Dee Ray Humphries, age 83, of Delta was found August 17, 2013 in Nevada after having been missing since late June. He was born April 6, 1930 to James William Humphries and Elma Jane Theobald Humphries in Delta, Utah.
We believe he left his home in Delta, Utah on June 29th to travel to see his grand & great-grand kids, (without telling anyone; as was his way no matter how loudly his kids complained). His health was not especially good for an 83 year old man and was compromised further by diabetes and his poor diet, (against all manner of complaint and interference from the many that loved him). We believe either his dietary choices caught up to him or he "went round the bend" on this, his last road trip. Whichever is the case he must have been confused to have pulled off of Hwy 722, much less continue until his car was out of fuel. His car was found with the door open, a dead battery, ignition on, in drive, out of fuel with the emergency flashers deployed. He had his usual water and provisions in the car, they were virtually untapped. He was found laying under some scrub trees, his hat next to him, glasses still on his face, his body fully clothed & undisturbed, (the coyotes and other animals left him untouched); as if he had just lay down for a nap after a short walk.
His body was located about 400 meters from his car, (on a rugged unimproved road three miles off of Hwy 722 about sixty miles east of Fallon, Nevada). The Churchill Co. Sheriff’s Office & Search and Rescue did a very good job in locating him, caring for his remains and investigating the circumstance of his death. Dee’s family would like to commend them for the thorough, compassionate and professional manner in dealing with his family and all his effects.
His family takes great comfort that he was not a victim of crime, as early leads had possibly indicated; we are even happier that he did no harm to anyone, other than himself, on this last trip.
Dee was stubborn beyond belief, a patriot, a veteran serving as a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a friend to many and meant more to his family than they could ever say.
From the time we were born, our Dad reminisced about his boyhood home. We've heard all the stories a million times, and now lay him to rest next ot his "Big Grandpa". We remember him always telling us how much he admired his grandfather and how he wanted to be just like him. Now they are together again and that brings us peace.
He has taught us many things, most importantly how to not take ourselves too seriouly. He was an endless prankster and always teased those he loved. We all suffered the knee-ticklying while being asked "Do you have a bone in your leg?" He wouldn't stop until we answereed clearly, without laughing and then he would respond, very nonchalantly with "Oh, ok. I just wanted to be sure." He would do this our whole lives. You were never too old for teasing. He shared his love of the outdoors (and root beer floats!) with us and we have many wonderful memories of camping with the family and our Great Dane, Thor. He would go four wheeling (not always intentionally) and loved spening time with us around the campfire, telling his corny ghost stories that always ended with the monster or the ghost just asking for a piece of bubble gum. On these trips, he would honk his horn arbitrarily and when asked why, he would respond — "I am honking to get the elephants out of the road." When we would tell him there weren't any elelphants, he would say "See! It works!"
He adored his grandkids. He loved spending time with them all. He is connected to each and every one of his grandkids and great-grandkids in a very special way.
We feel such a loss thinking of how many things he'll not physically be present for. We know he will be with us in spirit, but what we'll miss most is having him around. We'll miss the great-big bear hugs, the smell of Old Spice on his collar and the question he never tired of asking, "Do you have a bone in your leg?"
Dee is survived by his children: Janie Arms; Thomas Humphries (Emily); Michael Humphries Riley (Delilah); Lisa Humphries; Nickie Desgrossillier (Joe); eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Graveside service to be held Saturday, August 31, 2013, at 11 AM, at the Deseret Cemetery.