Richard Leroy Deen, 81, passed away at his home in Mercedes, Texas, on Monday, June 29, following a lengthy illness. He was born on July 4, 1938, to Howard William Deen and Margaret Hale Deen in Sioux City, Iowa.
Rich spent his childhood in Iowa. He moved to Brookings, South Dakota, as a teenager, where he graduated from high school. Following high school, Rich joined the U.S. Air Force and later attended college.
Rich met Edythe “Edie” Schlotterbeck while they were both attending South Dakota State University. They were married on Nov. 23, 1962, in Harrisburg, South Dakota. The marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake City, Utah, LDS temple.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Richard continued his graduate studies at Brigham Young University. He began his career in public education, serving in numerous positions throughout South Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho. During Rich’s tenure, he was instrumental in promoting cultural events and enhancing the communities where he served.
To say Rich was an outdoorsman would be an understatement. He loved to be outdoors and spent most of his time enjoying nature. Rich and Edie raised three daughters, who learned to enjoy birding, fishing, hunting and traveling to different parts of the country. Richard’s passion was bird watching. He taught many community classes on birdwatching and took beautiful pictures of all types of birds.
Rich was also a lover of music, and this always played a significant role in his life. He taught others how to play instruments and also performed in various community bands and orchestras. He was a member of the Air Force band.
Above all, Rich was a servant of the Lord. He was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When God called Rich to serve, the answer was always one of thankfulness and gratification. He had many callings throughout his life. He and Edie served several missions in southern Texas.
After retirement, Rich and Edie spent time between their homes in Mercedes, Texas and Evanston. Rich was active his entire life and enjoyed it to the fullest. He had a love for learning and kept his mind engaged with new information, whether it was learning a new hobby or reading plenty of books.
Rich is preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Margaret Deen.
He is survived by his loving wife, Edie Deen; daughters, Lindy Maylett (Tracy) of Mapleton, Utah, Clarissa Baughman (Mike) of Las Vegas, and Celeste Douglass (Will) of Alexandria, Virginia; sister, Jana Deen; grandchildren, Andrew Maylett, Cameron Maylett (Brea), Taylor Maylett, Nicholas Maylett, Regan Baughman, Ben Douglass, Liam Douglass and Amelia Douglass; and great-grandchildren, Lincoln and Thea Maylett.