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1941 Jacob 2023

Jacob Deshida

June 20, 1941 — December 24, 2023

On 12.24.23 Jack Deshida passed away peacefully in his home in Sedona, AZ with his family by his side. He battled against brain cancer (glioblastoma) for the last year, and as in any of his athletic endeavors, he gave it his all.

Jack was born on June 20th, 1941 to the late Anton and Eva Deshida in the small ethnic German village of Gakova in the Danube river valley in what is now Serbia. His family was part of the Donauschwaben community of Germans (Danube Swabians). Jack emigrated to the U.S. with his parents and sister Katherine when he was 16 years old in April 1957. They were very active in the Donauschwaben community on the south side of Chicago. Families would gather to eat home cooked dishes, play cards, polka dance and keep traditions alive. It was through this community that he met his wife Edeltraud (Edie). Jack also became a fixture on the tennis courts as well as being a member of Chicago’s Wanderers semi-pro soccer team. Jack worked as an insurance adjuster with various companies like Fireman's Fund and Continental Insurance. He loved the challenge of working with numbers and did it so well that he was able to retire at age 55.

Together Jack and Edie traveled the world. They loved their adventures together- from staying in a treehouse on a nature park in Kenya, driving a dune buggy in Jamaica, swimming in the waters of Bali, mining for gold in Alaska and visiting Edie’s mother in Muenster, Germany. This love of travel continued with their 2 daughters. On one of their frequent trips to Boston they brought back live lobsters. Somehow the lobsters got out and with the help of some leather clad motorcycle enthusiasts, the lobsters were captured much to the chagrin of the fellow passengers & crew.

After Edie & Jack retired, they left Chicago for Sedona’s red rocks. Here Jack continued with his lifelong love of tennis and was ranked amongst the top 100 Men’s 50+ players. Jack also became a member of Sedona’s hiking community. Always ready for a challenge, Jack completed the strenuous Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike in 12 hours at the age of 72. He trained for that excursion by putting heavy rocks in his backpack and running up some of Sedona’s famous trails.

In late October 2022 Jack & Edie faced his diagnosis of brain cancer as they did so many things throughout their 57 years of marriage- together, staying positive, and trying to enjoy all the little moments. In a very "Jack" moment, he had the family wait til a big soccer game was over before he left the hospital after being released post brain surgery.

Jack had his brain surgery in Flagstaff and couldn't wait to get home, but just prior to being formally released, a big soccer game was on the television and he made the family wait til it was over. He had his priorities. In September, the family had one last adventure together in San Diego. Jack enjoyed sitting on the beach, playing with the grandkids, and eating copious amounts of seafood.

Jack is survived by his wife Edeltraud, daughter Tanja (Charlie) and daughter Kristen (Dan) and grandchildren Anton & Nathan along with his sister Katherine (Bruce) Dudzik.

In lieu of flowers…buy yourself a lottery ticket, you might get lucky. If you win, be sure to toast to Jack. He will be smiling at you.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jacob Deshida, please visit our flower store.


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