In Memory

Edmund Deaton

Edmund Ike Deaton 1930 – 2024

Edmund Deaton died peacefully on May 8, 2024. Ed lived a long and extraordinary life. He was born August 18, 1930, in a small town in east Texas. He was raised by elderly foster parents “Pa” and “Miss Betty” King. Ed was the first in his family to attend college. He received his undergraduate degree from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he was a member of the renowned Hardin Simmons Marching Cowboy Band. Ed enlisted in the Navy during the Korean conflict and was stationed in San Diego. Ed married Madeleine Jane Golden (“Lynn”) in 1954 after his discharge from the Navy. He and Lynn had three children, B. Lindsey, Evelyn, and Janice Deaton.

Ed obtained his Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Texas, Austin. In 1960 he began teaching math at San Diego State. His accomplishments at SDSU include his SSTP summer program and his participation in the founding of the SDSU Faculty and Staff Club. Ed worked with the Navy’s PACE program during the Vietnam War, teaching math on ships traveling to and from the Philippines. Ed and Lynn divorced in 1973 but remained close friends for the rest of their lives.

In 1974 Ed married professor emeritus Mary Dee Dickerson, who taught family studies at SDSU. Despite their divorce in 1992, she and Ed remained lifelong companions. Ed retired from San Diego State in 1992 and began a new chapter in his life. He taught at Hope College in Holland, Michigan for two years, and in 1996, he began teaching for the University of Maryland in Heidelberg, Germany. In the ensuing years, Ed taught in Germany, England, Italy,and Rota, Spain, where he bought a home and lived until his retirement in 2008. Ed’s biggest love was travel, whether with his children and their families, his colleagues from SDSU, or his dear friend Melanie Branca. He visited 85 countries where he toured, trekked, or rock climbed. While living in Europe Ed traveled extensively around the world, making friends wherever he went. In addition to all of Europe, Ed traveled throughout Asia, Central America, Africa, Australia, and South America. He visited 49 of the 50 states. 

Nepal held a special place in Ed’s heart. In 1991 Ed made his first of sixteen trips to Nepal and trekked to Mt. Everest base camp. When he returned the following year, Ed’s sherpa, Lakva Sherpa, introduced Ed to his family including his baby daughter, Dawayangji. Ed offered to support Dawa’s education and was thereafter Papa to the Sherpa family. He remained a beloved member of their family all his life, returning to visit them after he could no longer hike. Ed’s children traveled extensively with him during his time in Europe. He and Lindsey trekked and mountain climbed in the United States, the Alps, Nepal, and walked to Machu Picchu among other trips. Evelyn accompanied Ed on tours to Europe, China, and Morocco. Janice and her family visited Ed several times in Spain and other countries. 

After retiring from the University of Maryland, Ed returned to San Diego and moved downtown to Columbia Place in 2010. He accompanied his daughter Janice on several of her work trips and activities and was known as “the iconic Dr. Ed” to many. He volunteered at multiple theaters in San Diego as an usher until he was 91 years old. Ed served on the HOA board and was also the social planner for his condo complex, Columbia Place until his death.

Ed is survived by his three daughters and their partners, grandchildren Dylan and Brennan Hogan, Mary and Jocelyn Deaton, and Ben and Sam Harper. Ed Deaton’s friends and family are invited to celebrate his life on June 1 at 2:00 p.m. in the Columbia Place Courtyard, 655 Columbia St., San Diego, CA 92101. If anyone is so moved, a donation to the American Himalayan Foundation in lieu of flowers would be lovely.