David W. Deakin, age 88 of Bethel, died on February 5th at his residence. He was the husband of the late Mary (Foley) Deakin.
David was born in Danbury July 12, 1924 the son of the late George and Ethel (Wright) Deakin. He attended Danbury schools, graduating from the Danbury High School Class of 1942. Prior to his enlistment in the military, he worked for his uncle, Clif Wright, at the Barton Rough Hat Co. in Bethel.
David was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, where he served in several campaigns in the European Theatre of Operations. Following his discharge from the Army, he returned to Danbury and continued work at the Barton Rough Hat Co. He married his wife Mary in 1948, and moved to Bethel that same year. David later started his own business, as proprietor of David W. Deakin Stationary in Danbury from 1953 thru 1961.
David's involvement in politics began when he was elected State Representative for the Town of Bethel in 1958, the first Democrat elected by popular vote in the Town of Bethel. In 1959, he was elected as the town's First Selectman, serving for four terms thru 1967. As First Selectman, David was instrumental in the negotiation and purchase of the Whittlesey Farm property, to begin development of the Bethel Educational Park. In April 2004, the Town of Bethel honored David, renaming the complex the David W. Deakin Educational Park.
In 1968, David began his employment with the State of Connecticut Department of Community Affairs, later being renamed the Department of Housing. He was appointed to be its Deputy Commissioner by Governor Ella T. Grasso, and remained in that position until his retirement in 1989.
In his retirement, David enjoyed travelling with his wife Mary, and volunteered with several local organizations such as Meals on Wheels, the Bethel Schools Mentoring Program, and as a patient advocate at Bethel Healthcare Center. A longtime parishioner of St. Mary Church, Bethel, he served on the church's Board of Trustees for a number of years.
David is survived by his two sons: David W. Deakin Jr. and his wife Nancy of Bethlehem, and Doug Deakin of Redding, one daughter: Diane Deakin-Euvrard of Bethel, one brother: George Deakin of Southbury, two sisters: Mary Kolwicz of Danbury and Anne Durkin of Barrington, RI, eight grandchildren: Robin, Traci, Debra, Derek, Karli, Deanna, Eric and Erin, four great grandchildren: Thomas, James, Lucy and David, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday February 12th at 10:00am in Saint Mary Church, Dodgingtown Road, Bethel. Burial with military honors will be in Saint Mary Cemetery, Bethel.