Dexter H. Duehn
August 10, 1937-June 5, 2018
Dexter Howard Duehn passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at his home in Tangent.
Dexter was born in Sacramento, California to Leo and Ethel Duehn (nee Watson), and grew up in the area, living in his folks’ barn smoking cigars and pilfering peach brandy on the sly, before graduating from Escondido High School.
Dexter went to Humboldt State College to study forestry where he met the love of his life, Dixie Harris, and, as soon as possible, sealed the deal.
After graduation, Dexter was drafted into the Army where he trained in criminal investigation and deployed to Korea's DMZ to work as a CI. After an interesting voyage back to the states in a large human cargo ship, he met his four-month-old son, Bryce for the first time.
Dexter worked for the California Department of Forestry for several years, the Bureau of Land Management for a time, eventually securing a position with the US Forest Service where he stayed until retirement in 2007 as the Fire Management Officer of the Tongass, our nation’s largest forest. Throughout his career, he lived for forest firefighting. Most summers, he was deployed from the Alaskan interior to Montana to British Columbia, Canada. In all that service, not one member of his crews was ever injured.
He and Dixie, his wife of 56 years, returned to the Willamette Valley after retirement to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing throughout the Northwest and Alaska and flying his floatplane. Besides his floatplane endorsement, he also had his instrument and multi-engine ratings. His personal plane, 410 Charlie, was a Stinson model 108-2. He had the engine upgraded in Ketchikan, and then flew a couple of times to Fairbanks to have 410 Charlie mounted on floats.
Dexter was a member of AOPA, the NRA, supported NPR and OPB, and had a hobby of chopping wood in the evenings. In his prime, Dexter had a leisure walking speed of five miles an hour, and despite his large, powerful presence, and deep bass voice, his gentleness and tenderness were incomparable. He is terribly missed.
To his sorrow, Dexter was preceded in death by his son, Jeffery Lucas Nance Duehn.
Dexter is survived by his wife, Dixie Duehn; his children, Bryce and Syndi Duehn (nee Parish), their children, Jeremiah Williams, Sarah Palmer, and Dakota Karas; Charles and Cynthia Bonville (nee Duehn), and their children, Dexter, Aaron, Peter and Zoey; and Carolyn Duehn and her daughter, Lily.
Dexter belonged to Faith Lutheran Church in Albany. A memorial will be held there at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 14.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to CARDV, OPB, or Lutheran International.