Remembering Lavern Deane

Lavern McFadden Deane
June 08, 1921 - January 07, 2017

Lavern McFadden Deane “Diz”, 95, of Guemes Island, WA, a loving son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and friend to many, and very healthy up to the end, passed away in his sleep on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at his home.

Diz was an Anacortes native, born on June 8, 1921, the son of Charles and Tillie (McFadden) Deane and grew up on Lake Erie. He graduated from Anacortes High School in 1939 at the age of 17, and being too young to enlist in the military, Diz’s first career was with the US Merchant Marines.

Upon turning 18, he enlisted in the US Navy, was a Radioman First Class and proficient in the use of Morse Code. Diz was stationed onboard YMS 48 in the South Pacific, during World War II, and in 1944 while aboard the Mine Sweeper YMS 48, the ship was attacked and sunk by Japanese cannons. Diz spent some time in the water awaiting rescue and was unscathed; one of the few on the ship not to receive a Purple Heart Medal. He returned to the Navy briefly during the Korean War as a Morse Code expert and was stationed in a hotel room in Japan.

Upon returning to Anacortes after the World War II, he met Ila June Hughes “Prunie” at the Rexville Grange, at a dance, and they were married in 1946 and raised four children. To fill his time, Diz delivered mail in Anacortes and fished on his gill netter in the Puget Sound. Following the Korean War, he returned to fishing and the Anacortes Post Office but eventually had to give up his gill netter to become the Post Master in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1982.

Diz was a true Anacortes local. In his youth, he and his best friend Bobby Giles were the first to cross the Deception Pass Bridge which they did on their bikes before the bridge was even finished. He raised his family on Lake Erie and spent his final years following Prunie’s death on Guemes Island.

Diz was also involved in the Anacortes community; when his kids were young, he served on the school board, as chairman, and on the hospital board. He was active with the Elks (Exalted Ruler) and the Kiwanis’s Club (Oldest Member) until his death.

The theme that ran through Diz’s life however, was his love of the water. He was an avid fisherman, spending time on all of the northwest water ways, especially Ross Lake where he and Prunie would travel in the summers with friends. Even at 95 years of age, Diz was often spotted on the water, in his boat pulling in crab pots with his grand kids and great grand kids. Diz crabbed, fished, and clammed with his dog Rudy until his last days. Diz was an independent man but valued his friendships tremendously. He enjoyed sharing books or a scotch with his Guemes neighbors.

He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters, brother, wife Prunie and daughters, Sheryl and Suzie. Diz is survived by his children Diane (Jack), and Greg; grandchildren, Matthew (Elisabeth), Sarah, Kenny, Johnny, Lanae, Erin, Karter, and Larsen and great grandchildren, Vivian, Cecilia, Kendayl, Kameron, Sydney, Allison, Hunter and Hailey.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 28, 2016 at the First Baptist Church of Anacortes, 2717 – J Avenue, Anacortes., WA. A reception following the memorial will be held at the Anacortes Elks, 1009 – 7th Street, Anacortes, WA.

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