Robert “Bob” Deery

Robert “Bob” Deery, age 87, of Mission Hill, South Dakota, died Thursday, May 20, 2021, at Wakonda Heritage Manor in Wakonda, South Dakota.

A graveside service will be 10:00 AM on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at Vangen Lutheran Cemetery in Mission Hill, South Dakota with Vicar Mary Hendricks Wilkens officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791.  Visitation is from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May, 26, 2021, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton, South Dakota with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.

Robert “Bob” Deery was born July 4, 1933, in Jamestown, North Dakota, to Earl and Tillie (Skeim) Deery.  He lived all of his younger years in Jamestown and attended school there.  He was very active in sports, mostly football and baseball and was the captain of his football team.  After graduation, Bob was in the Navy from 1952 to 1956.  While in the Navy, he traveled around the world several times, including traveling to the South Pole and Antarctica.  He was honorably discharged in 1956.  After leaving the Navy, Bob moved back to Jamestown, where he met his wife Claudia who he married in 1966.  They had four children: Robin, Charmel, Andrea and Jim and settled in Mission Hill, South Dakota where they lived for many years.

Bob enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He also enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, and baseball.  He had a large baseball card and memorabilia collection and spent many years working with Yankton baseball teams.  He was always coaching, umpiring or working on the diamonds.  He also coached football and girls softball.  He received the Optimist Friend of Youth Award for all of his years of coaching and there is an annual Bob Deery Classic baseball tournament in his honor every year.  Bob was a wonderful father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, coach, mentor and all-around great person.  He will be missed by many.

Survivors include his four children: Robin Deery of Santa Clara, California; Charmel Neal of Mission Hill, South Dakota; Andrea (Don) Hinchliffe of Madison, South Dakota and Jim (Larisa) Deery of Harrisburg, South Dakota; eight grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and all ten of his siblings.



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6 response to "Robert “Bob” Deery"

  1. By: Derrick Martin Posted: May 24, 2021

    I remember Coach Deery from baseball. He was a passionate, positive and dedicated coach. He had an energy all of us players fed off of. I will always remember him fondly. One story I have to share:
    It was a Post 12 American Legion game. Coach Deery was tossed for arguing a call. A few minutes later, everyone there could hear Coach Deery’s voice, still chirping about the call. But we couldn’t immediately figure out where it was coming from.. He had climbed the left-field fence and was waving his arm and yelling at the ump. That is passion and sticking up for your players!
    My condolences to his entire family. Bob was the man!

  2. By: Charmel Neal Posted: May 25, 2021

    Thank you for that memory! ❤

  3. By: Andy Bernatow Posted: May 25, 2021

    Had the opportunity to coach the Yankton Reds with Bob Derry back in 1997. It was my first coaching experience and it was a blast! Bob’s passion for the game of baseball was amazing. He spent many years volunteering at Riverside cleaning the bleachers and grandstand areas. I still share his stories today with my college players. I tell them Bob Deery is the toughest man alive and that toughest is created through his love for the game. I can remember him throwing batting practice without a safety screen to protect him and taking a line drive off off his head that staggered him as he regained his balanced he immediately told the player “great hit, don’t be afraid to do it again.” I can also remember when Bob had an accident at work in which he cut off his finger. His wife showed up to the park later that day and told me we probably wouldn’t be seeing Coach for sometime due to the the serious nature of the accident. The next night we had a game and Bob showed up about 25 minutes before game time! He stopped taking his pain meds so he could drive to the field! Just like his favorite player Cal Ripken this iron man wasn’t going to miss a game! The game of baseball lost a great friend in Bob! Thanks for being you Bob!

  4. By: Charmel Neal Posted: May 27, 2021

    Thank you Andy for sharing your memories of dad. We miss him dearly!

  5. By: Mark Swanstrom Posted: June 17, 2021

    Such great memories of him coaching and him just being around Yankton baseball… Always teaching good baseball and good life skills…and keeping us in line. He was a class act. All my best.

  6. By: John Halsted Posted: July 9, 2021

    Great story Derrick. I don’t remember that incident but I do remember how great of a coach Bob was. He will be missed.

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