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Dee Jeffers

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Dee Jeffers, 94, of Roswell passed away on June 18, 2019 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Dee was born on August 15, 1924 in Brady, Texas to Dee (Kid) Jeffers and Lorena Pence Jeffers. Dee was raised on the family ranch and following his graduation from Rochelle High School, he attended John Tarleton Agricultural College in Stephenville, Texas.

Soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Dee left college and signed up with the U.S. Navy where he completed Officer and Flight Training School in Corpus Christi at the same time as President George H.W. Bush. Upon earning his wings, he was stationed in California, Florida, and Johnston Island in the Pacific where he served as a Naval Aviator flying the Douglas SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber. Dee was very humble about his military career, but one story he would tell when someone asked was from his time in California when he would fly under the Golden Gate Bridge on his way to conduct patrols looking for enemy U-boats. Following the end of the war in 1945, Dee resigned from the Navy and returned to his family’s ranching business in Texas. In 1948, Dee married the love of his life, Mary Helen Henson in Brady, Texas where their oldest son Rod was born. The extended Jeffers family continued their ranching interests and relocated to southeastern Oklahoma where Dee, Mary Helen, and Rod soon joined them. While living near Antlers, Oklahoma, Dee and Mary Helen welcomed their youngest son Brad to the family. Years later, Dee and Mary Helen along with their sons moved to Colorado and later Albuquerque in 1959 where Dee began a 25-year career with Duke City Lumber Company. Throughout his time with Duke City, Dee managed several timber mills in New Mexico, Arizona, and southeast Texas before retiring in 1984. While living in Livingston, Texas, Dee enjoyed spending time in the outdoors and fishing.

In retirement, Dee and Mary Helen enjoyed visiting friends and family with their travel trailer which they traveled with all over the United States. Known for his kindness, loyalty, and warm personality, Dee’s family and friends will miss him terribly but remember him always.

Dee is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Mary Helen, his son Rod, son Brad and Brad’s wife Debbi all of Roswell. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Lynn Jeffers and Tina Jeffers of Albuquerque and Jay Jeffers (wife Stephanie), Jamie Jeffers (wife Ashley) all of Dallas TX along with seven great grandchildren, nephews Eddie (Linda), Robert (Linda), nieces Jan Jeffers, Mollie Jeffers, and countless friends and loved ones.

Dee was predeceased by his parents, brother Harry Jeffers and his wife Juanita, sister Stella Olson and her husband Odell, his sister Mary Jeffers, grandson Christopher Jeffers, and nephews Hal Jeffers and James Jeffers.

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The family would like to express their sincere gratitude for the loving care given by the staff at Visiting Angels as well as Kindred Hospice, and a special thank you to Mrs. Betty Bustillos who has been so kind and loving to Dee and Mary Helen for many years.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 22 at 10:00 am at the First United Methodist Church in Roswell followed by a military tribute and interment at the General Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund, in care of First United Methodist Church, 200 North Pennsylvania, Roswell, New Mexico 88201, or Chaves County CASA Program, P.O. Box 2131, Roswell, New Mexico 88202.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.