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Derrel Dempsey

Derrel Loren Dempsey

Tuesday, April 19th, 1932 - Friday, March 15th, 2019
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Obituary

Col. Derrel Loren Dempsey (USAF Ret.), 86, formerly of O’Fallon, IL, born April 19, 1932 in Gilson, IL passed away on Friday, March 15, 2019.

Derrel married the love of his life, Gracie, in 1953. Together they raised five children. Derrel was passionate about his family and his country. He loved fishing, gardening, visiting his family, and trips to the ballpark to root for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Colonel Dempsey was a highly decorated and accomplished pilot and administrator prior to his retirement from the United States Air Force. Among numerous honors, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying an exceptional mission in the Vietnam War. He was inducted into the Air Force Communications Hall of Fame in Washington, DC. Col. Dempsey served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Traffic Services, Air Force Communications Command at the Pentagon. During that assignment, he deployed 612 combat ready USAF Air Traffic Controllers to keep air traffic moving during the FAA air traffic controllers strike. For his actions during the strike and legendary service record, the Air Force USAF named the Air Traffic Control Manager of the Year Award for him.

Derrel was preceded in death by his wife, Gracie Dempsey nee Edwards; his parents, Loren Albert and Mary Ardella (nee Sniff) Dempsey; and his sister, Lawanda England.

Derrel is survived by his children, Darrell (Pam) Dempsey of Linden, TX, Guy (Anne) Dempsey of O’Fallon, IL, Tamera (Mike) Luth of Amarillo, TX, Minda Lawson of Madison, WI, and Lisa (Klaus Grillmaer) Dempsey; brother, Myron (Phyllis) Dempsey of Peoria, IL; thirteen grandchildren and ten great- grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to American Parkinson Disease Association at www.apdaparkinson.org. Condolences may be extended to the family online at www.schildknechtfh.com.

Memorial visitation will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at Schildknecht Funeral Home, 301 South Lincoln Avenue, O'Fallon, IL 62269.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Chuck Cange officiating.

Private burial services will be held at a later date at Knoxville City Cemetery in Knoxville, IL.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Schildknecht Funeral Home.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 | 9:00am - 11:30am
    When
    Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 9:00am - 11:30am
    Location
    Schildknecht Funeral Home
    Address
    301 S. Lincoln Avenue
    O'Fallon, Illinois 62269
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Memorial visitation will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at Schildknecht Funeral Home, 301 South Lincoln Avenue, O'Fallon, IL 62269.
  • Service

    Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 | 11:30am
    When
    Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 11:30am
    Location
    Schildknecht Funeral Home
    Address
    301 S. Lincoln Avenue
    O'Fallon, Illinois 62269
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Pastor Chuck Cange
  • Interment

    Saturday, August 31st, 2019 | 12:00pm
    When
    Saturday, August 31st, 2019 12:00pm
    Location
    Knoxville Cemetery
    Address
    Address Not Available
    Knoxville, Illinois 61448
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: AMERICAN PARKINSON DISEASE ASSOC.

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Richard and Joeleen Adams & Family, CMSgt David B. Reese, USAF, Retired, and others have sent flowers to the family of Derrel Loren Dempsey.
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JS

jeff smith

Posted at 01:11pm
Col Derrel was a force to be recognized. He expected nothing but your best. As a leader, he acted, rather than reacted to see which way the wind was blowing for a decision, "Do the right thing, and I have your back." What else can you say to earn the respect of the men and women you lead. RIP, DY.

Jeff Smith 1866FCS
 
TL

Tamera Luth Posted at 08:13pm

Thank you so much for your note here. I love reading posts from those who worked with Dad. He truly was an amazing man.
JS

James Smith

Posted at 11:16am
The USAF Flight Checkers Association has lost a great leader and fellow flight checker with the passing of Col. Dempsey. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you clear DY for take off on his final flight. God speed DY.

Your fellow flight checkers
 
TL

Tamera Luth Posted at 08:14pm

Thank you for your moving post. --Tammy Luth, one of his daughters.
MS

Mr. and Mrs. James L Smith

Posted at 10:54am
In memory of a great friend, mentor and boss who lead me through my Air Force career.
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A donation was made in memory of Derrel Dempsey
 
TL

Tamera Luth Posted at 08:17pm

Thank you for your donation in memory of our dad. We do appreciate that. We think he was incredibly special too.
HS

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:19am
Our deepest sympathies to the family
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Derrel Dempsey. Send Flowers

HS

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 09:02pm
To Minda and family, We are thinking about you during this difficult time. With love and hugs from your sisters on wheels.
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Derrel Dempsey. Send Flowers

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