Sky Scene 07

John Deden

October 9, 1928 ~ June 19, 2022 (age 93)


John Deden, 93, of Bristol, CT, died on June 19, 2022. A man known for his strong convictions about the “right way” of doing things, he left this world exactly as he wished: peacefully, in his sleep, with his mental faculties intact. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lorette (Simoneau) Deden.
Born in Diemen, Holland on October 9, 1928, he and his family came to the U.S. after World War II in 1950 and settled in Mundelein, IL. He met Lorette through a Catholic pen pal service. They married and lived in Mundelein initially, then moved to Bristol, CT, her hometown in 1958.
He was a tough, non-nonsense father, who laid down the rules of the house; this really helped his four children become independent as soon as they turned 18. (And yes, Pops, the irony of you passing on Father’s Day is not lost on us.)
Although he was an excellent tool and die maker for the Arthur G. Russell Company for many years, it was in retirement that he truly lived. He biked all over Bristol and the surrounding towns well into his 70s. His passionate nature, which could often be trying for his family, also enabled him to be moved by classical music, and he had a vast knowledge of classical music and composers, including his favorites Beethoven and Schubert. He enjoyed singing and performed in the Bristol O.M. shows. He even cut his first and only album, as a member of the Gerald Dargis Chorale of New Britain, which recorded a Christmas album in the 70s.
He channeled his passion into liberal and progressive politics and he was an outspoken advocate for social justice and equity. If you’ve never heard him declare, “Medicare for All!” you are among the (lucky) few. He was a frequent contributor of letters to the editor in the Bristol Press and the Hartford Courant.
In his 50s, he discovered and continued to study for the rest of his life J. Krishnamurti, a widely well-respected philosopher, speaker, and writer. John often spoke of Krishnamurti’s thoughts on the nature of the ego, the mind, meditation, and holistic inquiry.
He painted prolifically, especially landscapes and portraits, and was a frequent contributor to juried shows for the Kent Art Association, Kent, CT, the Bristol Art League, Southington arts organizations, and others. In 2014, he was one of three featured artists in a show at Gallery 53 in Meriden, CT, and several years later had a solo show at The Orchards, an assisted living community in Southington.
He often signed his emails with the Dutch phrase, wij houden vaart en goede wacht, which was spoken on ships. He translated it as “we keep the momentum and stay watchful,” and used it as a parting saying to convey all was well with him, but also to advise the listener: keep carrying onward with your life but remain watchful and aware of any potential danger.
Left to carry onward on are his children, Julie Deden, Sharon Brezner and her husband Martin, Mark Deden and his wife Vicki Collins, Sandra Deden, and grandson, Lucas Deden-Binder, as well as longtime family friend, Gary Hamilton. He is predeceased by his parents, two sisters, and a brother.
John did not wish to have any services, and instead asked for his ashes to be scattered at a seaside place in Maine he had often painted. His children will honor those wishes, privately, at a future time. Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol has the honor of serving John’s Family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust We welcome any memories or stories you wish to share about John on his memorial page at Wij houden vaart en goede wacht, Pops.

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