With his family at his side, Albia “Al” Arron DeMaranville Jr. passed away in the early morning hours of September 8, 2018, at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor where he resided with his wife and love of his life, Janet.
Al was born on September 2, 1934, the fifth of ten children to Mary Evelyn (Runkles) and Albia Arron DeMaranville Sr.
He grew up on family farms in Linwood and Bonner Springs, KS, where when something needed fixing, you fixed it. Where if you didn’t have the tool to fix it, you made the tool. Where strength, hard work and perseverance made the difference between “making it” or not. Where going “the extra mile” was an everyday reality.
To Al, “going the extra mile” meant attending to farm chores, learning everything he could in school, leading his basketball and football teams while always making time to be kind to others.
Al met the love of his life, Janet Fischer on the steps of Kansas City Kansas Junior College. He loved her even temperament, her creativity and beauty. She was immediately attracted to the way he listened to what others had to say and his honest nature. But it was a hayride at Wyandotte County Lake and a waltz that sealed the deal. Al and Janet were married on August 21, 1955.
A big man, with hands to match, Al was one of the best at precision – down to one thousandths of an inch, a skill that served him well in his career as a machinist. With a career spanning 53 years, Al began his work career at Loring Quarries. After seven years, he joined Griffin Wheel Company where he worked for 28 years. Al continued his work as a tool and die man at Champ/GM for another 18 years before retiring. In desiring a fair and just workplace, throughout his career, he was a member and officer of the United Steelworkers Union.
While Al wanted his family to experience it all in summer vacations, it was their yearly getaways to Colorado in the green Mercury Country Commuter station wagon that stand out.
Making “fun” and making space for his children to be creative was important to Al.
Blessed with creativity, practicality and an enthusiasm for encouraging his children, he made them a “maker’s studio, complete with artist’s chalkboard” right in the middle of his own creative passions – rock and gem collecting, lapidary and silversmithing – hobbies that he approached with same precision, dedication and generosity he displayed with his work and much-loved sports. Seldom did friends or family leave his house without a gift from Al of a beautiful gem or stone.
Al was a strong, sincere, resourceful, committed, hardworking and pragmatic man who equipped himself with knowledge. He could make anything out of anything. He loved to teach “how things worked” to those around him, especially his children and grandchildren.
His kind and generous spirit will be missed by all who knew him but follows those who went before him. Al was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Evelyn and Albia Arron DeMaranville Sr.; brothers, Dennie, Harold and Donald and grandson, Aaron Calovich.
He is survived by his wife, Janet, of 63 years; his three children, Joy DeMaranville (Frank Norman) of Lawrence, KS; Susan Frager (Gary) of Lawrence and Albie DeMaranville III (Holly) of Seattle. Al was a fabulous and especially tender grandfather and is survived by five grandchildren: Paul Calovich, Charles Frager, Thomas Frager, Kaiser DeMaranville and Coen DeMaranville and two great-grandchildren, Zada Calovich and Mazzy Calovich. He is survived by siblings: Betty Ann Honeywell, Charles Leroy DeMaranville, Robert Allen DeMaranville, Mary Nadine McNay, Nettie Maxine Johnson and Carolyn Ruth Zimmerli.
The family would especially like to thank the staff at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor for their excellent care and kindness.
Visitation and celebration of Al’s life will be held on Saturday, September 15 at 1:00 pm at the chapel in Lawrence Presbyterian Manor at 1429 Kasold Dr., Lawrence, KS 66049, with private inurnment at a later date.
Memories and condolences for the family may be left at rumsey-yost.com Contributions can be made c/o Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home at 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence KS 66044. Family suggests memorial contributions made to Grinter Chapel United Methodist Church, Grinter House Museum or a simple act of kindness towards others.