Indiana Pacers co-founder dies, aged 83


IndyStar photo83-year old Chuck DeVoe, part of a group of businessmen who founded the Indiana Pacers, has died, NBA official website reported.

Leppert Mortuary and Crematory Services funeral director Angela Johnson says DeVoe died Saturday. She did not know the cause of death. The Indianapolis Star reported family members said he died of melanoma. A moment of silence was held before the Pacers played the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.

DeVoe was one of a group of local businessmen who founded the American Basketball Association team in 1967. The Pacers won three ABA championships before joining the NBA in 1976.

DeVoe was team president from 1968-74 and board chairman from 1974-75.

Bill York, the longtime head of statistics, says the Pacers wouldn’t be in Indianapolis if DeVoe and his partners hadn’t been so dedicated to keeping the team in the city.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Woodstock Club in Indianapolis on Jan. 12.

DeVoe was also president of L.M. DeVoe Co., an electronics firm founded by his father. He was also a professional-level tennis player, holder of 11 Indiana open tennis championships and numerous seniors titles.

“It’s not a stretch to say that without the DeVoes’ foresight, without the Pacers getting it started, there might not be much of a downtown now,” said Bob Netolicky, a former Pacers player.

DeVoe is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jody, as well as three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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