Cover photo for Dwain “Butch” Deback's Obituary
Dwain “Butch” Deback Profile Photo

Dwain “Butch” Deback

Dwain A. DeBack, “Butch”, passed away Tuesday, December 6, 2022 in the care of Hospice, Englewood Florida. He was born on May 2, 1936 in Kalamazoo, MI, the only child of the late Lawrence DeBack and Eileen DeBack, (nee) Hendrickson. Butch graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1954. He played the trumpet in band and played for the Dick Forsman Band in his spare time. He joined the U.S. Navy, serving on a destroyer, the U.S.S. Ault, patrolling the post Korean War Mediterranean Sea. Upon his return stateside he married the love of his life, Wanda Geschwendt and took employment with the local newspaper, The Kalamazoo Gazette, in the stereotype department. Together Butch and Wanda raised their family, first in Kalamazoo and later in the country near Otsego where they started a Christmas tree farm. Their love was tested when they lost their son Dennis in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1978. All who knew Butch knew how this impacted him tremendously.

Butch retired from the Gazette in 1991 and Wanda convinced him to winter in Florida, where he loved to fish on his boat. Summers were spent in South Haven, MI visiting family and friends. Although he enjoyed Florida, his heart was always in Michigan.

Butch was a sports enthusiast his entire life. His support of the Detroit Lions and Tigers never failed. Many weekends the neighbors in South Haven were treated to his rendition of the Michigan Fight Song on his trumpet. He was especially proud of his grandchildren’s athletic endeavors and rarely missed their volleyball and soccer games. Growing up in a hunting and fishing family Butch enjoyed feeding his family the old fashioned way. This outdoor tradition he passed on to his daughter and grandchildren. Butch and Wanda accumulated many wonderful friends along their journey together. His friends knew his sense of humor was unparalleled and stayed with him until the end. He always believed that a person should be valued by the number of friends they have, not by the size of their wallet. He was a rich man by these standards. Butch will be missed by all who knew him, but especially his wife of 64 years, Wanda, his daughter, Vicky Lynn, and his loving grandchildren, Dana, Dominic, and Dakota, and his beloved cousins.

Memorial Donations may be made to South Haven Hospice at Home, South Haven, MI.

A memorial service is planned for this spring at Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, MI, on June 10, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


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Condolence Messages

Kim Reed

December 20, 2022 at 8:28 pm

Vicki and family – so sorry for your lose. Hugs and prayers. Kim & Craig Reed


Bryon & Kandy Campbell

December 20, 2022 at 9:32 pm

I have know the DeBack family since high school. Dennis and I were friends until he was lost to a devastating accident. My prayers to the DeBack family as Dwain was a very gregarious personality. I am sure he will be missed by many people.


Susan Knapp

December 20, 2022 at 9:39 pm

Wanda and Vicki Lynn I am so sorry to see this there are so many memories going through my mind right now when we were all kids in cooper❤️


Laura (Webster) Hill

December 20, 2022 at 10:09 pm

Vicky- I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. I have lots of good memories of hanging out at the house and I can still hear your dad’s laughter. Bless you and your mom.


Bob Vestal

December 21, 2022 at 8:21 am

Wanda,Vicky,and family,so sad to here Butch”s passing. He was such a great friend to our family.

Our prayers and thoughts are with you and the family,

Bob Vestal


Tony Sanfilippo

December 21, 2022 at 9:59 am

Wanda and Vicky so many great times growing up with Butch as he worked with my dad Tony at the Gazette, and the times we got together at our homes, what a blessing, R.I.P. Butch.


Melinda ,Jeremy and Kyle Knapp

December 21, 2022 at 3:12 pm

Sorry for your loss Wanda and Vicki . I remember the get togethers with my ex in-laws Jim and Shirley Sinkler and what fun they were and all those funny stories I got to hear. You are in our thoughts and prayers.


Dawn Edwards

December 21, 2022 at 8:29 pm

I worked with Butch at the Kalamazoo Gazette and everyone loved him there. He was such a joy to be around. Butch had the best sense of humor and laugh, and always a big smile on his face.

My deepest sympathies to Butch’s family and friends. I know that he leaves behind a lasting legacy of love. He always spoke so lovingly of his family.


Rose Sharrard (Salvaggio)

December 22, 2022 at 11:20 am

So sorry to hear this about Dwain. My prayers are with you Wanda and family.


Treasa Hageman

December 22, 2022 at 6:35 pm

Wanda, I am so sorry for your loss.


Elmer Sabin

December 23, 2022 at 10:09 am

Dear Wanda, so sorry to here of Your and everyone who new Butch loss.

This obit bought tears to my eyes.

I have never know and nicer man , or couple than you.

Hope Butch and my dad are planning and fishing trip right now.

God bless you and yours.


Diane Stratton

December 24, 2022 at 10:38 am

I’m so sorry for your lost I love him and you so much we will never forget him for sure he was a good man


Marie Janssen

December 26, 2022 at 9:07 am

Wanda I am so sorry to hear this. Ive known Butch for most of my life. He left behind so many fun memories. He will be missed by many. My sympathy to you and your family.


John and Joanie WeVer

December 29, 2022 at 12:02 pm

So sorry for your loss..thinking of you Wanda..sending love, hugs and prayers..RIP Butch..


Ron & Gail Tutewiler

December 30, 2022 at 7:37 pm

Wanda & Family,

So sorry to hear about Butch. We always enjoyed visiting with him when he came with you to Michigan Bell gatherings.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ron & Gail


Don Zuidweg

December 31, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Wanda and Family:

Dwain “Butch” was a friend of mine since Washington Junior high and walked to school with my late wife Jean Skidmore Zuidweg in elementary school! Dwain was always positive and a happy guy who brought his many gifts to many friends over the years! Remember the good days with Butch! He was special! All the best to the family moving forward!


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