It is with a heavy heart that Rotary District 5960 confirms the death of Rtn. John Deir of the Lake Elmo Rotary Club. John was slated to be the District Governor in 2013 – 2014.
John recently retired from a thirty-seven year career in education. The first twelve years were spent as a Social Studies teacher in Marshall, Minnesota. He then moved into the position of assistant principal at Marshall High School.
After a two year stop as the Marshall Middle School principal, he moved to Litchfield, Minnesota and assumed the principal’s position at Litchfield High School. In 1992, John moved to the Cities and became the principal at Fridley High School where he remained until he retired in 2003.
In 1986, he was invited to become a member of the Litchfield Rotary Club. He was elected president of that club in 1992 but resigned when he went to Fridley that year. He was Fridley-Columbia Heights Rotary Club president in the year of Rotary’s 100th celebration from 2004-2005.
Upon his first retirement, he became a realtor with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Fridley for two years. In 2005, he was asked to serve as the interim principal in Mahtomedi and remained in that position for four years, retiring again in 2009. During this time, John and his wife, Sandy Nicholson, moved to Stillwater and he joined the new Rotary club in Lake Elmo. He served as their president in 2008-2009. John has served as an Assistant Governor for Area 11 and as the Future Vision Pilot trainer.
John joined Rotary in 1986 because the high school principal was the designated Rotarian from the school administration. While a member, he discovered that Rotary embodied programs that reflected his value system. Helping those less fortunate. Working for peace. Providing opportunities for a better and healthier life. And the idea of service above self hit a nerve. Over time he had come to a full stride as a Rotarian and was eager to serve Rotary in a different capacity as governor of District 5960.
John lived in Stillwater with his wife Sandy. Both he and Sandy enjoyed traveling. John was an avid reader of non-fiction. As a history major, he enjoyed history and politics as well as dabbling in fiction and other fields from time to time. John and Sandy have two children. Tim lives in Texas and has two children. Anna Nicholson lives in the Twin Cities area.
Rotary District 5960 and all of its Rotary Clubs send our condolences to John’s wife, Sandy, and their kids. He was a great Rotarian and will be missed by all who knew him.
Here is a Rotary commercial John taped at a District event in 2011:
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