March 11, 1939 - January 15, 2023
Service Date: June 9, 2023
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., with Vigil starting at 6:00 p.m., at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, June 9, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Burial will be at Black Hills National Cemetery, with full military honors by Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard.
Gene H. Deck, 83, of Rapid City, entered eternal rest on January 15, 2023.
Gene was born on March 11, 1939, in Covington, KY to Walter C. Deck (11/13/1901-04/08/1965) and Mary Jane Deck/Maddux (08/16/1917-04/09/1995).
He is survived by his wife of 59 years Mary Carlene (Duwenhoegger) Deck, two daughters Mary V. Hamilton (Jerry), and Gail G. Arnburg (Jeff), his brother Randall K. Deck. Grandchildren: Randall G. Deck (Maria) and four great grandchildren, Jessica M. Valdez (Christian) and three great grandchildren, Matthew C. Deck, AJ Arnburg, and Samantha Arnburg. And many other close family and friends.
He was preceded in the passing of his beloved son Carl G. Deck (July 19, 1966 – December 13, 2006). His parents and brother Richard Deck.
Gene is a USAF Military veteran of 22 years.
Honorary pallbearers are Jerry A. Hamilton, Carl Joseph Duwenhoegger, Randall G. Deck and Peter Dowse.
Gene is a member of the Blessed Sacrament Church and a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 8844.
Gene grew up in Cincinnati Ohio and graduated from Anderson High School on May 29, 1957, 2 days after graduation he enlisted in the US Airforce.
Gene was baptized a catholic in 1957 and eventually met and married his wife of 59 years in Rapid City South Dakota on August 3, 1963. They were married in the Blessed Sacrament Church in Rapid City, his first two children were baptized there and we will now have his final mass there.
Gene served in the US Airforce from May 31, 1957 to January 31, 1979. He spent many hours climbing Satellite communication towers and installing the equipment himself on the towers and installed the large “Earth Stations” on the ground below the satellite receiving stations. We remember our Mom being so worried that he was so high in the air! He traveled extensively throughout his career and has been in every state except one.
During his time in the military, he was stationed at 12 Airforce bases including Anderson AFB in Guam from Dec. 1966 to June 1968. He was the communications engineer in the plane that flew President Johnson over Vietnam and to Vietnam during the war. Gene also met five other presidents in a similar manner. He received many promotions, awards and accommodations. Many of those accommodations were for leading his teams. He retired as a Master Sargent. We know how he kept everything; he has kept every one of the letters, there are over 50 of them. Gene was very proud of his service to his country.
After retiring from the military in Anchorage, Alaska where he was stationed at Elmendorf AFB with his family for 10 years, Gene had a career as an engineer in Satellite Communications for several years with Wold Communications Inc later known as Keystone Communications in Anchorage where he was instrumental in bringing live television to Alaska. Eventually moving to Keystone Communication’s main headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. Where he was instrumental in bringing live Olympic events to the world on television. And many other live sporting events and concerts in the US and around the world.
Gene went on to form his own engineering consulting company GHD Engineering where he continued his work in the Satellite communications field.
Gene loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing and race car driving. He went back to Alaska several times after leaving for hunting and fishing trips. He was also in several bowling leagues, enjoyed golfing and coaching Carl’s baseball team.
He was an avid Ham Radio operator with the call sign of WOPYZ. He was involved in several Iditarod Races at the checkpoints in very desolate places, one time actually living with an Eskimo family in an igloo near Nome!
Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren:
Randall G. Deck is married to Maria Deck and they have four children: Ernie, Sabrina, Kendall & Randy Jr. They reside in Melissa Texas.
Jessica M. Valdez is married to Christian Valdez and they have three children: Brooklyn, Hailee, and McKenzie. They reside in Melissa Texas.
AJ Arnburg 30 and living in Reno, Nevada and working at Tesla.
Matthew C. Deck is 23 and resides in Colorado.
We would like to send a very special thank you to Carl Joseph Duwenhoegger Gene’s brother-in-law and Pete & Mary Dowse good friends who have endlessly lent their time and support over the years for Dad.
For more information on the future celebration of life which will be posted here when finalized, please contact Mary Hamilton by email at email@example.com or by calling: (661)607-7437.