William Edgar Deal, Jr. (Bill Deal) left us early Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, 2020. He was at home, surrounded by family and friends.
He will be laid to rest next to the love of his life, Mary, at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.
We would like to speak not only to his long list of accomplishments, but more importantly, to who he was, what it meant to know him, and how his influence of 95 years made the world a much better place.
As a respected physicist, he not only taught us how the physical world works, but he also showed us how to negotiate our complex world through compassion, generosity, and kindness. He had an insatiable curiosity.
Through the example of his life and insights, he mentored his children, grandchildren, and many friends and colleagues. Over his 70 years in Los Alamos, he modeled how to treat people with respect, honesty and how to live life to the fullest. He showed us the real meaning of family. He taught what unselfishness and kindness really mean.
These traits led him to build the Reel Deal Theater for the community he loved where he raised his four children and helped his wife start Mary Deal Realty in 1965.
Bill and Mary were married in 1949, the year before he graduated and accepted a position at LANL where he eventually moved up to division leader. He describes his years at the laboratory as some of the most meaningful and enjoyable of his life.
One need only look at the plaques in the corner of his bedroom to see evidence of the many fine accomplishments of which he was most proud, these including:
William E. Deal, Jr., Fellow of the American Physical Society
William E. Deal, Jr., Living Treasure of Los Alamos, 2010.
In addition, down the hallway, are photos and portraits of his twelve grandchildren and five great grandchildren. These were his pride and joy. Nearby, in a closet, within a suitcase, folded neatly, is his father’s WWI uniform and Bill’s own articles from his WWII submarine service (USS Tuna.)
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mary Viola (McCoy) Deal, sister Doris Vendrell, 11 sisters and brothers in law, close friends Alita Roach and Mary Ella Buckland.
Bill is survived by children Rebecca McAfee (Richard), Kate O’Donnell (Jim), Mary Anne Beard (Tim), William E, Deal, III (Lisa Melia), 12 grandchildren and 5, soon to be 6, great grandchildren. He also left behind many relatives and friends.
Our sincere thanks to Bill’s amazing nurses and caregivers; Inez Bolivar, Bill Yelvington, Donna DeBonis, Mike Baca, Andy Thran and doctors James Ziomek and Timothy Lopez. Their incredible and outstanding care made his last days comfortable and happy. He died peacefully at home surrounded by family. He lived by the motto “Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much” to the end. This was inscribed on his kitchen wall.
Because of COVID-19, we are unable to hold a memorial service at this time. In lieu of flowers, please give to your favorite charity. We hope a memorial service will be possible in the future after COVID-19 subsides.
Thank you, Bill for teaching us, “how to be.”
We love you. You will be dearly missed.
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