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CMSgt. Virgle Kenneth Deal, USAF (Ret.)

CMSgt. Virgle Kenneth Deal, USAF (Ret.)

Dec 5, 1926 - Dec 14, 2023

CMSgt. Virgle Kenneth Deal, USAF (Ret.) - Obituary


irgle (Ken) Deal, 97, passed away peacefully on the morning of Dec 14, 2023 due to prostate cancer. He was in his home at the Asbury Retirement Facility, in Solomons, MD where he was under Hospice Care for a brief period of time. He was well taken care of by dedicated family members, by professional aides who assisted him several times a week for the last couple of years and finally by Hospice. The entire community of individuals both living and working at Asbury also played an important part in making his last years so productive and pleasant. Ken Deal was born on Dec 5, 1926 in Parker, Texas and was the youngest of 10 children of John and Annie Elizabeth Deal. There were 8 girls and two boys and his brother, John (Jack) was ten years older. Ken was the only child to be able to complete high school since all the children needed to assist with the family income by picking cotton. Ken was a slightly built redhead and had freckles as a child so learned to stand up for himself by having many school yard fights with people who teased him. He could run like the wind and was often asked by his parents to “run” over to help a neighbor whose farm was a couple of miles away and he did it effortlessly while carrying a bucket of hot coals to stoke their fire that had gone out. One of his favorite stories was to tell people that he quit smoking at the age of 7. He and his older brother, Jack, would try to figure out how to smoke so they rolled leaves from corn husks and smoked them behind the barn, but it didn’t take long before he knew that was a bad idea. Ken lost his father when he was 16 and became financially responsible for his mother at that time. To do this and also be able to graduate, he lived at the school and became the custodian so he could work and attend school. Following high school he was employed at a service station, fixing and selling tires, where at the age of 19 he became the district sales representative for 36 counties in Texas for Cooper Tires. Ken said once that he thought he would only work in a service station selling and fixing tires and would probably never leave the state of Texas like all of the rest of his family. However, also at the age of 19 he was drafted into the US Army in Jan, 1946. Being blind in one eye due to a lazy eye that had gone untreated and the sole support of his mother, Ken did not expect to be accepted. Well, he was wrong and had to get home quickly and pack his bags to report to Fort Sam Houston, Dallas, Texas. Nine days later he reenlisted in the Army Air Force which became the USAF. Ken had numerous assignments domestically and overseas where his speciality was in Finance after receiving training at Lowry AFB, Colorado in that field. He said that being drafted raised his chances exponentially of having a much different life than he ever expected and gave him the chance to learn and grow and accomplish things he never dreamed would be possible. Ken served on active duty very successfully until he retired in September, 1970 and then served 5 years in the Reserves as well. He achieved the top enlisted rank of CMSgt and received the Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. While at Offutt AFB, in Omaha, Nebraska, early in his career, he dated and married Shirley Taylor on Dec 2, 1949. She had moved there from her home state of Maryland to assist in the clerical field during the war, They were very blessed to have been married for nearly 71 years. In 2019, they hosted a lovely gathering of friends at their Asbury facility in Solomons, Maryland to celebrate their 70th Anniversary, something very few ever attain. Ken and Shirley had 3 children: Linda, Larry, both born at McChord AFB, Tacoma, Washington and Vikki, born just outside of Ramstein AFB, Germany. He and Shirley were travelers extraordinaire and very big drivers who crisscrossed the roads of the US several times over to see and show their children the beauty and wonders of this country they loved. One time it was the northern route, the next the southern route - they went everywhere in an unconditioned car, usually in summer. They let the kids put their bare feet out the window which was the only salvation sometimes! Much later, they would take 33 post-retirement trips to many great places and he documented them all with photos and videos. To say Ken was well traveled is a huge understatement, this after believing he would never be able to leave his home state of Texas to explore the world. As military “brats” the children experienced all kinds of interesting sights, cultures, languages and history. Linda went to 1st and 2nd grade in a Quonset hut in Okinawa, and after that learned to love the mountains and streams in Colorado, followed by living in Germany as teenagers. Larry loved going to the “old lady” store, as he called it, to buy gummy bears (the original ones of course) sour sticks, and caps so he and his friends could make some noise. The family visited every country possible, since the Iron Curtain was in place then, because when Ken had some leave time, it was hit the road time. One memorable trip was to Verdun, France where the gravestones from wars gone by went as far as the eye could see and was truly unforgettable. Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland were great trips too. In the Netherlands, Ken thought he might have to leave Linda there since she was too afraid to come down some high, amazingly steep, narrow steps. Vikki, the youngest by quite a bit, was born in Germany so her name is spelled the German way and her initials are the same as Ken’s so she will proudly carry them on. As the cutest little girl, just learning to talk, she used a made up word that she is still teased about to this day - “Whobody” took my doll? Linda and Larry were AF brats but while Vikki was born in Germany, she was raised as a non military brat since Ken retired when she was 4 years old. She is the only one to still know people she went to 1st grade with and to live in the same house until she went to college. Quite the unique family! Ken said one of the things he valued most was watching his children have success and accomplishments as adults. He was proud of all of them and they each went in very different directions, but all have had satisfying and responsible careers. Linda was a career civil servant with the US Federal Government as a Intelligence Research Specialist for both the US Secret Service and the USAF, working to protect both people and USAF developed classified technology. Ken and Linda served the USAF for a combination of 55 years of uniformed and civilian service. Larry went the business route after he became the youngest master electrician in Maryland at the time. He has been the longtime successful business owner of L.K. Deal Electric where he has served the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas for many years and has a stellar reputation. His children, Bryan and Wendy have continued in his footsteps to manage the business that is still