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home : obituaries : obituaries September 28, 2016


3/11/2014 2:20:00 PM
Obituary: Dale Deratany, 1948-2014
Dale Deratany
Dale Deratany

Dale Deratany, of Reserve, NM, passed away in El Mirage, AZ, on January 20, 2014.

True to his birth in Detroit, Michigan on December 1, 1948, in the area dubbed "Motor City" and "Rock City," he had a life long love affair with both cars & music.

Shortly after Dale's birth, his parents relocated to Southern California. That is where Dale received his formal music education at the hands of well know big-band leader Frankie Carl. Prior to his graduation from Alhambra high school in Glendale, AZ, Dale was in his first band and was playing in bars before he could drive. Thus ensued a long career as a performing musician in every genre & location imaginable.

During Vietnam, Mr. Deratany enlisted into the Coast Guard, and while serving his country was introduced to the beautiful Pam Gibson by her brother, another serviceman. They married in August of 1971 and moved to Cottonwood, AZ. There, Dale turned his love of music into a career by opening "Musical Arts," a musical instrument shop on 5th & Main St in Cottonwood, AZ. Many people of the Verde Valley remember him not only for his quick wit & humor, but also his encouragement of many who felt unsure about their musical talents. While a gifted musician in almost all instruments, Dale would gladly perform with people of all musical levels and make them feel confident in their abilities. He was a member of many local bands including the Rock Hounds, Los Savages, and The Psychedelic Mariachis.

He also enjoyed being part of many volunteer events & causes in the Verde Valley, and was a member of the Volunteer firefighters, community causes, and small business advocacies.

Dale retired in 1996 and moved to Reserve, NM where he enjoyed time with his family, and pursued his love of collecting cars. Getting his Commercial Driver's license "just for the fun of it", he spent many joyous hours looking for just the right car & bringing it home.

He relished the community he lived in & visiting with his neighbors. You could often find him spending many joyful hours with his children, grandchildren & loving wife until Brain Cancer bested him in a brave fight on January 20th, 2014.

He is survived by his wife Pam, sons Nicholas & Nathan, Daughter Jennifer, as well as 7 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by them, as well as the Musician's family that he adopted over many years and many states.

A celebration of his life will be held on March 30, 2014 in Reserve, NM. Anyone that knew & loved him is invited to come and bring an instrument, a cool car or a fond memory.



Information provided by survivors.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Article comment by: Carol (Corey) Wesolowski

The Deratany family visited us when we lived on Trinity in Detroit. When they visited, I remember Dale was a very good piano player. He played 'Mack the Knife,' a Bobby Darin hit in 1970. We were so impressed that after they left, we tried to imitate his rendition, playing by ear. I don't think we sounded like Dale.

Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Carol (Corey) Wesolowski, Dale's cousin,
daughter of Doris and John Corey, The Villages, FL


Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: Noel Fray

Whew! Just found out about this... and am blown away. Dale Deratany... what a unique human being. Musician, friend, motivator and all around wonderful human being. For many of us, his old store, Musical Arts, was the center of our musical world. Whatever was needed... instruments, equipment, parts, music, friendship, conversation, advice... it was easily found.

My heart felt love to his family. Those of us who knew him and were blessed to call him "friend" will miss him greatly.


Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: MaryAnn Canning

I remember taking my son into Musical Arts to "test drive" guitars. Dale was always so supportive and helpful to us.
Loved walking into the store, sheet music and instruments everywhere, and of course, Dale always with a friendly greeting.
He was greatly missed when he moved to New Mexico and now, more so than ever.


Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014
Article comment by: Dick and Sheri Ricker

It is with heavy hearts that we read of Dale's passing. Dale was the first person Sheri met when she moved to Cottonwood in 1975. Dick taught banjo, guitar, and mandolin lessons in the old Musical Arts. We can still see so clearly in our minds' eyes: Dale behind the counter offering kindness, a huge smile, advice, laughter, and someone to pick with. Musical Arts was more than a store, it was a way of life. Dale was a salt of the earth kind of guy. You could see his genuine character shining out through those big eyes and loud laughter. He knew everyone, loved everyone, helped everyone, was a friend to all. Pam, Jennifer, Nicholas, Nathan, and Grandchildren, we offer our condolences, love, and prayers to you during this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with you. RIP Dale.

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Article comment by: Robert Sossa

I have known Dale from the early 70's
we never called him Dale, Jim Howell from West Bend called him mother so I called him mother, he was a great guy and we will miss him, rest in peace mother.


Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Article comment by: Marilyn Spaeth Fye

Pam, I am so sorry to hear that Dale had to suffer with brain cancer. I believe he is in a better place. May you and the family find peace in all the wonderful memories. Dale tuned my autoharp, our children played, and I wish I could have seen you all again. Greetings from Alaska.

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Article comment by: Doug Spaeth

Condolences to Pam and the family, Dale was a heck of a guy in the store or on the street, was sorry when he moved out of state. He is remembered well here in the Verde Valley. Thanks for all the help and advice Dale, RIP

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Article comment by: Jennifer Deratany-Swenson

Thank you all for the many great rememberances & condolences of my Dad. You have no idea how comforting that it is to read them and know that he made such a huge impact on so many. Taking care of him through his short, harsh and ugly batle with cancer temporarily makes you lose sight of anything but a man who is sick and dying, but he was so much more, to so many, for so long. Thank you for helping us remember that! Our love to all who loved him, as we do! He is sorely missed.

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Article comment by: Betty Howell-Hunter

Dale would always sing King Bee and House of The Rising Son anytime I asked.
I loved going to Page Springs to hear his great talent.Pam you and your children are in my thoughts and prayers. RIP Dale.


Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: Billy Mathews

My heart goes out to
Pam and all the children
R.I.P. my friend. If only guitars could talk we bought and traded so many guitars and amps
you could start a small guitar museum.
I still cant drive by the old musical arts and not
forget the winter day you myself and Kim Talbot, Ronnie Lee Sexton poured the concrete
for your new building. I thought that was supposed be hard work, but all i remember was the jokes and laughing all day and I think a few beers got thrown in as well, gonna miss you my brother.



Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: So long Dale ...

You always let this dorky kid plug that seafoam blue peavy guitar with a whammy bar into an amp and goof off.

Gone but not forgotten.

Keep on rockin'


Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: Bruce Lerum

To Pam and family, I still hear his voice ringing as we jumped on Engine 42 pulling out of the Old Town Ctwd fire station. God's blessings to you as you mourn and miss, but also as you find joy and laughter in his memory and legacy.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Nina Sanchez (Rocha Family)

My deepest condolences to Dale's family...My uncle's and I sang with him throughout the Verde many times..he was a great man and artist with his music!! Always a kind man and will be deeply missed.. RIP Dale..

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Article comment by: Pat Naville

What a great guy Dale was! He was always there to chat with you at Musical Arts and made you feel like you could hit the mark musically. He never looked down on anyone and always offered positive words of encouragement. I am sad to hear of his passing and offer my condolences to his family.

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Article comment by: Pat Westcott

From one Viet Nam Era Coastie to another, I'm sorry to hear of Dale's passing.He was always so good to be around.


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