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Donald Richard Deskins
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Birth: May 10, 1932
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 26, 2013
Ann Arbor
Washtenaw County
Michigan, USA

Donald Richard Deskins, Jr. died February 26, 2013 in Ann Arbor, MI. He was born on May 10, 1932 in Brooklyn, NY., son of Donald R. Deskins, Sr. and Charlotte Rushmore Deskins. He had a notable athletic career. He played football for the U.S. Marine Corps and he was a defensive tackle under legendary University of Michigan coach Bump Elliott from 1958 to 1959. He played football in the inaugural season for the Oakland Raiders from 1959-60. He went to the Olympic trials in the shot put for the 1960 Olympics.

Donald had a long and distinguished career at the University of Michigan. He received a bachelor and masters from U of M and a Ph.D in Geography and Urban Planning becoming the first African-American to do so at U of M. He continued his career at the University of Michigan and held various positions including Associate Chair of the Department of Geography and Chair of the Department of Geography from 1975-79. Donald served as Associate Dean of the Rackham Graduate School from 1979-85. He was named Professor Emeritus of Urban Geography and Sociology in 2002. During his very productive career, Professor Deskins, made important contributions toward understanding racial dynamics in American society. He was the author of numerous books and articles. His last book was published in 2012.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Korean War in the First Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sargent. Donald was married to Lois Jean Jackson for 54 years. He is survived by Lois and his three daughters Dr. Sharon P. Deskins (Edward Gambrell) of St. Joseph, MI, Sheila L. Deskins, MSA of Pittsfield Township, and Sharlene A. Deskins, esq. of Seabrook, MD and his grandchildren James (B.S., MSU 2010), Selia (B.A. MSU 2013), Jason (Univ of Mich 2015 Engineering), Justin Gambrell and Ryan Deskins.

Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service
Cemetery Details
Arborcrest Memorial Park
2521 Glazier Way
Ann Arbor, MI, 48105 
Arborcrest Memorial Park and Chapel Mausoleum
Ann Arbor
Washtenaw County
Michigan, USA
Maintained by: Sue Lapp
Originally Created by: DConner
Record added: Feb 28, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 105960479
Donald Richard Deskins
Added by: DConner
Donald Richard Deskins
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Eric Blocher
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- The Jeans
 Added: Mar. 31, 2013

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