Harold Keith Deaton, age 89, passed away peacefully at his residence in rural Gardner, Kansas on July 7, 2020 . Harold was born in Edinberg, Texas on April 15, 1931 to his parents Emsley Ellis Deaton and Julia Mildred (Richardson) Deaton. Harold was delivered at the time of birth by his Father.
As an infant, Harold’s family relocated to a family farm near West Fork, Arkansas. Harold grew up in the rural area along with his three older brothers, Raymond Deaton, Boyd Deaton, and Newell Deaton and his four sisters Edna (Deaton) Bartholomew, Louella (Deaton) McBay, Imogene (Deaton) Owens, and his younger sister Norma (Deaton) Hardy. Growing up on a family farm taught Harold to work hard and also to enjoy happy times with his close knit family. Harold once retold a story as a young boy of helping his Father clear rocks from a hayfield. Harold, who was approximately 6 years old at the time, recalled that he picked up so many rocks that his finger nails broke and fingers bled, Harold was questioned by his Father if he wanted a farm someday to which Harold replied, “Yes, but when I do I want one without any rocks”. At the age of 14 and with his Father’s consent Harold traveled to Walsh, Colorado to work as a farmhand in order to gain employment as a broom corn harvest worker. Harold quickly became a favorite farmhand of the farmer who took Harold in and treated him like a son. Harold spent the next 5 years working as a farmhand in the Walsh, Colorado area. In January 1951, Harold enlisted into the United States Navy. Following the completion of Basic Training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Base, Harold was assigned as a Gunner’s Mate assigned to LSMR 405, a rocket launcher gunship. Harold greatly enjoyed his time in the Navy and received an Honorable Discharge from his service in October, 1954. In 1955, Harold relocated to the Kansas City area where he stayed with family members. In 1955, Harold was hired and began a 41 year career working for General Motors Corporation, first at Fisher Auto Body for 1 year and 40 years beginning in 1956 until 1996 as an assembly line inspector at Delco Battery in Olathe, Kansas.
On March 23,1957, Harold married Peggy Polly Ruth (Barnes) Deaton. Harold and Peggy raised two sons Nevin Deaton and Jason Deaton. Harold was a dedicated husband and loving father who was active with his sons in Boy Scouts, coaching a number of Baseball teams, hunting, 4-H Horse Club, and the Kansas State Horse Show Circuit. Harold was a devoted husband who supported Peggy in various activities throughout their marriage which ended after 59 years following Peggy’s death. They enjoyed supporting their sons’ activities and later their grandchildrens’ Daniel Deaton and Marie Deaton’s activities. Together Harold and Peggy enjoyed bowling, riding horses, gardening and traveling together. Harold found an acreage near Gardner, Kansas which didn’t have many rocks where he built a house in 1977 and stayed at until his time of death.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Emsley Ellis Deaton and Julia Mildred Deaton, his wife Peggy Deaton, his brothers Raymond Deaton, Boyd Deaton, Newell Deaton, and sisters Edna Bartholomew, Louella McBay, Imogene Owens, and Norma Hardy, along with his sister-in-laws Leota Deaton, Burnadeene Deaton, and Wanda Deaton, and brother-in-laws Wallace Bartholomew, Mac McBay, Linza Owens and Leonard Hardy. Surviving Harold are his two sons, Nevin Deaton, Jason Deaton, a daughter-in-law Deanna Deaton, two grandchildren Daniel Deaton and Marie Deaton, his nephew Mike Barnes of Independence, Missouri and several additional nieces and nephews within the Northwest Arkansas Area, great nieces and nephews, along with their children and grandchildren. All whom he greatly loved and cherished.
Harold leaves behind a legacy of selflessness in helping others, love of country, humility, an exceptional work ethic and being a kind and loving man to his family and friends.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 14275 S. Black Bob Road, Olathe, Kansas at 1:00 P.M. Burial to follow at Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. Messages of condolence can be sent to the funeral home.
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