Benjamin Frederick “Ted” Deanes

Published 8:58 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

MURFREESBORO – Benjamin Frederick “Ted” Deanes, 93, a native of Murfreesboro, died peacefully on Monday, January 21, 2013, at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

Mr. Deanes was a lifetime resident of Murfreesboro. He was the son of the late Willie E. and Mary P. Deanes. He attended Murfreesboro High School and Chowan College where he studied business. Mr. Deanes spent the majority of his work career working at Murfreesboro Appliance Company where he was a service technician. He also operated the movie projectors at the Pastime Theater and the Murfree Drive-In in Murfreesboro. After leaving the appliance business, he co-owned Lessie’s Florist where he worked along with his wife, Lessie. After selling the business, Mr. Deanes worked part-time at Chowan College in the student center.

Mr. Deanes was a lifetime member of Murfreesboro United Methodist Church where he served as the Sunday School Secretary for more than twenty-five years. He remained active in his church, serving on various committees until his health began to decline.

Mr. Deanes served in the Army in World War II in the Pacific Theater, obtaining the rank of First Sergeant and was awarded the American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Mr. Deanes was very involved in civic activities. He was a member of the Murfreesboro Exchange Club for many years where he served as president, vice-president, district director and chairman of various committees. He was awarded the Exchangite of the Year Award and the Golden Deeds Award.  He was also honored by the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce for Outstanding Leadership and along with his wife Lessie received the highest honor given by the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce, The Distinguished Service Award, for contributing greatly to the life of the town of Murfreesboro.

Mr. Deanes followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department at the age of sixteen. He continued to serve with the department for forty-five years, fifteen of those years as the fire chief before retiring from the department in 1982.

One of Mr. Deanes’ greatest passions in life was working with the Boy Scouts of America. He became involved in Boy Scouts as a youth and continued his involvement with the scouts as an adult. He served as assistant den leader and assistant cubmaster in Cub Scouts before moving up to work with Boy Scouts. He became assistant scoutmaster and later scoutmaster of Troop 125 in Murfreesboro. He also served as a recruiter, district camporee and activities chairman, and a finance campaign worker. He was inducted into the Order of the Arrow where he later became an assistant advisor.  At the district level, he served as assistant district commissioner, district commissioner, and served on the Eagle Scout Board of Review. Mr. Deanes received numerous awards and honors throughout his years of scouting. These include the East Carolina Council Compass Award for distinctive and meritorious service to scouting; the Tuscarora District Award of Appreciation; the Murfreesboro Rotary Club Award for Outstanding Service to Scouting; the Green Band Roundup Award; the Woodbadge Leadership Training Award; the Tuscarora District Award of Merit; the Vigil Honor Order of the Arrow; the Silver Beaver Award; and the Order of the Arrow Founder’s Award. He was a graduate of the College of Commissioner Science and named Honor Commissioner by the Southeast Region of the Boy Scouts of America. He was also designated as a James E. West Fellow by the East Carolina Council of BSA. Perhaps the greatest honor bestowed upon Mr. Deanes was in 2008 when the former Murfreesboro Boy Scout Hut was restored and renamed in his honor as the Ted Deanes Scout Center.

Left to cherish his memory are nine children, Joyce D. Putnam and husband, Larry of Enfield, Vickie D. Hunnings and husband, Mike of Suffolk, VA; Barbara D. Benton and husband, Wayne of Union, Tommy L. Deanes and wife, Gayle of Millennium, Joey W. Deanes and wife, Katherine of Clarkesville, GA, Nancy D. Brittenham and husband, Cumin of Aulander, Billy E. Deanes of Murfreesboro, Connie D. Parker and husband, Tommy of Aulander, and Sandra D. Nabinger and husband, Rick of Ahoskie. Also surviving are 27 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great- grandchildren and many special nieces and nephews.

Mr. Deanes was preceded in death by his loving wife of 66 years, Lessie V. Deanes; two sons, infant Jeffrey Lynn Deanes and B.F. “Freddie” Deanes, Jr.; his parents Willie E. and Mary P. Deanes; his sister Mary Louise Hardin; and his brothers, William L. Deanes and R. Sidney Deanes.

A celebration of life service will be held for Mr. Deanes on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Murfreesboro United Methodist Church on High Street in Murfreesboro. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Murfreesboro.

The family will receive friends at Murfreesboro United Methodist Church on Friday, January 25, 2013, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and other times at the home of his son, Tommy L. Deanes, at 107 Bruce Farmer Road, Millennium.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to East Carolina Council, Boy Scouts of America, P.O. Box 1698, Kinston, NC 28503; Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, or Murfreesboro Fire Department.

The family wishes to express their profound gratitude to his many caregivers, especially Lindsay Brown, Carol Vann, and Freida Ingram and to the medical staff of Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie for their care and compassion.

Massey Funeral Home is serving the Deanes family.