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89 of Phoenix, went home to his Lord and Savior, Friday, March 8, 2013. Deke was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan May 29, 1923. He served in World War II as a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber, and in 1945 married Dorothy, his wife of 67 years. They moved their family to Phoenix early in 1953, and Deke started Arizona Irrigation Company, the first underground sprinkler company in the valley. Later he owned Norman's Nursery. After he retired he did volunteer work for his church, the church's Christian school, and The Family Attic. Deke was an active member of the Phoenix Christian Reformed Church serving as a deacon, elder, and Sunday School teacher, and on the board of the Phoenix Christian Grade School PreK-8. Deke was preceded in death by his son Steven. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, daughter Nancy Clay and son-in-law Terry, his grandchildren, Shelia McKirahan, Isaiah Connell (Sarah), Tracy Clay, Alex Clay (Kristy), seven precious great-grand children, his sister Carol Shrier (Bob), and brother Richard (Pam). A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 14 at 10:30 AM at Phoenix Christian Reformed Church, 2438 E. Earll Drive. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Phoenix Christian Grade School, 2425 N 26th St.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 12, 2013