Former Kenai Peninsula resident M.L. "Rusty" DeShong died Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, at his home in Georgia, after a brief illness. He was 78.
Services with full military honors will be held today, Oct. 16, in Miller, Okla.
Mr. DeShong was born in Darwin, Okla., to Robert and Ruth (Latham) DeShong. He served four years in Korea and was wounded twice in combat. Mr. DeShong received the Bronze Star with valor, the Purple Heart -- twice, combat action ribbon, Presidential Unit citation with one cluster ribbon, Good Conduct medal, National Defense medal, Korean Service medal with three clusters and the United Nations Service Korea medal. He was honorably discharged in 1952.
He moved to Alaska with his wife and three children in 1967 and was a welder with local No. 367. He also was a commercial fisherman.
"He loved his life here, enjoying hunting, fishing and camping with his family. He loved sitting around a camp fire with friends and family," his family said. "He helped everyone and expected nothing in return, His sense of humor is legendary. He will be forever loved and missed."
Mr. DeShong was preceded in death by his wife of 33 years, Marjorie; parents; younger brother; both in-laws; and daughter-in-law, Carol.
He is survived by his brother, Jack DeShong of Tulsa, Okla.; children, Bill, Barb, Michelle and James Reichert; grandchildren, David, Nicole, Danielle and Mark DeShong; great-grandchildren, Delaney and Sariah; long-time companion, Ann Staton of Georgia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arraignments were made by Mills-Coffey Funeral Home, of Antlers, Okla.
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