Cover photo for Richard "Dick" Deden's Obituary
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1937 Richard "Dick" Deden 2023

Richard "Dick" Deden

May 8, 1937 — June 24, 2023



Richard Charles Deden

“I work all these mountains around here!”

Richard Charles Deden, 86, of Missoula, passed away on Saturday, June 24, 2023 of natural causes.

Richard (Dick) Deden was born in Red Wing, Minnesota to Clarence and Celia Deden on May 8, 1937. Dick married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Bird, on September 8, 1956. Upon graduation from the University of Minnesota, Dick and Nancy headed to Montana with two daughters in tow. Dick had a temporary, seasonal job with the US Forest Service in Dillon, MT.  Dick quickly picked up a permanent position with the Forest Service, working on the Beaverhead, Kootenai, Flathead and Kaniksu National Forests. He finished his 33 year career in Missoula as the Assistant Director of Timber for Region 1.

Dick and Nancy raised five children together, Susan (Ivan) Rose, Linda (Kelly) Smith, Michael (Dawn) Deden, Doris (Pete) Hasquet and Karen(Tommy Thomas) Deden. Faith and family came first for Dick. With five young children, finances often got tight. When times were tough, Dick was often heard to say, “It’s a beautiful day in Montana today!” When Dick moved his family to Missoula they left behind the beautiful shores of Lake Pend Orielle. As part of the move, he promised to build his kids a swimming pool. He made good on that promise by the time the oldest children had left for college. That swimming pool brought so much joy to the adult children and all the grandkids to come.

As the kids grew, and they grew tall, basketball took up a big part of Dick’s time. Three of Dick’s daughters and numerous grandchildren played basketball. There wasn’t a snowstorm or closed mountain pass that could stop Dick and Nancy from attending their games. The more time spent in bleachers, the better.

After retirement, Dick started a furniture restoration business. Dick would fix and refinish the furniture and Nancy would paint it. Dick’s second career was almost as long as his Forest Service career. Hunting and fishing were a passion and often a necessity to feed that family of seven. Dick was an active member of Atonement Lutheran Church for over fifty years.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Nancy Deden and his grandson Taige Steven Smith.  He is survived by his five children, thirteen grandchildren and soon to be five great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Atonement Lutheran Church on Friday, June 30, 2023 at 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers the family would suggest a donation to the charity of your choice or consider contacting your local elementary school and ‘adopt’ a child’s past due lunch account.

The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, PTs and CNAs at St. Pats and the Village for the love and care shown to our father the past four months.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard "Dick" Deden, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, June 30, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Atonement Lutheran Church

2205 34th St, Missoula, MT 59801

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