Ted Deanes honored

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MURFREESBORO – Ted Deanes has held many important titles in his life.

Just a few of the many include soldier, fire chief and father. But, perhaps, the title he is best known for is leader, more specifically through his work with Boy Scouts.

Recently, a ceremony dedicating the Ted Deanes Scout Center was held, honoring the former Boy Scout Master. The ceremony was sponsored by the Murfreesboro Rotary Club.

The small green and white Scout Center, located on Harrell Street, will provide a place for scouts to congregate and learn the values that scouting teaches.

According to Hugh Vincent, a Rotarian and Co-Chair of the Rotary Scouting Center Fund Drive, the town owned the building was damaged during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The building was slated to be destroyed, but with urging from those who envisioned the building being utilized by the Boy Scouts, town officials agreed to save it.

Thanks to a letter writing campaign, numerous donors (69 individuals and organizations in all), volunteers and town employees, the center was finished last year.

Deanes, along with his family, friends, town officials, Murfreesboro Rotary Club members, citizens and Boy Scouts attended the ceremony, which included a ribbon cutting ceremony.

If there was ever an ultimate resume in Boy Scouts, Deanes would happily hold the title as he has been involved with scouting at countless levels.

Deanes began his more than 60-year history with the Boy Scouts of America when he was a child growing up in Murfreesboro. He was a scout under Scoutmaster J.B. Henson.

After serving in World War II, in which he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the Victory Medal and the American Theater Ribbon, he returned to Murfreesboro and began a family with his wife, Lessie Vick Deanes. The couple eventually had 10 children, but it was through his sons that Deanes gravitated to scouts again.

Cub Scouts is where Deanes began his work as a Scout leader, taking on the assistant Den Leader and assistant Cub Master roles.

As his sons moved up in the ranks, Deanes followed, eventually becoming Scoutmaster of Troop 125 in Murfreesboro.

Deanes service to the Boy Scouts of America didn’t end there as he was involved in recruiting scouts, a district camporee, activities chairman as well as a finance campaign worker.

He was eventually inducted into the Order of the Arrow where he later became an assistant advisor. Deanes later added District Commissioner and serving on the Eagle Scout Board of Review to his resume as well.

Deanes’ work in scouting has earned him numerous distinguished awards and honors, including the East Carolina Council Compass, the Tuscarora District Award of Appreciation and the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award given by the East Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America (ECCBS).

Despite the hot weather, Deanes watched as those whose lives he impacted commented on his influence on the community.

“What a great day for scouting and the township of Murfreesboro,” said Ed Pisani, District Director of ECCBS.

Pisani noted the importance of the center and its role in instilling the values into scouts.

Dean Vincent, one of Deanes’ former scouts, noted his mentor’s involvement in each of the scouts he had in his troop.

“Thank you Ted for caring…Once you’re an Eagle Scout you never forget it,” he said. “The qualities Ted helped instill in us 20 years ago helped us to become the men we are today.”

At their last regular meeting, the Murfreesboro Town Council approved a proclamation, announcing June 14 as Ted Deanes Day in the town. Mayor Lynn Johnson was in attendance for the ceremony and presented a framed copy of the proclamation to Deanes.

“Benjamin Fredrick ‘Ted’ Deanes has worked tirelessly to build the Boy Scout organization in the local community and regionally,” Johnson read from the proclamation. “Benjamin Fredrick ‘Ted’ Deanes is to be commended and thanked for his continued commitment to the Boys Scouts in our community.”

Deanes’ daughter, Nancy Brittenham, stated while she was researching her father’s life she found he had been bestowed an Indian name by the Order of the Arrow.

“This name is Wulihan, which means, ‘He who does good for others’,” she said. “How appropriate for a man who has always given so much of himself not only to the scouting program, but in all facets of life.”