Nature 13


March 9, 1958 ~ October 31, 2023 (age 65) 65 Years Old


Ted Alan Deerkop


On October 31, 2023, Ted Deerkop (65) of Garfield, WA ended a brave and gritty fight against cancer.  He was surrounded by family on a sunny day in his favorite month. He embraced October because of the annual occurrence of his life-altering passion project, ELK CAMP; and Halloween, with endless memories of pumpkin carvings, painting his kids’ faces, and stealing all of their hard-earned candy (unless it was an Almond-Joy).

On March 9th, 1958, Ted was born to Donald “Bud” and Betty (Brooks) Deerkop. He and his three siblings (Dale, Dona and Lori) grew up chasing each other on a family farm located in Potlatch, ID, where he learned the values of family, hard work and a love of the outdoors. In his normal story telling fashion, he would say, “we walked to school uphill, both ways, in the snow.” 

Ted attended college at WSU and earned a degree in Agronomy, which proved to be the field of his life’s work. In 2021, Ted retired from a 40 year career at The McGregor Company where his commitment to his clients and employees yielded long and meaningful friendships in the communities he served.

 In 1979, Ted met the love of his life, Louanne Morton, on a blind date while she attended the University of Idaho. They were engaged six months later and married on June 13, 1981. Their partnership was based on the mutual commitment of providing a wonderful home for their children, common interests combined with space to grow as individuals, and humor. They lovingly joked at their last anniversary, “42 years of a life-sentence” and Ted honored her by naming his dream boat, “DammitLou”; but to the very end they loved and protected each other in a manner most couples do not achieve.

Ted would say his greatest accomplishment in life were his two children, Travis and Carlee - they meant the world to him. A boy to keep him grounded and a girl to keep him on his toes. The birth of his grandchildren coincided with retirement, forever changing him and his world. His favorite title in life became “Paka” (grandpa). He loved fully his two grandsons, Brooks and Beckett, for whom he purchased hunting and fishing gear even before they were born. Paka was also impatiently waiting to meet his first granddaughter, due December 2023, whose spirit he is undoubtedly influencing today and forever.

Ted was not capable of lounging around, throughout his life he spent the majority of his free time outdoors - hunting and gathering. It was part “activity” and part opportunity to spend productive quality time with family and his large group of close friends. There was also a lot of tinkering on “stuff” in his shop, as he was a master hobbyist. Find something that you think is fun, learn about it, do it, perfect it, repeat. From growing community-sized gardens to hand-building a camper trailer from scratch; he never half-ass’ed anything, rather he whole ass’ed all facets of life. He always had a project to mastermind through completion, a joke to tell, and/or a hand to lend. If you were to capture his essence in a few words you might say that despite some rough edges, he was loyal, honest and a damn good man to have on your team.

Ted is survived by his wife, Louanne; his children, Travis (MacKenzie) Deerkop of Palouse, and Carlee (Tony) Thompson of Pullman; by grandsons, Brooks and Beckett Thompson; by his mother, Betty Deerkop of Pullman; by his siblings, Dale (Tammy) Deerkop of Princeton, Dona (Mark) Merrell of Princeton, and Lori (Ror) Simpson of Mercer Island; by 7 nieces and nephews: Kyle Deerkop, Donny Deerkop, Cody Merrell, Ella Simpson, Tyler Kilkenny, Ashley Moala, and Taja Hunter; by his uncle Joe (Donna) Deerkop of Palouse and aunts Barbara Deerkop of Potlatch and Cathy (Ray) Lamb of Sagle. Ted was preceded in death by his father, Donald (Bud) Deerkop and nephew, Casey Merrell, who both are in wait of his good company, perhaps at an Elk Camp of their own making.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 10, 2023, at Kramer Funeral Home (203 N. Bridge St., Palouse, WA) from 2:00-3:00 PM. with Alex McGregor officiating.  We know everybody has a story and we would love to hear them all. Ted hated formality and stuffiness, so please dress comfortably and ditch the suit. To follow the memorial service, Ted will be honored in his preferred fashion with a shop party located at the Pfaff Shop (101 Sunrise Rd., Garfield, WA 99130). He believed no gathering was complete without a meal. Food will be hosted, but please bring your own beverage.

If you would like to honor Ted, no flowers please. Donations may be sent to: Standing Tall For Agriculture Scholarship c/o The McGregor Company, PO BOX 740, Colfax, WA 99111.

Kramer Funeral Home, Palouse, WA is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at

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Memorial Service
November 10, 2023

2:00 PM
Kramer Funeral Home - Palouse
203 N Bridge St. / PO Box 125
Palouse, WA 99161




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