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Muriel Deardorff - Class Of 1942

Muriel Elaine Smith Deardorff, 89, of John Wesley Villas passed away on January 7, 2014.  She was born June 6, 1924, in Warsaw, IN, the only child of Glenn and Ina Smith.  She lived with her teacher parents in Kenosha, WI.  

Muriel met her husband, Richard F. Deardorff from Gettysburg, PA at Ripon College while he was serving in the Army during WW II.  They were married in the Ripon College Chapel on December 16, 1944 within a few months of him being deployed with his Signal Corps Company to Europe.  She graduated from Ripon College WI in 1945.  Her paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister in PA, and she was a Methodist Elementary Sunday School teacher for 16 years in Arlington, VA.  

Muriel and Richard lived in Arlington, VA for 27 years after the war.  She worked in Washington, DC as an advertising copy writer, until they started a family.  She and her husband traveled frequently, visiting 17 countries in Europe.  After her husband retired from the Defense Department in 1984, they spent 7 years exploring the United States and Canada.  They visited every state except Alaska, and most of the National Parks, finally settling in Casselberry, FL from 1992- 2008.  

She is survived by her daughter, Lorice Spier, Lizella, GA; her son, Kenton R. Deardorff, McKinney, TX; 3 granddaughters:  Kristine Spier Thomason, Macon, Ga., Katherine Spier, Atlanta, GA, and Karla Jane Spier (Travis) West, Savannah, GA; and two great-grandchildren, Felicia and Kristopher Thomason of Macon, GA.

Muriel's husband of 62 years, preceded her in death in 2006.

A simple memorial service was held on Friday, January 10, 2014 in the Foxworth Building at John Wesley Villas.


Published in The Arizona Republic on September 30, 2010