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Anita June Deits

1933 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Anita June Deits Obituary
Deits, Anita June
Died peacefully with her family gathered around her on February 18, 2016, after a 12 year battle with Alzheimer's disease. June was born March 14, 1933 in a farmhouse in rural Oklahoma, the oldest of three children born to Opal and Ira Meeks. She was four years old when her family moved to southern California, living in Whitewater, Norwalk and finally in Lakewood. It was there when she was in the 8th grade that a new boy, Bob Deits, came to her class and she offered to help him find his classrooms. They were soon girlfriend/boyfriend and dated through high school. Bob and June were married March 15, 1952. June was an artist, athlete and skilled public speaker. She and Bob were competitive roller skate dancers for 15 years. They were Arizona State Champions 3 times and Regional finalists once. June designed and made all of their costumes. During younger years she played tennis, golf and enjoyed stream fishing near their cabin outside Payson, AZ. She and Bob enjoyed ball room dancing, especially the Argentine Tango. They went to Buenos Aires 3 times to study with master teachers and became teachers themselves. Some of the best tango dancers in the world sought her out to dance with them. When her husband went back to college, then to seminary to become an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, June typed his papers on a portable non-electric typewriter. She worked alongside him in every aspect of the ministry for more than 40 years. She was a partner with Bob in leading 36 Marriage Encounter weekends. Together with two other couples they wrote the program for UM Engaged Encounter. On Valentine's Day, 1994, June had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. Her death came 4 days after the 22nd anniversary of that event. Her response to having cancer was to create a Daffodil Sunday at their church that eventually raised $88,000 for the American Cancer Society. She also visited women who were having mastectomies and led a cancer support group. An automobile accident in 1992 led to the breakdown of her spine 15 years later and resulted in surgeries leaving 2 rods and 12 screws in her back. However, none of her physical challenges impacted the fullness of her life until she was diagnosed with memory loss in 2004. By 2008 it was advanced Alzheimer's. She participated in a research study on an experimental drug for 3 years, but was not effective. In 2013 she became a resident of a memory care facility. Two years later she moved to Legacy Senior Care near their home where she lived at the time of her death. June is survived by her husband, Bob Deits, Sons Rick (Dianne) Deits and Roger (Marcia) Deits, daughter Jeanne (Bill) Honsaker, 15 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren and her sister, Beverly Sandoval. She was preceded in death by her parents Ira and Opal Meeks, and brother, Ronnie Meeks. A Memorial Service will be held at 1 PM on March 19 at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church, 6640 S. Kings Ranch Rd, Gold Canyon, AZ.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 13, 2016
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