Deane E. Flackey, age 94, of the Town of Eagle Point, Chippewa County, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, at home on Boot Lake surrounded by his loving family.
Deane was born on April 18, 1927, to Hanna (Nyhus-Boiteau) and Thomas Flackey in Chippewa Falls. He married Beverly “Bev” Lothian in Minnesota and together they raised two children over their nearly 65 years of marriage. He was an exceptionally devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Deane defined himself as a proud Marine Corps veteran and farmer, and would jokingly tell people that he was a “purebred Norwegian”. He always had a cold beer on hand for anyone who stopped by for a visit.
He served as a Marine in the Korean War as a Sharpshooter from 1952 to 1954, and was later awarded the Korean Service Medal, U.N. Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal for his service to his country. His time in Korea proved to be metamorphic for him, and his experiences there were something he never tired of sharing. He became life-long friends with many of the members of his troop, and he kept in touch with them throughout his life through phone calls, visits, and letters. He continued to fly the Marine Corps flag at his house right up to his passing, and was a member of the VFW in Almena.
When Deane returned home from Korea, he took over the family farm on Boot Lake and grew the herd to nearly 100 holstein and beef cattle, which he tended to on the farm that he expanded to over 400 acres in its heyday. He was a self-taught farmer, who continually read books, journals and other publications on animal care and agriculture, ensuring he kept abreast of all the newest research and methods on farming.
He taught his children the value of hard work, doing a job right the first time, treating people and animals well, and pushing themselves beyond what they thought their limits were. He also taught them that fun and laughter could be had even in the most difficult of times, and that learning was a life-long activity. He led by example, and as someone who was exceedingly humble, never fully understood the deep impact he had on his children’s lives and careers – something they in turn passed down to their children and grandchildren.
Deane also had a passion and skill for cribbage, and he and Bev played in tournaments throughout Chippewa County, and sometimes beyond, winning trophies and prizes gleaned from the skill that they honed each and every day between meals and chores on the farm.
Deane was an avid hunter and fisherman. He had more antlers than the farm had wall space from the many bucks he shot. He enjoyed fishing on Boot Lake, patiently teaching his children how to cast for fish, rather than the overhanging trees. He also loved flying into Canada each year with Bev and whichever friends were lucky enough to spend the week fishing hard, playing cards until the wee hours of the morning, and enjoying a cold beer or two in the wilderness.
An infectious laugh and impish smile were two of his endearing qualities, as were his intellectual curiosity and penchant for continuous learning – something he never stopped, even when dementia started robbing him of his memory. His genuine kindness and sharp wit garnered him friends right up to the end, as evidenced by the Hospice team who got to know him at the final stages of his life and was able to witness his joyous spirit despite mounting health challenges.
Deane is survived by his wife, Bev; children, Steve (Sherri), and Susan (Mark Roman) Marcott; grandchildren, Stephanie (Jason) Gill, Jason (Nicole) Flackey, Hannah (Jesse) Wilson and Olivia Marcott; great-grandchildren, Madelynn and Zoey Gill, Asher and Crew Flackey; sister, Lois Clark; sister-in-law, Barb (Mike) Connor; brother-in-law, Gary Lothian; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers-in-law, Ralph Clark and Jim Lothian; his best friend/double-cousin, Wimp Nyhus, whom he loved like a brother; as well as many other beloved Nyhus/Flackey cousins.
Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24 at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, Chippewa Falls.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24 at the funeral home with Rev. Greg Stenzel officiating. Military Honors will be conducted by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council. Burial will take place in the Eagleton Cemetery.
For those unable to attend, a recording of the service will be available to view on this page.
It took a village to allow Deane to live out his life at his home on Boot Lake. The family would like to express their deep gratitude to the friends and neighbors who made that happen over the course of the past few years, including Bernard and Barb Flackey; Greg and Angie Raymond and family; Donna Mae Olson; the Dawson family; and Kevin and Dawn Lueck. The family would like to give special thanks to DeAnn Helm and Dan Jasperson for their wonderful and tender caregiving in the final months of his life, and to Mayo Hospice, especially Cheryl and Val, for providing exceptional care until the end.
Semper Fi Deane!