DIXON – Merle Dean “Bop” Deets, 78, of Dixon, died Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, at his home. He worked at Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. in Sterling for 34 years, retiring in 1995. He also helped build houses for Rock River Builders during that same time frame.
Merle was born Oct. 18, 1934, in Dixon, the son of Abner and Orral (Mooney) Deets. He married Kathryn Carry on Nov. 28, 1959, in Dixon. She preceded him in death on Nov. 29, 1993. Merle was a member of The Refuge Church in Amboy. He served in the Army, stationed in Germany. He had a passion for old cars, and was a member of three area car clubs. Merle made a coast-to-coast trek on Route 66 in a ‘37 Pontiac, traveling from Chicago to the West Coast in 1999, and from Chicago to the East Coast in 2002.
He recently loved spending time at Mendota Hills Campground.
Survivors include two sons, Edward Deets of Dixon and Greg (Diane) Deets of Amboy; one daughter, Drena Deets of Dixon; one brother, Wallace (Etta) Deets of Marble Hill, Mo.; one sister, Dawn Deets of Dixon; nine grandchildren, Tricia (Brian) Hiebing of Mendota, Amy Hicks of Dixon, Jared (Mandy Kirby) Fordham of Mendota, Jamie Deets of Amboy, and Reid Deets, Adam Portner, Matthew Portner, Ian Deets, and Katie Deets, all of Dixon; six great-grandchildren, Lyndsay Hicks of Dixon, Ian Hiebing, Andrew Hiebing, and Camryn Kirby, all of Mendota, and Victoria Chinlund and Dalton Chinlund, both of Aledo, and another great granddaughter, Charlee Fordham, expected in September.
He also was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Cory Chinlund; and one brother, Melvin Deets.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon. The funeral will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Mendota Hills Campground in Amboy, with the Rev. John Kalebaugh, pastor of The Refuge Church in Amboy, officiating. Burial, with full military graveside honors accorded by the Dixon combined veterans organizations, will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon. The family would like to encourage everyone to bring a memory of Merle to share.
A memorial has been established.
Visit www.prestonschillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.