Deal Iven Spriet (known as Cowboy), 95, passed away at Settler’s Park on April 18, 2020, with family surrounding him with love.
A private family graveside service will be held, and a public celebration of life held at a later date.
Deal was born to Ivo and Alida Spriet on May 24, 1924 in Baker City, Oregon. He was the youngest of five children; siblings, Julia, Frank, Marcel and Willie.
In the early 1900's, Deal's dad, Ivo immigrated to America leaving his loving fiancé Alida in Belgium. After he earned enough money to pay for the trip, he sent for her. Alida made her way to America via Canada by ship, alone. She arrived in Oregon on July 13, 1909. Ivo and Alida were then married on August 14, 1909.
In 1930, tragedy struck. Deal's father died in a sawmill accident, leaving Alida alone to raise the five children: four boys and one girl. Deal was 6 years old. During these very difficult times, Deal remained close to his mother, oftentimes, sharing tears together.
Deal will always be remembered as having hardworking ethics. He enjoyed the challenge of building almost anything. Hand him a welder and some hand tools and he'd come up with the simplest of items to farm machinery in his later years.
At the ripe old age of 17, a beautiful red-haired girl caught his eye. Arlene Anna Schaer. Soon they were married on September 15, 1941.
Deal and Arlene lived a short while with Deal's Belgium mom, Alida, on the Spriet Ranch. Deal did odd jobs for farmers in the area in addition to driving back and forth to Pondosa working at the lumber mill there. The young couple then decided to move to San Bernardino, California to help his older brother Frank build Army barracks in the dessert. Deal felt this was a way to work in the war efforts, as he was unable to join the Military because of a heart murmur and the loss of a finger on his right hand. He later worked in the Natatorium in Baker City painting Military vehicles. By this time, they had their first child, a boy, Larry.
They lived in California less than a year before missing Baker City. Returning home, they moved to a house on Marble Creek owned by Arlene's parents, Bill and Anna Schaer. Harley, son number two, was born during this time. The couple then bought a house in town, living there for a period of time before Anita was born. In 1948, Deal and Arlene had an opportunity to purchase the Spriet Ranch on Goodrich Creek Lane.
Deal was 24 now, and the father of two more children, Evelyn and Allan joining the family. He then took on the task of building their new house which was completed in 1955. Then their last child, Patti, was born.
In addition to farming, Deal worked at Burnt River Lumber Co. By the age of 48, he left the Company and farmed full time with the help of his children.
When Deal's oldest son Larry returned home in 1966, after serving two years in the Army, they obtained more ground and started farming together. This continued for many years until Deal decided not to retire but slow down a bit from the work on the farm. He still helped during calving time, or when it was time to vaccinate the calves, inviting as many grandkids as he could to help. He would be out there sitting on top of the fence bossing everyone to make sure they did everything right. Nothing was more important to him than having his family around.
Deal loved the family farm nestled at the foot of "his" mountains. He cherished going on rides anytime anyone would take him; looking at the beautiful countryside with a story to tell about how it used to be.
Being a hardworking man and taking chances, Deal suffered broken bones along with other injuries that slowed him down but didn't stop him from enjoying happy times with his family. His family was the light of his life. Enduring a horrible time in 2012, when his dear wife, Arlene, suffered a stroke and after almost a year later, lost her battle. He missed her terribly but was comforted knowing his family was close by.
This strong, hardworking man will be missed by all who knew him and always be remembered as a man with a huge heart, highest of integrity and full of love for his family.
He is survived by his sons, Larry (Janet) Spriet and Allan Spriet; daughters, Anita Goodyear (John), Evelyn Ulrey (Chuck) and Patti Beeks (Terry); several grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Kenneth Schaer (Beverly) and John Schaer; numerous nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Hugh Whitbread.
Deal was preceded in death by his parents, Alida and Ivo; his brothers and one sister; his wife, Arlene; son, Harley; and grandsons, Mike and Harley.
The family would like to thank Heart ‘N’ Home Hospice for the love and care they gave their dad, especially Paige and Seth. They’d also like to thank the Settler's Park caregivers for the sweet attention they so kindly gave.
Memorial contributions in memory of Deal can be made to Shriner's Hospital for Children through Coles Tribute Center at 1950 Place Street, Baker City, OR 97814.
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