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Obituary: Dermont "Duke" Casper

Dermont "Duke" Casper 1914 ~ 2005 CHARLESTON, UT - Our beloved father, husband, grandfather, and friend, Duke Casper, was taken back to the creator, September 9, 2005, in Provo, Utah, from pneumonia that developed after hip surgery. He had suffered from failing health for several years leading up to his passing. Dermont (Duke) Casper was born April, 13, 1914, in Charleston, Utah, the son of Jedediah and Mary Casper. He was married to Colleen Boulden, November 7, 1945. Duke had seven brothers and sisters, none of which are living. Duke learned hard work during the depression years when he was farmed out by his parents at the age of 10 to work on a sheep ranch that currently rests in a watery grave at the bottom of Deer Creek Reservoir, a Bureau of Reclamation project during the 1930's. The work ethic he learned during those lean years stayed with him throughout his long life. He spent 35 years during his marriage employed as a hard-rock miner around Park City and Keetley, Utah. He worked for the United Park City Mines Company. He retired from the mining company in the late 70's and earned a small pension paid him for the remainder of his life. Duke loved the outdoors. There was nothing he liked better than straddling a horse and heading out on a cattle drive, or for a ride with friends or children. During the early years, before taking employment in the mines, he worked in the lumber industry. He owned and operated a Clydesdale team that he used to skid timber to portable sawmills set-up in remote forest locations throughout Utah. He could shoe a horse in nothing flat which is a lost art in this age of the automobile. And he pampered his horses, constantly applying a blue medicine to their sores and watching closely for any other problems that might develop. He loved the great outdoors and his animals. Duke served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served from March 9, 1943, through October 21, 1945. He fought in five major battles waged in the European theater: Rhineland, Germany; Northern France; The Battle of Normandy; Central Europe; and finally, The Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes). He had a perilous job in the war, he directed artillery fire behind enemy lines. During those war years he landed with the second wave at Omaha Beach and he rode on the second tank that liberated Bastogne, Belgium at the Battle of the Bulge. Finally, he was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service against the enemy at Bliesbrucken, France, December 17, 1944. Duke truly exemplifies the brave American soldier spoken of in Tom Brokaw's World War II book entitled "The Greatest Generation." Duke will be missed. He had a fierce loyalty for his family and for close friends. Now he is with Colleen, his beloved wife of 60 years that passed away in April of this year. Duke is survived by his daughters, Debra (Frank) of Midvale, Lori (Phil) of Apple Valley, Lynnie (Richard) of Heber, Carolyn of Lindon; and sons, Scott (Shelia) of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Dallas (Lynette) of Shepherd, Montana. Duke had 19 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 13, 2005, 12 noon in the Charleston LDS church, 3423 S. 3500 W., Charleston. Friends may call Tuesday from 10:45-11:45 a.m. prior to the services in the Charleston LDS church. Interment will be in the Charleston Cemetery with full military honors provided by the American Legion Lockhart Post 23. Arrangements are in the care of Olpin-Hoopes Funeral Home, Heber City.