Lee Edward “Papa” Deates, age 74, of Merrill, passed away at his home Tuesday, September 24, 2013 under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services.
He was born March 18, 1939 in Merrill to the late Clarence and Irma (Wiedenhoeft) Deates. On August 12, 1961 he and Kathleen Kettleson were united in marriage in Manawa, WI, a union lasting over 52 years. She survives.
Lee served in the U.S. Army after high school. He was an insulator and was a member of the Local #127 Union. Lee was a very talented woodworker who loved to make things for his family and friends. Some of Lee’s specialty furniture pieces were beds and among other items, he enjoyed making bird feeders. He was an avid deer, bear and turkey hunter and enjoyed many pheasant hunting trips with his sons in South Dakota. He loved going to the family shack in Price County. Lee also enjoyed spending time in the woods, harvesting wood for his home. He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren very much and was known as “Papa Deates” to many, including the children at Gramma Deates Childcare where he enjoyed helping his wife. Lee was an usher at St. Francis Catholic Church where he had been a member for over 50 years. He was also a member of the DAV and the NRA.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Kathleen Deates, Merrill; children, Kevin (Maria)Deates, Stevens Point, Steven Deates, Merrill, Kelli (friend, Mike Strenke)Deates, Merrill, Peter (Jennifer) Deates, Kenosha, and Dameon Deates, Merrill; grandchildren, Michelle Deates, Matthew Deates, Erin Lassa, Jourdyn Deates, Allison Wilde, Marissa Wilde, Morgan Wilde, Jessica Narlock, Jacob Deates and Josie Deates; great-grandchildren, Allysa, Alliya, David, Gage, Avery, Kanin and Maddyn; many nieces and nephews and his dog, Myley. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Margie Benzinger and Phyllis Kretschmer.
A Memorial Service will be held 12:00 PM Monday, September 30, 2013 at Waid Funeral Home. Fr. Jim Horath will conduct the funeral liturgy. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM until the time of service at the funeral home. The family would like to thank the staff at Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care, Aspirus Hospice and Good Samaritan Health Center for their wonderful care and compassion. Waid Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.