Dr. Joseph DeFlyer

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Joseph DeFlyer

Dr. Joseph DeFlyer

Dr. Joseph DeFlyer passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, at his home in Henderson, Nevada on Jan. 19, 2019 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He will be remembered forever by those who were blessed enough to have him in their lives.

Joe was born on Nov. 9, 1943, in Whitefish, son of George and Alice DeFlyer of Columbia Falls. He attended schools in Columbia Falls and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 1961, after which he attended Carroll College in Helena, graduating with a degree in English Literature in 1966.

He then attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he received his doctorate in Native American Literature in 1974.

He and Janet Maresh were married in Lincoln on October 29, 1971.

Joe had a love for the outdoors and worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the summers of his college years. In 1972 Joe and Janet manned the Desert Mountain Lookout near Columbia Falls .

Joe accepted a teaching position while he was obtaining his PhD at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he taught American and Native American Literature from 1970 until 1976. After spending time traveling in South America, Joe then went on to teach at McMurry College in Abilene Texas from 1976 until 1980. He later taught Native American Studies at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota from 1980 to 1990. During his time in Grand Forks, Joe served as department chair of Native American Studies.

Joe then went into the field of college administration, serving as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon, from 1990 to 1991, then went on to serve as Dean of Arts and Sciences from 1991 to 1994.

In 1994, the family moved to Carson City, Nevada, where Joe served as Dean of Arts, Sciences, and Development Education at Western Nevada Community College from 1993 to 2001. In 2001, Joe and family moved to Bishop, California, where he later retired after working in college administration for several years at Cerro Coso Community College.

He is survived by his daughters, Erika (Jason) Biedron of Palos Verdes, California, and Elizabeth DeFlyer (Jesse) of Las Vegas, Nevada; son, David DeFlyer of Sunnyvale, Calif.; daughter Cindy Clark of Butte; daughter Christina LaMarche of Ralston, Nebraska; granddaughters, Ashlen, Addison and grandson Caden Biedron; granddaughters Carleigh and Hayleigh Garrett; grandson Jacob LaMarche, and granddaughter Laura LaMarche. He is also survived by a sister, Dorothy Downen of Columbia Falls and her children, Rebecca Hamilton (Olen) of Kalispell and Debra Downen of Spokane, Washington.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Wilbert.

Joe was a kind, loving man who will be dearly missed by all that knew him. He was forever a student and teacher, and could frequently be found reading, writing, hunting, camping, fishing, or fixing nearly anything that he could get his hands on. A celebration of Joe’s life will be held at Lake Tahoe in the summer of 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s memory can be made to the Sierra Club or to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN) at www.pancan.org.

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