CONGRESS, Ariz. – Earl Christopher Detmering Jr., 86, went home to be with his Lord, from his home near Congress, Arizona, on Sunday, June 2, 2013. His wife of 62 years, Shirley Mae (Jergensen) Detmering was by his side. Born December 18, 1926, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, he was the son of the late Earl Christopher Detmering Sr. and Dolores Mae (Funk) Detmering.

Earl lived a life of service, friendship and adventure. The third of five sons, he grew up working on the family farm, attending the local one-room schoolhouse and playing Tarzan with his brothers in the hayloft. After graduating from the Vernon Consolidated School in Humboldt county, Iowa, he enlisted in the Army and participated in the occupation of Japan at the end of World War II. He went on to serve more than 20 years in uniform, including tours of Iran, Panama and Vietnam. Earl was a paratrooper in the Army’s historic 82nd Airborne division, where he would, as he would say, “jump out of perfectly good airplanes”. He and his growing family crisscrossed the country moving from post to post every few years, each of these moves an occasion for Earl to visit his many friends and relatives and to enjoy his love of nature and the outdoors, camping in nearly every State and National Park along the way.

Earl retired from the Army in 1969 and settled his family in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Here, he completed his education, served as a Deacon of his church, camped, and took up skiing. Earl was accomplished at checkers, a game he considered infinitely more complicated than chess, and he would meet up with other competitors at the downtown library. A whiz at all card games, he especially loved bridge, patiently teaching it to many.

After his children graduated from college, Earl and his wife settled in Arizona and traveled in their RV down the Yucatan Peninsula, up the St. Lawrence Sea Way and all across North America. Wherever he traveled, Earl made friends. His friends and family were what he cherished most.

Earl is survived by his wife, his children and their spouses: Susan Detmering Morse and her husband Robert, Chrys Detmering Beal and her husband Kelly, his son Timothy John Detmering and his wife Mary Ann, his grandchildren: Robin Beal Bumstead and her husband Gantt, Leigh Beal Sheppard and her husband Judson, Kelley Christyne “KC” Beal Kruger and her husband Steven, Bradley Christopher Morse, Jennifer Erin Morse, Mary Isabelle Detmering, Eloise LaCaff Detmering, and Christopher John Detmering, his six great-grand children: Rollin Sebastian Bumstead, Margaret Merrill Bumstead, Mary Evans Bumstead, Christopher DeWitt Bumstead, Margaret Ann Sheppard, and Judson Storey Sheppard Jr., his two brothers: Frederic Lorraine and Theodore Franklin Detmering, and by many more loving relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, and by his brothers George Ernest and Robert Eugene Detmering.

Earl will be laid to rest with full Military Funeral Honors at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 10:30 am on July 29, 2013.