W. Richard Deets

Worth Richard "Dick" Deets, age 73, of Orange City, IA, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on Monday, Dec. 7, 2009.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10:30 a.m., at the American Reformed Church in Orange City. The Rev. Keith Krebs officiated.  Interment was in the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.Visitation was after 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

Dick was born in Winterset, IA, on June 18, 1936, to Worth H. and Mildred (Young) Deets.  His family farmed 160 acres outside of Winterset. They moved to Earlham, IA, where they lived for several years before moving to Des Moines, IA, where he graduated from North High School. He was a member of the Iowa Air National Guard between 1954 and 1962, serving as a Pharmacy Specialist. Dick attended Drake University in Des Moines and graduated in 1959 with a degree in pharmacy. While at Drake, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, where his fraternity brother introduced him to his future wife, Ellene Guse. 

They were married on Aug. 29, 1959, and moved to Orange City in 1961. Shortly after moving to Orange City, they purchased the Village Drug. Many will remember Dick as the pharmacist there for over 30 years. After selling the store in the mid 1990s, Dick spent the next 15 years working at Family Pharmacy in LeMars, as well as Valley Pharmacy and Pember Drug in Rock Valley.

In 2003, Dick was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. He moved to Happy Siesta Nursing Home in Remsen, IA, on Dec. 29, 2008.  On Dec. 2, 2009, he returned home.

Dick was a member of the American Reformed Church, serving the church as Building Fund Treasurer, Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, and Elder. One of Dick's special gifts was in ministering to those in need. He delivered church bulletins to shut-ins, providing companionship and listening to their concerns. He was a faithful Chancel Choir member for over three decades.

He served the citizens of Orange City as a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 45 years. He was also a charter member of the Orange City Jaycees, where one of the biggest tasks he undertook was the county-wide polio clinic. He was honored as the Jaycee of the Month for January, 1968.  He was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for 22 years and was a Northwestern College Booster Club member, both in Orange City. He enjoyed golfing and was a member at the Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City. Dick loved to sing and for a number of years he sang bass in Meester Zangkoor, a Master of Song Chorus.

As a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association and the Iowa Pharmacist Association, Dick served on various committees and was a member of the House of Delegates. He represented the Iowa Pharmacist Association at many national conventions. For two terms he also served on the Board of Trustees.

In the 1990s, his journey of faith lead him to attend Promise Keepers for several years. As a result of this experience, a number of men from the American Reformed Church started a Thursday night prayer group, that he attended faithfully.

Dick loved spending time with his family and celebrated 50 years of marriage on Aug. 29 of this year. He also enjoyed playing golf, bowling, photography, and tinkering around the house and at his rental properties. Some might remember that Dick earned his pilot's license and loved flying.

Grateful to have shared Dick's life are his wife, Ellene; his brother, William (Jackie) Deets of Perry, IA; and his five daughters, Pam Deets of North Sioux City, Jennifer (Brian) Steele of Vermillion, Valerie (David) Pace of Ocean Springs, MS, Erica (Robert) McAlpine of Hull, IA, and Belinda Deets (Shane Jones) of Westfield, IA. He will also be missed by his 10 grandchildren, Ryan and Eddie Deets, Tyler and Aaron Steele, Rachel and Sarah Pace, Whitney, Kyle, and Austin McAlpine, and Noah Jones.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents and many special aunts and uncles. 

The family wishes to thank Conrad Harthoorn, Jay DeJong, and Robin Miskimins for many acts of kindness, the Orange City Area Home Health and Hospice for their loving care, and the Memory Loss Support Group.

Memorials may be directed to the Orange City Area Home Health and Hospice, the Senior Companion program, or the special music fund at the American Reformed Church.

You may express your sympathy at www.oolman.com.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>