Jon C. Deisher
1946 - 2016
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Jon C. Deisher "ran through the tape" after a 3-year race with esophageal cancer; he passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 17, 2016. Jon was born on Sept. 16, 1946, in Greeley, Colo., to Joseph Bell Deisher Jr. and Marie Elizabeth (Kuehn) Deisher. He was raised in Seward and the family homestead at Tonsina, Alaska. He attended high school in Seward; Rochester, N.Y.; and Canada: in 1965, he matriculated from University School in Victoria, B.C. He recently attended his 50-year reunion at St. Michael's University School, where he was pleased to see schoolmates and a few teachers. After graduation, Jon and his brother Phil visited their parents in the Marshall Islands, where they embarked on a memorable coming-of-age tour of the South Pacific on an inter-island freighter. He was a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran. During this time he lived in the Philippines and learned Tagalog, which he always remembered and enjoyed speaking when opportunities arose. Jon attended Menlo College and the University of Nevada-Reno, where he completed a Masters Degree in Speech Communications with an emphasis in family counseling. He worked as a marriage and family counselor and sign language interpreter in Seattle, Wash. He returned to Alaska, in 1978, to work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Alaska. During his rehabilitation career, he worked with the deaf community, veterans and substance abuse treatment programs. Jon initiated American Sign Language classes at UAA and taught numerous Alaskans ASL for 33 years. He married Laura Hillary in 1983 and they raised their family in Eagle River, Alaska. Jon was a Free Mason and an active Rotarian who assisted with youth exchange programs, the End Polio Now campaign, international clean water projects and the Anchorage Planet Walk. He made four trips to India to immunize children against polio. He was a true Renaissance man in his interests and talents which included languages, scuba diving, hiking, photography, the strategic game Go, drawing, sculpture, writing, history and world affairs, and recently cancer immunotherapy. Prior to his illness he was a 10 time Mt. Marathon race veteran. Jon was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Karl and Phil. He is survived by his wife, Laura; daughters, Tania, Rebecca and Linnea; sons-in-law, Brian and Chuck; grandson, Rowan; sister, Tashna; brother, Joe; sisters-in-law, Melody and Patsy; nieces, Heather and Amber; and nephews, Jeremy and Trey. A celebration of life will be held in early May. His legacy lives in the hearts of the many people he truly touched throughout his lifetime. The family thanks Dr. Max Rabinowitz, Zack Zipsir and staff at AOH, Dr. Richard Chung, Dr. Ronald Boisen and Dr. Brant Oleschlager, as well as Providence Hospice for their compassionate care. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 770198, Eagle River, AK 99577.

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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Mar. 3, 2016.
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22 entries
February 26, 2021
I cannot believe it’s been five years. Here’s to you John I know you’re in a great place Jamie and I miss you too.
I cannot believe it’s been five years. Here’s to you John I kno Gary stein
March 21, 2016
I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with Jon during one of his treatments. It was a profound experience that changed me for the better. He was so insightful and had such a positive attitude towards his illness, and more importantly, towards life in general. I hope to channel his spirit in my future endeavors.
Nick M
March 14, 2016
I am so sad to hear of Jon's passing. I knew him as a fellow administrator on the KGS Go server. He was such a compassionate, balanced person. I always admired the diverse talents that he had. He was a person who made the world a better place certainly made my little corner of it in the Go community better. I will miss him.
Cynthia Gaty
March 10, 2016
Thank You, Jon, for the many people you helped in your life. You were a compassionate friend and helper to all.
Larry Hintz
March 8, 2016
Jon never knew a stranger, a wonderful man with heart and intellect. The world is a better place because he lived.
Mike Huhndorf
March 8, 2016
Your smile, your stories, and you my friend will be missed.
Ann Whitmore-Painter
March 7, 2016
So sorry to hear of Jon's passing---rest in peace my friend.
Mike Daku
March 7, 2016
We're going to miss you Jon.
Jim Misko
March 6, 2016
Laura, Jamie and I were devastated to hear of Jon's passing. Our hearts and prayers are with you and yours. I look forward to seeing you and speaking with you.
much love, many hugs. Gary, Jamie, and Hannah
Gary Stein
March 5, 2016
So sorry to read of Jon's passing. He was a true Rotarian in every sense of the words "service above self". Barb Mee
Barb Mee
March 4, 2016
Jon was a great guy and welcomed me and teased me a lot when I moved to Alaska. I loved his sense of humor and devilish grin. My condolences to Laura and his entire family and all of his friends. The world is a bit darker without Jon here. RIP Jon. I'm glad I had the privilege of knowing you.
Julie Grizzle
March 4, 2016
My deepest sympathy to Laura and all of Jon's family. He will be missed in many ways. I appreciated his rotary work, especially his interest in India and Nepal.
Linda Jay Jackson
March 4, 2016
My condolences.

It was a pleasure to work with Jon on the KGS Go Server admin team. He will be missed.
James, a.k.a. "UnclMartin"
March 4, 2016
Laura, Tania, Rebecca, and Linnea
We loved Jon and will definitely miss his wry sense of humor. Jon loved ideas and had informed opinions about many things in this world. But what he seemed most proud of were his girls. All our sympathy to all of you.
Brett & Linda Erb
March 3, 2016
Deisher homestead site
Laura, Linnea, Rebecca and Tanya -- May your hearts be lightened with the memories and the spirit he instilled in you and all those whose life he touched.
Lynne VanArsdale
March 3, 2016
We are so sorry...Love you.
Sue and Paul Vance
March 3, 2016

Thanks for the warm greeting and developing of a lifelong friendship to this newly arrived Cheechako in 1978 from you the Sourdough that was born in Seward. You were the first and only Vietnam vet brother that we could share war experiences and feel comfortable with one another that was very private and kept between us. I will miss you very deeply. RIP my brother.
March 3, 2016
My heart breaks for all of you, Laura, Tania, Rebecca & Linnea. He was a terrific person and I will miss him greatly. All my love and heartfelt sympathies during these difficult days and weeks.
Laurie, Jim, Denali & Dawson White
Laurie Flarity-White
March 3, 2016
Jon, I will miss you. I will see you in the stardust soon enough myself. You were a great friend and married the best woman in the world. You had a meaningful and fulfilled life. Your friend. Gary
Gary Aanes
March 3, 2016
~Laura and girls~
We are so sorry for the loss of Jon, our lifelong friend and classmate from Seward. Jon had amazing gifts and in using them, he made the world a better place. Please accept our sincere sympathy at this difficult time. Steve and Linda MacSwain
Linda MacSwain
March 3, 2016
You have been a wonderful friend since our days together in high school and we are thinking of you every day. We will keep you close in our hearts forever. A big hug to Laura and your girls.
Love from,
Andrew, Silvina and Victoria.
Andrew Timmis
March 2, 2016
I knew Jon for several years through our common interests in online Go, art and photography. I remember him as an exceptionally positive person, but you already know that. I'll miss him. Sincere condolences.
David Saunders
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