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Dewey W. Secrist ( Missoula 1948 )

posted: Oct 11, 2005

Dewey died on August 13, 2005, at the age of 81, days short of celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife Jane. Dewey was born in Nevada, raised in Colorado, and ranched in Montana before serving in the Navy in WWII where he earned five battle stars. He met his bride in Philadelphia during the war. They moved west where Dewey jumped in 1948 and '49. He knew many of those who were lost at Mann Gulch.

After smokejumping, Dewey farmed in Colorado and ranched in Montana before moving east. He became an officer in Merchant Marines, sailing for over 25 years.

Dewey received an award for his work in rescuing all passengers and crew from a sinking motorship off the Bahamas in 1956. He was 2nd mate on the USNS Mizar that was involved in finding the sunken French submarine Eurydice in 1970. Later he was involved in the recovery of the research submarine Alvin in the Atlantic.

He retired to "land" duty closer to home in the maintenance department of a school district in the suburbs of Philadelphia.