Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Thomas Deen Jr.: He put his heart into Kiwanis

Thomas Deen Jr., who grew up in Brooksville, died Thursday at 86. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Special to the Times

Thomas Deen Jr., who grew up in Brooksville, died Thursday at 86. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

BROOKSVILLE — Back when Tom Deen Jr. was president of the Brooksville Kiwanis Club, it wasn't uncommon on weekends to see his lake house in eastern Hernando County filled with fellow Kiwanians. It was all for fun, of course, but there was always a purpose behind the invitation, longtime friend Mark Taylor recalled.

"That's one of the ways Tom got to know you and what kind of person you were," Taylor recalled. "When he said, 'Come on out and put your feet up in Istachatta', that meant you were in good standing with him."

Taylor served more than two decades in the Brooksville Kiwanis Club with Mr. Deen, who died Thursday at 86 after a long illness. Taylor called him a "master motivator" of people, and a man who understood the responsibilities that came with being a leader.

"He put his heart into the organization more than anyone I've ever known," Taylor said. "He loved every part of it."

Mr. Deen served in every elected position in the Brooksville Kiwanis Club and in 1978, was elected governor of the club's Florida district.

"He always had a work force of volunteers," Taylor said of Mr. Deen. "And when you made a promise to do something for the club, he expected you to follow through. People were very loyal to him."

Born in Moultrie Ga., Mr. Deen was raised in Brooksville and graduated from Hernando High School.

After high school, he joined the Marine Corps and served during World War II and the Korean War, where he earned two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. He retired from the service as a lieutenant colonel in 1966.

It was through his position as vice president of SunTrust Bank that Mr. Deen made connections in the community that would ultimately benefit the Kiwanis Club and other civic groups.

Steve Helm recalled that Mr. Deen, a former Boy Scout scoutmaster, took a keen interest in Hernando youth activities and education. In addition to serving as a founding trustee with Pasco-Hernando Community College, Mr. Keen was instrumental in establishing the Brooksville Kiwanis Foundation, which annually awards scholarships in the name of Mr. Deen's late wife, Betty Jo.

"Tom always liked young people," Helm said. "I think he took it as a personal responsibility to see that they had a good future."

Mr. Keen is survived by daughters Gloria Cardwell of Brooksville, Teresa Massey of McMinnville, Ore., Barbara Wilson of Charlotte, N.C., Donna Deen of Sodus, N.Y., and Beckie Roy of Richmond, Va.; a son, Thomas J. (Jeff) Deen III of Mobile, Ala.; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will take place at 10 a.m. today at Brewer Funeral Home, 1190 Broad St., Brooksville, with interment to follow in the Indian Hill Cemetery near Bushnell.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

Thomas Deen Jr.: He put his heart into Kiwanis 01/04/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival wraps up with Above and Beyond, more at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    The first numbers trickled in on Sunday, and they didn't look great.

    Louis the Child performed at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium on May 28, 2017.
  2. Philippines forces make gains in city under siege by ISIS-linked militants

    MARAWI, Philippines — Philippine forces say they now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago.

  3. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  4. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  5. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.