CUBA, IL - Don Justus Deakin of 18105 N. Buffum Road, Cuba, IL, passed away at 12:45 pm on August 3, 2008 at the home that he and his wife built on top of Big Creek Hill in rural Cuba.
He was born October 27, 1915, the son of Roy and Nellie Bly (Churchill) Deakin on a farm in Cass Township. He married Ruby Mae Buffum on December 4, 1937 in Fort Madison, Iowa. She preceded him in death on June 13, 1985.
He is survived by one son, Richard Roy Deakin, Canton; two daughters, Celia Mae (Larry) Beam, Cuba, and Linda Kay (Deakin) Haynes, Canton. He is also survived by 7 grandchildren: Karen (Craig) Bouc, Michelle Garner, Don Justus (Mandi) Deakin II, Sarah (Rich) Smolen, Chad Beam, Cole Beam, and Carrie Jo Beam. He is also survived by 10 great grandchildren: Colton, Joshua, Kyle, Emily, Sydnee, Jacob, Justus Roy, John, Garrett, and Cade and 2 expectant great granddaughters and several nieces and nephews. He is survived by one sister, Gladys (Deakin) Sartoris, Phoenix, AZ.
A brother, Fred Elmer Deakin, was killed in World War II in 1944.
Don retired from Consol Coal in February, 1980. He worked at Truax-Traer Mine in Fiatt from 1936 until it closed. His main job there was to fire the boilers. He then worked for Consol Coal at Norris, IL as a Locomotive Engineer until the mine closed in 1980. He farmed 210 acres while working at the mine until 1964. He was a farmer and avid gardener. The Earth was his passion. He never knew a stranger.
He was a graduate of Cuba High School with the class of 1933 and celebrated his 75th anniversary of graduation this year. He was a member of the first FFA group at the high school.
He was recently recognized by Local 7110 as the last of the original members of the UMWA Local 7110 which was started at Truax Traer Coal Company. He was honored in 2007 with 70 years of membership in the UMWA.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM Thursday August 7, 2008 at the Henry-Lange Memorial Home in Cuba with Reverend Jim Menne officiating. Burial will be in Cuba Cemetery at Cuba, with a burial service by the UMWA. Visitation will be held from 5-7 PM Wednesday August 6, 2008 at the memorial home. Memorials may be made to the Cuba High School Ag Department or the Cass-Putman Rescue Squad.