Remembering Mike Dezarn
By Doug Miller, Denver Mile High Chapter
RMEF’s Denver Mile High Chapter recently lost one of its founding members, Mike Dezarn, who left us way too early on April 2, 2008, from pancreatic cancer at age 58. Mike helped start the chapter and was a very active committee member for the past 10 years. He annually ran the medallion raffle at the banquet. Mike walked the talk by becoming an RMEF life member two years after we started our chapter.
Mike was an ambitious and entertaining person to work with during our annual barbwire fence rollup projects for the Colorado Department of Wildlife and Bureau of Land Management. He had a great sense of humor and would send zingers your way that always left a smile on the faces of those who heard them. Mike and his wife Deb also assisted with the stretch of highway the chapter adopted for trash clean up. Mike had a great love for the wild spaces we all enjoy and worked hard with RMEF and Ducks Unlimited to conserve them. He passed this love and commitment on to his daughter and her Girl Scout troop every chance he got, taking them on trips where he could teach them about the outdoors.
Mike’s personality as a realist and his lasting friendship is best remembered in this story from a fellow committee member. Mike, knowing his fate could not be changed, asked the committee members if they wanted to buy his guns before his wife had to deal with their disposal. One of Mike’s guns went dove hunting recently and the committee member who shot it said, “I could envision Mike sitting there beside me laughing as I missed one dove after another, making sarcastic statements like, ‘Are your eyes open?’ or ‘You know you’re supposed to hit 'em, not scare 'em.’”
Mike always had a way to raz you while still letting you know how much he appreciated your friendship. His commitment to saving habitat will be missed.