Stephen Blake Deakins, age 70, of Victor Street, Grafton, WV, passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness, with his wife and daughter by his side on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.
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He was born December 27, 1948, in Philippi, WV, the son of the late Norman Blake and Mary Alice (Burnside) Deakins.
He is survived by his wife 15 years, Kitte L. (McConnaughey) Deakins; two daughters, Crystal S. Deakins of Jacksonville, NC and Alexis G. Deakins of Morgantown; one granddaughter, Kayla S. Deakins; two sisters, Janalynn D. (Gerald) Jones of Meadland Community and Alice S. Deakins (Tony) Moran of Grafton; mother-in-law, Betty Jean McConnaughey of Morgantown; brother-in-law Skip (Kathy) McConnaughey of Lambertville, MI; also survived by several nieces and nephews.
He graduated from Grafton High School in 1966. Following graduation, Steve worked in Kittanning, PA, before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1967, and entered basic training at Camp Lajeune, NC.
Deakins completed two tours in Denang, Vietnam from 1967-1970. He then served in the Army Reserves as a Sergeant 1st Class from 1980-2000. In addition, Deakins served as a Staff Sergeant in the 363 Military police Company during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia.
During his time in the service, Deakins accumulated several significant awards and commendations. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal for honorable service during a period of national emergency. He was also awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, a Combat Action Ribbon, and a Good Conduct Medal. For his service in Operation Desert Storm, Deakins was given the Army Commendation Award.
Deakins’s service to his country and community didn’t stop with the armed services. At home, he was a Paid up for Life member of American Legion Post 12, the local Disabled American Veterans Chapter 24, the Forty and Eight Veterans Organization, and the Veterans of Foreign War Post 3081. Deakins twice served as post Commander of American Legion Post 12 and was an active member of the Taylor County honor Guard, participating in military funerals at the National Cemeteries in Grafton.
Through his participation in these various organizations, Deakins became an important figure in the West Virginia Memorial Day Committee. Combining his hard work and determination with the other volunteers who served on the committee, Deakins helped maintain and improve the nation’s longest continually running Memorial Day Parade.
After his military career, Steve was co-owner of D&T Plumbing in Grafton where he was a master plumber. He was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Grafton.
The family will receive friends at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home in Grafton on Tuesday, May 28, from 2:00-8:00 p.m., and from 10:00 a.m. until the funeral hour on Wednesday.
Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., with Rev. Terry Osborne officiating.
Interment will follow at the WV National Cemetery in Pruntytown.
Military graveside services will be conducted by the Taylor County Honor Guard and the US Marine Corps Kilo Company 325 of N. Versailles, PA
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Steve’s name to the VA Organization or charity of your choice.