The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Darrell Raymond Deeter


Darrell Raymond Deeter

Darrell Raymond Deeter passed away Sept. 7, 2012 in a tragic accident at home. He will be remembered by all who knew him as full of life and adventure. He was just plain fun to be around.

Darrell was born Feb. 10, 1954 to an unknown birth mother in Tucson, Ariz. His adoptive parents, Jack Raymond and Virginia Maxine Deeter, showed up to take him home shortly thereafter and he always considered them his real parents. He spent his early years in Sierra Madre, Ariz., San Pedro, Calif. and Anaheim, Calif. In junior high he moved to Brea and subsequently graduated from Brea Olinda High School where he was student body vice president in spite of being only 4’10” tall and weighing 70 pounds his junior year, to make him the shortest person in the entire school. Nothing stopped his great sense of humor though and he just pressed on. He shared that sense of humor with all he came in contact every day of his life and it embraced family, friends, and strangers alike.

Darrell touched so many lives and accomplished so much in his 58 short years. He taught automotive and related subjects at Ontario High School California, Gabbs High School Nevada, Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward and Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. He served on the board and was president of NACAT, an international auto teacher organization, as well as hosting their annual conference three times. One of his proudest moments was when he received the NACAT MVP award. He was speechless, which was rare for him He also received the California Auto Teacher (CAT) Teacher of the Year award in 2011. In addition, he served as a Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster in Seward and Gabbs, Nev. He also served on the city council in Seward. Darrell had just written and published an automotive textbook.

Darrell loved his family, education, motorcycles, and cars. Alone, with his wife, his daughter or other riding buddies he traveled all over the United States including Alaska, and Canada for months at a time, usually on his motorcycle. He was a proud member of the Iron Butt Association and had completed the Coast to Coast, Ultimate Coast to Coast, and Four Corners of the Contiguous U.S. rides, as well as receiving the BunBurner Gold award.

Darrell was happy to help anyone who needed his considerable skills and acted like it was the most natural thing in the world. He was a leader not because he demanded the spotlight, but because he just modestly did what needed to be done.

Darrell leaves behind his wife of 32 years and high school sweetheart (Yes. They are the same person.), Beth Piantoni Deeter, daughter Stephanie Deeter, cousins Shannon Root and Lance Wilson, aunt Roberta Wilson, mother-in-law Wilda Piantoni, sisters-in-law Ruth and Mary Piantoni, stepmother Carole Deeter. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Two memorial services were held. One was Sept. 21 at the LDS Chapel in Lake Elsinore, Calif. and the other was Sept. 22 at the LDS Chapel in Brea, Calif. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donating to the Darrell Deeter Memorial Scholarship Fund available through the AVTEC website at

Darrell’s wishes were to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in Resurrection Bay at Seward. This will take place this summer following a short memorial service.


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