going strong. Vikki became a registered nurse and has worked in that field for a long time, starting out at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Maryland and now specializes as a NICU, (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse in California. She has been instrumental in assisting with some true miracles. Following his USAF retirement, Ken took up a totally new profession that he had to learn from the ground up. He became a real estate agent and sold and resold many houses in the Maryland and Northern Virginia area. Due to his diligence he became very successful as an agent and eventually became a Regional Manager for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, where once again he took to the road to check on and assist many Coldwell Banker offices up and down the east coast to improve their business successes and solve problems. In 1987 he had the distinction of being chosen to receive the highest award possible which was the National Management Consultant of the Year for Coldwell Banker at their convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Linda was working at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico at the time and was lucky enough to attend the award ceremony and witness the presentation and recalls how excited he was to be honored in this special way. Ken had a very successful second career for 20 years until retiring for real at the age of 64. Ken spent a lot of his time in church or working for the church. He was a young member of the Lucas Baptist Church in Texas, involved in Chapel services during all military assignments around the world, Providence United Methodist Church in Friendly, Maryland, and Crossroads United Methodist Church in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he assisted with Crossroads in becoming a Medallion Church. He taught Sunday school for many years. One of his accomplishments that he was proud of was his work with the prison ministry. He spent many years giving hours of his time bringing lay ministry to those incarcerated. He joked that he spent more time “ in prison” than many of those who were incarcerated. Over the years he received numerous letters from former and current inmates who credited him with changing their lives, allowing them to continue as Christians with more hope for the future than they ever had before. In addition to all of his church related accomplishments, the one he was the most proud and happy about was his time as a Gideon. An incredible international organization that he was a big part of for over 35 years. An individual must be recommended by a minister to become a Gideon and he came well recommended! He was a Gideon zone leader, area coordinator and President of the Gideons of the Western Slope of Colorado. When in Maryland, he continued his service to this organization in multiple ways to include “Bible Blitz”, keeping records, presenting the Gideon message by invitation to many church congregations (his final one was given in Feb, 2023 at the age of 96), and sending out volumes of information to the camp he belonged to in southern Maryland. He has donated many bibles in other people’s names along the way. Although it seems as though there could not be enough hours in the day for still another type of service, Ken was also involved in community service organizations where he served with total commitment, which is the only way he ever did anything! He was in the Lions Club, receiving the Lion of the Year Award on 4 occasions and the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from the Lions Club International which is the highest award given by the Lions Club, and of course he was a Lifetime member. He could sure sell the heck out of the Lions Club Christmas trees every year which would benefit lots of people. Ken was the Regional Director for the Christian Businessmen Committee in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia areas. Ken received the Community Service Award for Prince George’s County, Maryland, not once, but twice. Ken was also a Mason and assisted this Fraternity in offering immense financial support to children’s hospitals and other facilities for children around the world. Ken and his wife Shirley were published authors. They wrote a book and published it in 2016 about their individual lives, Ken’s career, and of their family life together. It is titled, “Two Good Deals” and has received attention from numerous publishers as a “template” for others to write their life stories. The book also received great reviews. It was reprinted in 2021 with a new cover and some updates. They wrote it for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as a history of the family and to offer them spiritual guidance for their futures. Ken’s hope was that he would make a difference in at least one way during his life; to be sure his family and friends would say he made so many positive differences through his various ways of service, there would literally be too many to count. Ken was proceeded in death by his wife Shirley in 2020 at nearly 95 years old, his parents and all of his siblings, his nieces and several nephews, Veterans he worked with, some members of the churches he belonged to, some community service friends from the Lions Club, Masons and Gideons, and some friends and neighbors who lived in the Asbury Retirement Facility, Solomons, Maryland where he spent the last 10 years contributing to several clubs and committees. Ken is survived by his 3 children: Linda Stillman, Larry Deal (Ginger) and Vikki Murphy (Michael). Linda lives in Arizona, Vikki (Michael) and Vikki’s son, Bernt, live in California. Larry (Ginger) and all listed below, with the exception of Bernt, live in southern Maryland. 3 grandchildren: Bryan Deal (Angela), Wendy Crampton (James) and Bernt Powell. 4 great grandchildren: Jacob Deal, Taylor Deal, Dylan Crampton, and Wyatt Crampton. Special thanks is given to so many people who assisted with his final days; his friends at Asbury, his church community, the dedicated aides who stayed extra hours during his last days to watch over him, the amazing Hospice Care Dr and nurse who allowed for his passing to be peaceful and comfortable. As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to help someone at the end of life to allow the passing to be full of love and peace. No one deserved it more than him. In one of his favorite devotion booklets, “Portals of Prayer”, in the reading for the day of his passing, Dec 14th, 2023, there is the sentence that says, “Because of Jesus, death is done. Sin’s consequences are eliminated and for believers only the brightness of our Lord prevails.” Ken is now prevailing in that brightness. Interment will be at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, with a military memorial service. He will be joining his wife, Shirley at Arlington Cemetery. Ken would be honored with memorial donations through the Gideons International where bibles can be donated in his name via their website: https://apps.gideons.org or through the local office at 1310 Lottie Fowler Rd, Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678. Condolences may be made by using the Memories tab on this page.