Friday, June 21, 2024

Dan DeJong

| October 4, 2006 12:00 AM

Dan DeJong died Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2006, after a third but brief bout with cancer.

Dan has left the world with a legacy of love, acceptance and respect that everyone who knew him profited by and learned from. He was born 200 years too late. Dan absolutely loved everything that allowed his heart to beat to the rhythm of Native American drums. He was a true mountain man in every respect of the word.

Dan was born in 1939 to Louis and Babe DeJong, and his young years were spent in California.

He went to high school in Leavenworth, Wash., and many of his journal entries extoll the adventures of a young man who loved the woods and looked for the adrenaline rush.

Dan, his parents and his sister came to live in Montana on a ranch in Pleasant Valley. When his parents retired, Dan took over the ranch. He was a man who not only worked this ground, but one who derived his pulse from that land, and the wildlife and livestock that inhabited it.

Dan was a most educated man entirely acquired from his experiences and genuine curiosity. He had a lifelong desire to learn and teach and was a most natural teacher.

He had an incredible knowledge of birds, Native American artifacts, wildlife, archaeology, flowers, guns and weeds. Dan could name every tree, the habits of Montana big game, the best way to chip an arrowhead, the history of almost anything, and how to deliver a breach calf in the middle of the night.

Dan could repair almost anything if he had duct tape and bailing twine.

Beyond ranching, his vocations were logging, thinning, tree planting and line construction. He preferred ranching because he called the shots and could take off on a lion track if the opportunity arose.

Dan kept a journal from the time he was a teenager, and these books chronicle a life of hunting adventures and risky escapades.

Dan is survived by his wife, Pat DeJong; her sons, Joe Howard and Justin "Shorty" Mack, Brandy Howard, Jason and Justin, Brandie Mack and Kennedy; his daughters, Laili Komenda and Rena Albertson and their mother, Lynn York, and her sister, Bonnie; and a sister, Dorothy Homann, and her husband Bob, and children, Greg and Kelli.

He also is survived by Brad Komenda, Tyler and Travis and the rest of the Komendas; Todd Albertson; Danny DeJong; Lauren Faulkner; and Cameron and Mason; soul brother, Keith and his wife, Marilyn Barnett, Lee Barnett and children, Joe Porter and family; Betty Violette and Billy; Lee, Rosalee, and their children, Bob Grey and George Howe from Libby; Rich and Judy Peterson; Bill and Dave Kerchanski; Francis Auld; Alan Ruby and family; Bill and Phyllis Lynch; Dave Chichester and family and the Page family.

Dan was preceded in death by his parents; a cousin, Tom; and Paul Barnett and MaeYork

Next summer, Dan's ashes will be spread on the land by Island Lake. He will join his parents there.

Contact a family member to participate in this celebration of Dan's life.

Memorials can be made in Dan's name to: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Idaho/Montana Chapter, 600 N. Curtis Rd., Suite 170, Boise, ID, 83706, or to an educational cause of one's choice.