Letter to the Editor: My Friend Kim Devore

Kim Devore.

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must let our community know that our beautiful colleague and friend Kim Devore passed away in the early morning hours on Sunday, Nov. 20. 

Kim was a friend to all and an absolute joy to be with and work with. In her honor, Julie Ellerton wrote a heartwarming tribute to our dear friend. 

My Friend Kim Devore

From the moment I met Kim Devore, she opened up her arms and her heart, welcoming me into The Malibu Times fold, like I belonged there, the missing piece to this eclectic mix of journalists.

We both worked in entertainment; I would attend press junkets, interviewing the talent that Kim would so often be writing about, we’d compared stories and our love of film.

Kim exuded kindness and warmth; she would melt in my arms when I’d go to embrace her, “Hi Sweetheart” she’d say. We’d laugh at the absurdity of it all, whatever it is that caught our attention for that moment. That was all fun and games, but when it came down to her journalism career, now that was a serious matter.

She was passionate about the stories she told, the actors, their lives, films, their love affairs, awards they’d win, the causes they believed in, the people they would help.

Sean Penn being one of her all time favorites of late. Kim liked to shine a spotlight on all that Penn has done to make this world a better place, and we, the Malibu community, get to claim him as our own; Kim was proud of that.

Malibu locals would often see Kim walking down PCH, making her way to Los Flores, where she occupied a desk at the Malibu Times office, their former location. Kim would work there daily; she especially liked our editorial meetings on Thursday, when we’d all be together; she’d thrived on teamwork.

We’d all squeeze around Arnold’s desk, throwing out ideas and stories that we thought needed to be told, stories that the Malibu community would benefit knowing about.

That was before the pandemic, before the isolation that soon took the place of camaraderie.

We’d still talk on the phone; Kim beamed as she shared stories with me about her parents, proud of their accomplishments and brush with the celebrities she’d likely write about at some point in her career.

Her stories would captivate me, Hollywood long ago, the actors, the glitz and glamour, the films. I loved stories of old Hollywood; as a child growing up in Los Angeles, Hollywood seemed like part of our family tree.

I learned snippets about her mother, Erika Devore Brunson; she was an actress, philanthropist, animal advocate, an interior decorator, and designer, who only recently passed away in May. Kim was deeply saddened by her mother’s passing; she missed their daily chats.

Her father, Sy Devore, was the “Tailor to the Stars” He became as famous as the legends he dressed; John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Jackie Gleason, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Nat King Cole, President John F. Kennedy, and Sammy Davis Jr.

He designed cut suits for the Rat Pack in the original 1960s film Oceans 11. He was known as “The Man Who Dressed Elvis Presley” and became synonymous with Hollywood class and style in the ’50s and 60s.

There’s so much that I could share about the Kim Devore that I knew; the bright smile, positive attitude, mischievous giggle, and the love, so much love when we chatted, “We’ll stick together” she’d say when the tide changed drastically in the world around us.

My hope for Kim was happiness; being a journalist and working for Malibu Times brought her that.

I am grateful that she was able to continue her work with the passion she started her career with till the end of her life. I’m also deeply grateful to Hayley and Nic Mattson that they continued to run Kim’s entertainment column when they became the publishers of The Malibu Times; I know first hand it meant everything to her.

Such an honor to get to know you, Kim, “Kimi,” as she’d say in her voice message to me or sign in her emails, “Love you, sweetheart” she’d said.

Love you too Kim, you are missed.

But I’m pretty sure you’re that bright-colored hummingbird that has been buzzing around me the last few days, dancing in my face with delight… as you said, we’d stick together, I know you’re never too far out of reach.

Julie Ellerton, Malibu