Richard J. Deters, 94, of Columbia, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.
A memorial mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 7 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia with a reception to follow.
Richard, born on June 26, 1918 in St. Clements to Herman and Marie (Purk) Deters, graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1937. While there, he became the first president of the Bowling Green chapter of the FFA. After high school, Richard attended Mizzou, majored in Agriculture, joined Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, and enrolled in the Army ROTC.
When the United States entered World War II, he enlisted in the Army Artillery and was sent Fort Sill, Okla. and Fort Hood, Texas for training.
From there he shipped to England and then into Europe. Richard opted to stay in the Army in Germany an additional six months after the war ended, was put in charge of a battalion to help maintain order, and promoted to Captain during that time. While there, he also briefly attended the Nuremberg trials.
After the war, Richard returned to Mizzou and completed his B.S. in Agriculture. During this time, he met M. June Elder and they became engaged. Richard and June were married on June 8, 1948.
After graduation, Richard worked for the University of Missouri on an Extension Farm near O’Fallon for a couple of years and then moved back to Pike County where he farmed for 35 years in the hills west of Louisiana.
While there, he had three sons, Derek David (who died within three months), Robin, and Derek Richard. Richard was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and became a 4th Knight of Columbus and a member of the Louisiana School Board.
Richard and June retired to Quincy, Ill. and then to Harlingen, Texas where they had many happy years before returning to central Missouri to be closer to their family. June preceded Richard in death on July 14, 2008.
Richard is survived by his two sons and their children: Robin, his wife Julie, and two grandchildren Collin Deters and Chelsea Deters; and Derek, his wife Darla, and four grandchildren: Andrew (and Theresa) Todd; Brooke (and Mark) Schoene and great-grandson Austin; Erin Deters-Blackwell and great-grandson Teven; and Stacey (and Gary) Bradshaw, great-grandson Grayson and great-granddaughter Ella.