TALLMADGE - Larry Deeks, husband, father, and beloved softball coach died on March 14. He was 73.
He graduated from Garfield High School in 1964 and spent his career working at Goodyear, with the exception of the two years he served as a military police officer in Germany after being drafted into the Army. In 1977, the Deekses moved to their home in Tallmadge.
For most of his adult life, Larry focused on two things: his family and coaching softball. However, we were well aware that order was subject to change depending on the season.
Larry lived his life guided by a few basic principles. He believed that actions were more powerful than words. He believed in fairness, honesty, tipping well, and being on time—always. He believed that you should “dance with the one who brung ya” and that you should never, ever buy anything you couldn’t pay for in cash. He believed you really only need two pairs of shoes: a white pair of sneakers for casual days and an identical pair in dark brown for anything fancy. He believed that everyone should have a rain man-like ability to remember numbers like he did, which is why it was never a good idea to play him in poker. He wouldn’t let you win, even if you were only 8-years-old.
He leaves behind his wife of almost 50 years, Janice; his daughters Christine Reaves and Dawn Deeks; his brother John; and his loyal golden retriever and walking buddy, Bubba.
He also leaves behind a family of another sort, the hundreds of softball players he had the joy to coach and see grow into accomplished women over the past 35 years.
Most people read obituaries looking to see how someone died. Well, here it is: he had colon cancer, which is often preventable or curable if detected early. So, please follow your doctor’s instructions on screenings.
Larry was a devoted practitioner of social distancing way before COVID-19 made it trendy, and as such, we’ll be skipping the calling hours and funeral. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to deathwithdignity.org or, once the restaurants open back up, giving a big, fat tips to your servers to help them make it through this difficult time.
The family would also like to thank the wonderful nursing staff at Summa Hospice, especially Ethel, Eric, Joanne, Kris, and Aimee for their kindness and care.