Longtime Laramie resident John Reid Deti, 80, died on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in Cheyenne.
John was born in Laramie on August 2, 1939 to John and Marguerite “Babe” Deti.
He attended Laramie High School, where he excelled in athletics. He was an All-State football player at quarterback and led the Plainsmen to the state championship in 1957. He was All-State in basketball, and took second place in the state wrestling tournament as a freshman. John earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Chadron State University, and a master’s degree in education as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming.
He was married to Roberta Sept in the spring of 1969 in Sheridan. Together they had two sons, Travis and Cody.
John’s professional career included brief stints as a lawyer and as a car salesman, but he is best known for his long teaching and successful coaching career at Laramie High School. Taking up the reigns after his legendary father, he led the Plainsmen football team for 26 years. His teams won numerous conference championships, made regular playoff appearances, and played in seven state championship games, winning two. He was a conference and state coach of the year, and coached several South Shrine Bowl teams. Following his retirement from coaching, he was elected to the Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame. He pioneered the Wyoming Down Under Bowl program and took several Wyoming teams to compete in Australia and New Zealand. His coaching career also took him to Mullen High School in Denver, St. Stephens on the Wind River Indian Reservation, Cody, Sheridan and the University of Wyoming.
John’s coaching philosophy was simple: do the little things right and the bigger things will fall into place on their own. As a coach and mentor to hundreds of young men, he always pushed his players to do their best and go beyond their limits, not only in sports, but in everything they did. He had a natural gift of getting the most out of them, even when they felt there was nothing more to give.
Faith was always a priority and source of comfort and inspiration for John. He was devout Catholic his entire life. After a rigorous course of study, he was ordained as a deacon in 2005. His ministry at St. Laurence O’Toole Catholic Church in Laramie was focused on providing service and comfort to the sick, elderly and imprisoned. He was a man of prayer and loved to share the Gospel.
John had an innate curiosity and love of learning and trying new and different things. He was a voracious reader, reading everything from Steven King and Tom Clancy to Sir Francis Bacon and St. Augustine. He was a perennial faculty reading champion at Laramie High School. He was also prolific writer, filling pages of yellow legal pads with daily journal entries spanning decades. He took up the piano in his 40’s, something he had always wanted to do and that gave him great joy. He was a licensed pilot. He loved to fish and spent countless evenings at the “Club Lake” west of Laramie. He was an American Soldier, giving over 20 years of service in the Wyoming National Guard.
He was health conscious his entire life and worked out constantly to keep his body in top physical shape. He enjoyed lifting weights, running and challenging himself physically. He ran and completed the Long Beach Marathon. But he was always up for drinking a beer or two with friends at Bud’s Bar or the Elks’ Club.
Family was always very important to him. He was devoted to his wife Roberta, who was his rock and fundamental to his success in life. He could not have accomplished all he did without her. He was proud of his sons and their wives, and loved his grandchildren deeply. Like St. Francis, he loved his animals and he always treated them with love and kindness.
John is survived by his wife of 50 years, Roberta; son John Travis (Kim) of Cheyenne; son Christopher Cody (Megan) of Normal, Illinois; his grandchildren John Francis, Brendan Robert, Samuel Wayne, Maddisyn Baillie and Emma Grace; his sister Sandra (Jim) Cooper of Fort Collins, Colorado along with many treasured nieces and nephews, other loved family members and countless friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Sharon and her husband Gene Benson.
Services will be held in Laramie, with visitation at Montgomery Stryker Funeral Home from 2-5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26, and Rosary to follow at 6 p.m. at St. Laurence O’Toole Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 27 at 10 a.m. at St. Laurence O’ Toole Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to consider a donation to your church or local food bank, the charity of your choice, or Alzheimer’s Disease research.
Services are under the direction of Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home Go to www.montgomerystryker,.com to send condolences or to sign the online guestbook.