Walter Rodger DeMille- 02.18.1936 – 03.24.2019- Walt was born in Kanab Utah to Newell Knight DeMille and Arvena Mae (Beatty) DeMille. His family lived in Rockville, Utah until they moved to Washington State in his mid-teens. Walt was very involved in high school activities, music, and sports. In the 1950s Walt served a 2-yr LDS mission in Northern California, after which he was drafted into the US Army and served his 2-yr assignment in Germany. He actually enjoyed his time in the service, got to travel and see much of Europe, and he was grateful for the discipline and order of the military, as it served him well in life.
After his military service, Walt was introduced to, and married, Luene Kleinman of Hurricane, Utah, in the St George Utah temple in 1961. He worked at the air base in Moses Lake, where they made their home and welcomed their 1st child, Paige. They soon transferred to Tucson, Arizona, where their 2nd child, Derek, was born. Shortly thereafter, the family returned to Moses Lake, where Walt studied cosmetology before taking a job at Aladdin’s Beauty Salon in Pasco, Washington, where they moved in 1967 and made their home for the next 25 years. While there, Reece, Blake, and Lauren were born.
Walt continued working hard to provide for his family. He remained active in the Church throughout his life, serving in many capacities, including Sunday School teacher, ward clerk, bishopric counselor, stake high councilor, Young Single Adult branch president, High Priest group leader, temple worker, and many, many others. Walt treasured his membership in the church and was happy to serve. He continued to love sports and working with the youth, coaching young men’s softball and basketball teams and becoming a basketball referee for both church and city leagues.
He eventually bought Aladdin’s and owned it for several years, perfecting his craft and pleasing his many clients, before deciding to make a career change. He sold the shop and became a truck driver, working for many years hauling gasoline and diesel around the Tri-Cities for H-T Fuel. He probably became the first man in history who could double-clutch a 21,000-gallon fuel tractor-trailer in the morning and follow it up with a beautiful shampoo-and-set in the afternoon. He often remarked how much he enjoyed driving out in the farmlands north of Pasco, especially during planting and harvest, seeing and smelling the crops and the dirt so fertile for growing potatoes, corn, wheat, and alfalfa, apples, pears, peaches, and cherries. He also thoroughly enjoyed visiting with the farmers as he delivered their fuel, and they enjoyed his visits with them as well. He made many life-long friends among the farmers.
Walt’s love for his family was never in question, and he was a faithful and dedicated father. Nothing pleased him more than seeing his children and grandchildren serve missions, which they did all over the world, in Japan, New York, California, Utah, Brazil, Scotland, Canada, England, and even Latvia. He faithfully wrote letters to missionaries every week, hundreds of them over the years, and knew his family was blessed by their service to the Lord. He loved his children, adored his grandchildren, and was delighted by his great-children.
In 1992, after 31 years of marriage, Walt’s dear wife, Luene, passed away after a brief battle with cancer. It was a difficult time, but the family rallied and pressed forward. In Oct 1993, Walt married Elaine Dickinson and began to build a life together. They sold their home in Pasco and built a new one in Burbank, WA, where they lived for 5 years, making new friends and enjoying new experiences. In April 1999, Walt retired and they moved to Henderson, Nevada, forsaking Washington’s winter cold and welcoming southern Nevada’s warmth. Here he lived for his last 20 years, continuing to serve the Lord, make new friends, beautify his surroundings, and enjoy his retirement years.
Walt enjoyed great health for the majority of his life, but in the past few years, and especially the last several months, multiple issues began plaguing his body. He fought them valiantly, always with a cheerful attitude and a sunny disposition, but eventually they became too much to overcome. Early in the morning of March 24, 2019, at the age of 83, Walt DeMille was called home.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Newell and Arvena DeMille, his brothers Clark and Clair DeMille, his sister VaNeta Fuller, and his 1st wife, Luene (Kleinman) DeMille. He is survived by his wife, Elaine, his brother Turk (Joan) DeMille, his sister Buelah (Ken) Bohne, his children Paige, Derek (Vickie), Reece (Michelle), Blake (Jodi), Lauren (Damon), Shawn (Sandy), Chad (Barb), Darby (Tam), Bryce (Kim), 28 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, as well as numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends too numerous to count.
Visitation will be held on Saturday March 30, 2019 from 9-10:45 am at the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints Burkholder Chapel, 1002 Burkholder Blvd, Henderson, Nevada 89015. Funeral Service will follow at 11:00 am. Interment will be at City View Cemetery in Pasco, Washington. Family and friends can sign an online memorial guestbook at www.bouldercityfamilymortuary.com
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