Cecil (Jim) Deming, age 81, of Helena died at his home on Thursday, May 25, 2006, of congestive heart failure. He left us in good spirits - still loving and laughing. He was born July 15, 1924, in Kelso, Wash., to Clyde and Goldie Deming. After active duty in the South Pacific, Cecil was stationed in Butte during WWII as part of a Navy Officer Training Program. As he told it, he wondered "Why Butte?!" because it was so far from the ocean. What he found in Butte, however, was the love of his life, Rosemary Rodda. From then on, they were inseparable. Cecil earned his bachelor's and master's in education from the University of Montana.
Cecil taught mathematics and P.E. and coached basketball, football, baseball, track and wrestling, a career listed as follows: 1948 - Belt - School Administrator and football coach (Belt School District); 1951 - Choteau - high school Math/P.E. and football coach (Choteau School District); 1953 - Anaconda - high school Math/P.E. teacher and football/ basketball/track coach (Anaconda Central); 1958 - Helena - math teacher and football/basketball/baseball coach (Carroll College); 1960 - Butte - math teacher (Butte High); 1961 - Portland, Ore., - high school math teacher and football/basketball/baseball coach (Jesuit High); 1966 - Helena - high school Math/P.E. teacher and football/ basketball/track coach (Helena Central) also American Legion baseball coach in the summers; 1969 - Libby - high school math teacher and football/basketball coach (Libby Sr. High); 1970 - Helena - high school administrator, math teacher, and football/basketball/wrestling coach (Helena High); 1983 - "retirement" - continued to coach baseball and basketball on various levels until 2003.
Cecil's hobbies included cheering for the Carroll College Saints, Notre Dame and his beloved Yankees. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing poker, dealing blackjack and sharing his love with his grandchildren - including sneaking milkshakes and providing wisdom. He also enjoyed telling stories and spending time with family and friends, especially at the cabin. Cecil was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and Carroll College Athletics.
Surviving Cecil are his daughters, Lynn Deming, Helena, Susan (Dave Baldwin) Deming Helena, Catherine (David Klemm) Iowa City, Iowa; sons, James (Arlette) Deming, Belgrade, Lee (Sherry) Deming, John (Doree) Deming, Missoula; special friend, Florence Buzzas; stepmother, Vi Moss, Nahcotta, Wash.; grandchildren, Teri (Burke) Helmer, Mike (Michelle) Deming, Dawn (Kevin) Knopp, Dan Deming, Lisa (Tom) Quisenberry, Daniel Deming, Dominic, William and Mary Rose Loveless, Ryan Deming, Annie (Ryan Williams) Deming, Peter, Mary Cheryl, Joanna, John DeMars and Rylee Deming. He is also survived by his eight greatgrandchildren.
Cecil was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary; daughter, Cheryl and Cheryl's husband, George Bandy, and their son Mike; and parents, Clyde and Goldie Deming.
Cecil walked with many people in many different ways. He was a husband, a parent, a teacher, a coach, a friend, a mentor. In all of these roles he modeled compassion, strength, integrity and humor.
Visitation will be at Retz Funeral Home on Friday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A vigil service is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, at St. Mary's.
Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Hospice of St. Peter's Foundation, 2475 N. Broadway, Helena MT 59601; the Carroll College Scholarship Fund, or the Alaska Radio Mission - KNOM.
Retz Funeral Home is caring for arrangements.