center. The shop moved to its current location in 1995. 

DeVries exited the business in 2011 due to declining health, turning over ownership and operation of the store to two of his five children — Kent DeVries and Rhonda Van Nus, who continue to run the Jack’s Bicycle Center. Jack retired to Arizona, where he continued to ride a recumbent trike with assistance from friends and family. He passed away at Pacifica Senior Living in Peoria, Arizona, after a series of health issues, including a heart attack, two strokes and a hip fracture that required him to use a wheelchair.

During the 1950s, DeVries rode penny farthings with a group in parades in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle. He was also part of a group of unicyclists that held races on Chuckanut Drive along Bellingham’s waterline, and was an avid road racer in his younger days, Kent DeVries told BRAIN. 

Jack was just as passionate about collecting cycling memorabilia. “Our old shop (pre-1995) was an old-time shop where you had everything stuffed into a shop that you could. There were a ton of antique bikes on the walls and ceiling,” Kent recalled. “And his house from ’74 until he moved down to Arizona was nothing but bicycle stuff. Literally every nook and cranny you could see in the place.

“He loved anything that had to do with bicycles. A few things I’ve gotten from him are old pocket watches, straight razors and a barber knife with bicycles engraved on them. Old horns, too,” Kent added.

Jack DeVries is survived by four children, his second wife (of 27 years), five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren.


Join the Conversation