Norman Blake Deakins, age 92, of West Main Street, Grafton, WV, passed away Saturday, February 17, 2018, at his residence surrounded by his family.
He was born April 29, 1925 in Grafton, WV, a son of the late Forrest Mead and Lula Francis (Bolyard) Deakins.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Mary Alice (Burnside) Deakins and his brother, Richard F. Deakins
He is survived by one son, Stephen Blake Deakins and wife Kitte of Grafton; two daughters, Janalynn Diane Jones and husband Gerald, of Meadland Community and Alice Suzanne Deakins-Moran and husband Tony, also of Grafton; four grandchildren, Crystal S. Deakins, of NC, Jeremiah Jones and wife Kristen, Rachel A. Campbell and husband Patrick, and Alexis G. Deakins, all of Morgantown; six great-grandchildren, Kayla Deakins, Riley Dalton, Ava Jones, Maci Campbell, Adalynn Jones, and Cole Campbell; also survived by several nieces and nephews.
He was a “saved believer” and a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church.
Norman graduated from Grafton High School with the Class of 1943.
He then was drafted into the United States Marine Corp. and at the time of his discharge in 1944, he was listed as a Private First Class, rifle expert, amphibian tractor crewman, and swimmer. From February, 1944 to June, 1945, he participated in action against the enemy in the South Pacific at Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, Guam, Marianas Islands, and Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands.
Mr. Deakins was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 12 in Grafton, where he served as Post Commander 1953-1954 and 1969-1970. He, also, was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 3081 and DAV Post 4018. He held the office of Grand Chef de Gare of the Forty and Eight in 1975.
Norman served as a volunteer member of the VFW Post 3081 Color Guard Unit having participated in 2,197 military funerals. He was especially proud of having worked on the committee that procured the lands where the Pruntytown Section of the National Cemetery is located.
He was a machinist by trade working in Fairmont and Kittanning, PA. From 1967 to 1983, he worked at the Industrial School for Boys where he taught masonry. He retired in 1985 after working for the Department of Corrections at Huttonsville.
Norman was a proud member of the NRA and was an avid outdoorsman. He looked forward to all hunting and fishing seasons. Rest in Peace “Iron Pants”.
The family will receive friends at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home in Grafton on Wednesday, February 21, from 3:00-8:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. until the funeral on Thursday.
Funeral services will be held at the funeral home at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2018, with Rev. Terry Osborne officiating.
Interment will follow at the WV National Cemetery in Pruntytown.
Military graveside services will be conducted by the Taylor County Color Guard and the US Marine Corps Kilo Company 325 from N. Versailles, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Taylor County VFW Post 3081 Color Guard for the procurement of their travel van.
Online condolences: www.donaldgfordfuneralhome.com.