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Remembering Mary L. Deeks

Rose stem outline with full flowers, buds and several leaves

Mary Lu Vickers was born on September 28, 1955, in Bakersfield, California, to Marguerite (Marg) Pomeroy, and Richard (Dick) Eaton Vickers, a WWII veteran and spy. In 1965, at age nine, her father passed away in Merced, California, at the age of 50. Now a single parent, resourceful Marg raised Mary and her elder sister Margi (born in Alaska) while working at the local community college. In 1973, Mary Vickers married S. Drake in Merced, California, when she was 17 years old. Mary boldly ended this abusive marriage with the help of a library book on divorce. Next, moving to Bend, Oregon changed her life.

After a whirlwind six-week romance, including a hospital visit after Mary’s appendix ruptured at work, Mary married Timothy William Deeks in a park in Deschutes, Oregon, on July 30, 1977, when she was 21 years old. Though a time of celebration, just months later her mother Marguerite passed away in November of 1977 in Merced, California, at the age of 56.

Despite so much tragedy at an early age, Mary was eager to start a family with Tim. The joy and love they had in parenthood were easy to see. Her daughters were born on the same day, years apart in Bend, Oregon: Kathryn Guinevere Deeks in 1981 and Morgan DeHaven Deeks in 1984. Her son Kenneth Cameron Deeks was born in 1989, in Clackamas, Oregon. The construction industry for Tim’s jobs kept Mary in a cycle of moves but helped the family stay close-knit. Mary devoted years of care and support for Tim as his health waned. Timothy William Deeks passed away on June 27, 2009, in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 57. They had been married 31 years.

Throughout her life, Mary was a kind-hearted lover of animals, culture and current events, art, and books. A curious mind made Mary an excellent resource for discussion and advice, and she treated all with equal dignity and respect. After innumerable health challenges and surviving years of the global pandemic, Mary Lu Vickers crossed over in peace on January 11, 2022, in Portland, Oregon, when she was 66 years old. Mary was preceded in death by elder sister Margi Vickers Anderson and is survived by Kenneth, Morgan, her husband Lucian Prellwitz and newborn grandson Francis, and Kathryn and granddaughter Penelope, age 11.

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