Dec 092011

George E. “Teen” DeSpain, 81, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Show Low after years of declining health.

He was born in Holbrook on the 4th of July, 1930, to the late Lynn and Cora McInturff DeSpain, their fourth and last child. His entire life was lived in Holbrook.

For recreation, he enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing, boating at Lake Powell, restoring old cars and flying his own private plane. He always had his beloved horses and dogs around. He was a member of the B.P.O.E (the Elks Lodge) since 1952 and supported its numerous projects. In 1950, he joined the Holbrook Volunteer Fire Department and served for 42 years, twice as chief.

His earlier years were spent in business as a mechanic with his service station/garage, and he later worked with the City of Holbrook. He ran the equipment, digging out the river above and below our town, helping protect us from flooding. Later, he became the public works director and served twice as interim city manager.

Most of all, family and friends were his main concerns. He was a good man, never judging anyone by race or religion or social status, just seeing the best in everyone. There were numerous close friends who made Holbrook a place he would never leave. He will be missed by many.

Teen was able to spend an enjoyable farewell Thanksgiving Day in the Valley with most of his family. There will be no service, instead we shall remember all the ways he enriched our lives and the community. We will always be reminded of him when we see the fireworks on the 4th of July–his birthday!

He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Barbara; his son, Bill (Tana), and his daughter, Marlene DeWitt. Another son, John, preceded him in death in 2008. His grandchildren are Chad, Jodie, Brandon, and Damon DeSpain, Shani Cobb, Brie Merkley, Whitney Sanfilippo, Grady, Levi, and Brenna DeWitt, with Siera and many more treasured great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.

In addition to his parents and son, Teen was preceded in death by a sister, Evelyn Walker, and his brothers, Ray and Lynn.

In his memory, contributions may be made to the Holbrook Emergency Food Bank, c/o: Marlin Gillespie, 216 Encanto Drive, Holbrook, Ariz. 86025; the Navajo County Historical Society, P.O. Box 473, Holbrook, Ariz. 86025 or to First Step Workshop, 210 Third Ave., Holbrook, Ariz. 86025, all organizations that have made Holbrook “our home.”

Owens Livingston Mortuary of Holbrook was in charge of the arrangements.