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Obituary of Donald DeZutter
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Donald Robert DeZutter, age 85, passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Born in Webster Groves, MO on February 9, 1938, he was the only son of Judith Healey DeZutter (1902-1997) and Lee Joseph DeZutter (1905-1977). He graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1956 and from Washington University in St. Louis (1960) and completed coursework towards business degrees at Duquesne and Syracuse Universities. Don entered the air force and served as a communications officer, 1st lieutenant (1960-63) at Eielson Air Force Base, outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. He continued in the reserves for several years, achieving the rank of captain. He worked as a software engineer, notably at Westinghouse Electrical Corp. for 23 years (Elmira, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; greater Orlando, FL) and at Cincinnati Bell Information Systems (CBIS) in Lake Mary, FL for 14 years and retired at the age of 62 in February 2000. He was esteemed by his colleagues for his expertise, dedication, thoroughness, and excellence and appreciated for his generosity and guidance. Don was also highly devoted to his family. On June 10, 1961, Don married Marijean Antoinette Metcalfe (1941-2001). They had two daughters, Stacy Lee DeZutter and Amy Jean DeZutter. Among the girls’ cherished childhood memories are sitting in his lap reading book club stories with him. He nurtured and spent time with them through active participation in Girl Scouts, Indian Princesses, Trail Blazers, Clown Ministry, Youth Club, and by serving on the Band Boosters and chaperoning countless marching band trips to games and competitions. After Stacy adopted her daughter, Jocelyn Jin Mi “MiMi” DeZutter, Don spent many-an-hour playing board games or watching movies with her and taking her on outings to the playground or museums. After the passing of his first wife, Don reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Doris, and they married on May 25, 2003, in Anniston, AL. Doris Ann DeZutter, neé Sweet, brought to the family two adult children and their relations: Margaret (Pamela) Boozer-Strother with son, Kyle, and David (Leslie) Boozer with daughters Lauren, Kaitlyn, and Meghan. Don and Doris enjoyed hosting both sides of their family in their Birmingham home, joking that reservations were required, but nonetheless always managing to fit everyone in. Over the years, Don dedicated himself to numerous hobbies and community interests. He learned to fly a two-seater Piper Cub PA-11, and then got his license to fly solo on his 16th birthday, even before getting his driver’s license. He did AV (audio-visual) work for his high school theater group and again later for church functions and for his daughters’ marching band shows. He dabbled in winemaking, macramé, and embroidery, and built a gazebo in his backyard, start-to-finish. Other pursuits included reading, listening to The Great Courses audio books, and keeping in touch with his Webster Groves High School graduating class and his TKE fraternity brothers. Don enjoyed making dinner on the grill, reading his Sunday newspapers, watching The Late Show (with Carson then Leno), and driving his little red Mazda Miata convertible. Although he didn’t follow sports, he did take pleasure in watching the Olympics, the Kentucky Derby, and the Indi 500. One of his most treasured endeavors was the annual two-week family trip to the Islander Beach Resort in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Also important to him were life-long learning and community involvement. He trained as a paralegal and advocated for children’s welfare as a Guardian Ad Litem in Seminole County, FL. He served as a church usher for many years and participated in the Men’s Monday Morning Muffin Ministry at the First Presbyterian Church of Maitland. He made a mission trip to Haiti following the 2010 Earthquake and made significant financial contributions to a church school there, and to other learning institutions, including Magnolia Speech School and his alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. Wishing to share his home and culture, he hosted exchange students from Finland (1986) and Japan (1990). In later years, Don and his wife, Doris, travelled extensively, often by cruise ship, learning the history and culture of Alaska, Europe (Amsterdam to Bucharest), Russia, and Costa Rica. Following Doris’ lead, he became an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, serving as a board member for PFLAG Birmingham. In 2016, Don and Doris moved to Saint Catherine’s Village in Madison, MS, a retirement community just north of Jackson. There he made many friends and enjoyed gathering with them at dinner and the numerous activities offered at SCV. Don never missed a chance to mention how highly impressed he was by the entire staff at SCV, who not only provide excellent care but also truly care about the residents. In the spirit of Don’s support for learning, inclusion, and self-sufficiency, the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Magnolia Speech School: https://www.magnoliaspeechschool.org/support-us/donate-now/
Thursday, May 25, 2023
St. Catherines Village Chapel
200 Dominican Dr.
Madison, Mississippi, United States
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Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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