Former Oklahoma lawmaker Abe Deutschendorf dies at 77

A funeral is scheduled Friday for former Oklahoma state Rep. Abe Deutschendorf, from Lawton. Deutschendorf was also the uncle of the late singer/songwriter John Denver, whose birth name was Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: December 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm •  Published: December 25, 2012

Deutschendorf was a member of the House Democratic caucus ethics committee “and he was always that guiding person that would keep us on the right track,” Dorman said. “He was always a voice in our caucus that people trusted completely.”

Deutschendorf served when the Democrats controlled the Legislature and he had a good working relationship with Republicans, Dorman said.

“He was one of the members that everybody felt at ease working with on issues,” he said. “I have never heard a single person ever say a bad word about him.”

Before being elected to the Legislature, Deutschendorf served for more than 25 years as principal of Eisenhower Junior High School in Lawton. He earlier worked as a teacher, coach, counselor and assistant principal.

He was an active member of Trinity Baptist Church, where beginning in the early 1970s he led mission trips every year to Mexico. He also was a lay minister and spoke at a number of funerals.

Deutschendorf's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday in the Worship Center East at First Assembly of God in Lawton. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery under the direction of the Becker Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Lawton.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sammy, and two sisters and five brothers.

Survivors include his son, Jerry Deutschendorf, and his wife, Cindy both of Tuttle; his daughter, Terri Sherman, and her husband, Ernie, both of Lawton; and four brothers, several grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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