Reverend Manuel Rinley Deeds Sr., 87, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. He passed away at home after his body finally succumbed to melanoma.
He was born July 7, 1920 in Oilton, Okla. to Franklin Pierce and Gracie Fanny (Johnson) Deeds. He had three sisters, Nadine (Robinson), Pauletta and Rosemary; and three brothers, Frank, Earnie and Kenneth. He graduated from Oilton High School in 1938. He then went to work as a pumper in the oil fields.
At the age of 20, he met and fell in love with Ruth Donaldson, in Drumright, Okla. Only four months later, he and Ruth were married. On April 16, 2008, they celebrated 67 wonderful years together. They had four children, Manuel Rinley Jr., Pauletta (Brown), Barbara (Navarro) and Aletha (Dahlstrom).
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and served his country for two years during WWII. He often told the story, "while kneeling next to a Hindu-made cot in Cansuparia, India, I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior."
After returning home to his wife and children, he was called by God to lead a life of ministry. He graduated from Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, Calif. in 1951 with a degree in Theology. He was ordained in the Assemblies of God Church in February 1956, and continued to be a servant of the Lord to his very last breath.
After graduating, he served as Assistant Pastor at the Assembly of God Church in Richmond, Calif. and then, at the Walnut Creek, Calif., Assembly of God. In 1956, he accepted the position as Senior Pastor of the Northside Assembly of God Church in Tracy, Calif. He led that church until 1968, when he moved with his family to Sunnyside to become the Senior Pastor at the Neighborhood Assembly of God, where he served for 18 years. During this time, he also served as Presbyter, Executive Presbyter and on numerous committees for the Northwest Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God. He retired from his full-time work as a minister in 1985. He has continued to do God's work as support to the Senior Pastor at the Granger Assembly of God Church.
In addition to his continual dedication to the church, he was also a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He loved to fish, golf, do woodworking and gardening. He loved spending time on his computer researching, writing and keeping in touch with his friends and family. He was active in the community and volunteered at the high school and served on the ministerial association.
Manuel and Ruth could often be found at school events supporting one or more of their grandchildren or "adopted grandchildren." He had the most amazing ability to love people. He was accepting of everyone. When you met him, you knew you were important to him and loved by God through him. His positive, spiritual influence on so many lives is his legacy.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth O. Deeds of Sunnyside; one son, M. Rinley Deeds Jr. (Brunella) of Felton, Calif.; two daughters, Pauletta O. Brown (Jim) of Yakima and Aletha D. Dahlstrom (Carl) of Sunnyside; son-in-law Alfred Navarro, of Scotts Valley, Calif.; 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Nadine Robinson of Pittsburg, Pa.; Franklin Deeds and Kenneth Deeds, both of Oilton, and Earnshaw Deeds of Moore, Okla.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Barbara Navarro; and two sisters, Pauletta Deeds and Rosemary Deeds.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, May 10, 2008, at 2 p.m. at the Neighborhood Assembly of God Church in Sunnyside.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor his memory may contribute to the Lower Valley Hospice, who provided such loving care to Manuel and Ruth during his last days.
Those wishing to share their memories or sign Manuel's on-line memorial book, may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com.
Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.