On June 20, 2012, my dad, Michael Paul Dethman, died of a subdural hematoma. He collapsed on Father's Day and passed away three days later. My mom and I were at his side. He was 61 years old.
My dad was born in Corvallis on September 13, 1950, to Dorothy Waugh and Wendell Dethman. He spent his childhood summers at the Dethman family's apple orchards, which his great-grandfather Christian Dethman established in Hood River after immigrating to the United States from Holstein, Germany. My dad moved from Corvallis to Eugene when he was 12 years old and later attended Churchill High School. He worked for Qwest Communications as a data technician for 31 years. He married my mom, Paula Eve Springer, on May 1, 1976, and they welcomed me on May 31, 1981, and my brother, Logan Michael Dethman, on March 1, 1983.
My dad was a runner. Running appealed to his self-reliant and independent nature, and he competed in marathons, triathlons, biathlons, and 10K and 15K races. He loved watching track meets at Hayward Field, and the few times he ran on the stadium's track were a great honor for him. My dad ran 19 marathons, including the Seattle Marathon, the Victoria Marathon, the Albany Marathon, and Avenue of the Giants. He placed 19th in the 1981 Portland Marathon, and his fastest marathon time was 2 hours, 38 minutes, and 56 seconds, which he ran at the Eugene Marathon on his 31st birthday. His all-time favorite race was the Cascade Run Off, which he ran since the race's inception.
My dad was also adventurous. At age 19, he traveled to Europe and Israel for three months with only $300 in his pocket. In 2005, he and I traveled to Greece, visiting the Acropolis in Athens and island hopping from Mykonos to Santorini to Crete. The history and mythology of ancient places, especially Jerusalem, fascinated him.
My dad taught me to work hard, to persevere, and to push my limits. I miss him dearly.
- Morgan McKenzie Dethman
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Published in Eugene Register-Guard on July 1, 2012