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John "Jack" Reginald DemingJohn (Jack) Reginald Deming, of Vanderbilt passed away on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at the age of 92. Jack was born on April 1, 1928 in the family home in the small village of Vanderbilt, just north of Gaylord, MI. Jack was the youngest sibling, with four older brothers, Paul, Howard, Hudson, and Jim and one older sister, Beth. There was a ten-year difference between Jack and the next youngest sibling. For a living, Jack’s parents, Howard and Grace (Sutcliffe) Deming, owned and ran the Deming Hardware Store in Vanderbilt. Jack graduated from Vanderbilt High School in 1946 and enlisted in the United States National Guard at the age of 18. He was stationed in Grayling and Cheboygan, Michigan, which he served for a total of 14 years. Jack was a First-Class Supply Sergeant and his job duties consisted of supplying the military with arms and rifles for training purposes. Jack enlisted because he wanted to be of service to his country and was proud to wear his uniform. Being in the military also was how he met his wife, Laura Jones. He was stationed in Cheboygan at the time and attended a dance and noticed Laura and it was love at first sight. In 1952, Jack took over his family business, Deming Hardware, Inc in Vanderbilt. Aside from working at the store, Jack and Laura, had three children together; Jon, Michele, and Jim. Sadly, his wife died at a very young age, so Jack raised his three young kids by himself, with the youngest, Jim being three years old. Jack became the best family man you could imagine and then started becoming extremely involved in his community. From 1964-1984, Jack served on the Vanderbilt Village Board, including number of terms as President. He also served 14 years as a member of the Otsego County Fair Board, with six years as President. During his tenure, he was instrumental in reviving the event and expanding the fairgrounds area. Jack was also a longtime member of Rotary, where he was elected President in 1984 and was awarded a citation form Rotary International for his exemplary service. He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow which was an extreme honor to receive. Jack and his son Jon, eventually opened up a second family hardware store in Gaylord. Jack was so involved with his community that he was a strong spokesman on behalf of small business interest at the local and state level. In 1987, Jack was selected as Burgermeister, honorary Mayor of the Alpine Village during Alpenfest! Until the date of his passing he was the oldest living black coat Burgermeister. Aside from Jack’s interest in the community, he was also known for his cooking abilities. He would serve 5-6 course meals for his guests and would dirty up every dish in the kitchen. He also loved photography where some of his work was published on the pages of the newspaper. Jack loved horses and owned six Clydesdales that he would show. He wasn’t much into riding as he had more of an interest to feed the show animals. Jack Deming will be remembered for his trademark cowboy hats, as well as having a servant’s heart for his community and for his pride in his family and grandchildren. He leaves a lasting place in the hearts of many and today he passes that baton to those that he loved to continue to care for the communities they serve. Jack is survived by his three children: Jon (Terra) Deming, of Gaylord; Michele (Jim) Haeussler, of Saline; and Jim (Lisa) Deming, of Vicksburg; five grandchildren: Amanda (Sean) O’Guinn, Katie Deming, Michael (Ashlie) Haeussler, Elizabeth Haeussler, and Tucker Deming; three great grandchildren: Carter, William and Jacob Haeussler; and several nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Jack’s life will be held at a later date. Please continue to visit is webpage for updated service information. While at Jack’s webpage at www.mccowensecord.com please take time to sign the guestbook by lighting a candle and/or sharing a memory with the family. Jack loved his community and in his memory his family has established the Deming Family Fund of the Otsego Community Foundation to forever support his favorite local causes. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to OCF-Deming Family Fund, P.O. Box 344, Gaylord, MI 49734 or visit https://give.otsegofoundation.org/demingfamilyfund The Deming family is being cared for by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, 409 South Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097 269-649-1697.
So sorry for your loss! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers!
Linda Simcek Feb 17 2022 12:23 PM
Jack was a good man. One of the first I met when I moved to the area. We solved many problems of the various governments. I served with Jack on the Pigeon River Advisory Council. Take care Jon, Michele and Jim.
Dave and Sue Smethurst Apr 22 2020 11:11 PM
I am saddened to learn of Jacks passing. He was such a good man and I always enjoyed talking with him. My condolences to the Deming family.
Rich Marshall Apr 22 2020 6:06 PM
To our beloved Commodore Jack, Peace be with you and may the Angels have lead you into Paradise. Jon, Michele and Jim; it has been our good fortune to have known Jack and you all for all these many years and to have been accepted by you as almost family members. So many wonderful memories, the Alpenfests,outings at the Caretaker Cabin, Christmas Open Houses in Vanderbilt and many sessions around the dining room tables.We are deeply saddened at Jack's passing, but also realize that this is part of the order of life.Jack possessed the greatest people skills of any person I have ever met. He could sit down next to a total stranger, strike up a conversation and almost have their life history before he was done. And now we must say Good Bye, but be rest assured Jack, we may not be able to see you, but we will never forget you. With Love, Rosemary & Doug
Douglas Elfring Apr 22 2020 10:45 AM
Thank you Steve!
Jon Deming Apr 22 2020 9:09 AM
Thank you Steve for your kind words and care of Jack we appreciate you more than you know!
Lisa Deming Apr 22 2020 8:04 AM
A candle was lit in memory of John "Jack" Deming
Steve McCowen Apr 21 2020 4:17 PM
When I started working for The Salvation Army in Gaylord, Jack was at the helm as chair of our local advisory board. In conversations with him that followed, it was obvious he had a heart for all that was northern Michigan, whether in Gaylord or Vanderbilt. He was also the face of The Salvation Army in Gaylord long before there was any paid staff here, and was instrumental in bringing the Family (Thrift) Store to town. A pillar in the community, who left a legacy of "Doing the MOST Good". To Jon, Michelle and Jim, may you be filled with fond memories of your dad in the days, weeks and months to come.
Brian Jergenson Apr 21 2020 3:37 PM
Sad to hear of Jack's passing. Was fortunate to have met him while working with The Salvation Army; another organization that he gave many years to in support of their mission to serve. It was obvious that Jack cared about his community and we thank him for his service. Blessings to the family during this difficult time.
Matthew Rowland Apr 21 2020 11:27 AM
What a beautiful obituary! I enjoyed many long conversations about business with Jack when he was passing by in town. He always stopped, tipped his hat and said whats new kid? Hows business? He was a smart man with such love for his community. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to All of the Deming family.
Eryn Maertens Apr 20 2020 10:54 PM