His parents both came to the United States as very young children, settling first near West Mineral, Kan., joining family working in the coal mines. After they were married, they moved to Arma, Kan., where Des and his three sisters attended school and his father continued to work in the mines.
After graduating from high school in 1943, Des was called to service. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from July 1944 to July 1946, stationed at several bases throughout the United States. He served as a side gunner on a B-17 Bomber.
Following his discharge from service, Des worked in construction and for the Kansas City Southern railroad until 1951, when he entered Pittsburg State Teachers College, which is now Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.
On July 21, 1950, Des took Betty June Jewell of Arcadia, Kan., as his bride. They were married in the Arma, Kan., Methodist Parsonage by the Rev. Robert Alexander.
In 1954, Des received his Bachelor of Science degree in education and then received his Master's of Science degree in education in 1958.
Des taught two years in Humboldt, Kan., before moving to Nevada in 1956, where he taught in the Nevada R-5 school district until his retirement in 1985. Des taught classes in typing, general business, and drivers' education for which he is well known. At the time of his retirement in 1985, he was well into his second generation of students learning to drive. Des was one of those teachers who taught and touched the lives of so many students who passed through the halls of NHS. He also served as the senior class sponsor for many years.
Des will be long remembered for his outstanding Christmas yard displays, which he produced annually until his health prohibited him from doing so. He produced these displays for the children of his former students as well as for his own grandchildren and family.
Des is survived by his wife, Betty June (Jewell) Dehon of the home; daughter, Debbie and her husband, James Stacy, Nevada; two sons and their wives, Jeff and Lisa Dehon and Lee and Beth Dehon, all of Olathe, Kan.; and six grandchildren, Brant Stacy, Diedre Lathrop and her husband, Kyle, Desiree Stacy, Max Dehon, and Jewell and Jaycee Dehon. Other survivors include one sister Irma and her husband, Carrol Fleury, as well as several nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.
Des was preceded in death by his parents, and two sisters, Augusta Peternell and Alberta Tersina, all of Arma, Kan.
Des came to know Christ and joined the Moundville Methodist Church in 1990. He was also a lifetime member of the Retired Missouri State Teachers Association, Lon Helm American Legion and Eagles Lodge of Arma, Kan.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 4, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, with Dr. William Cox officiating. Interment will follow with military honors in Newton Burial Park, Nevada. Friends may call now and until the hour of service and the family receives friends from 7-8 p.m., Thursday, March 3, at the funeral home.
Those who wish may contribute to the Des Dehon Scholarship Fund c/o Ferry Funeral Home, 301 S. Washington, Nevada, MO 64772.
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