Deon J. Classay
- Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fort Apache Agency
- Age: 43
- Year of Death: 2011
Deon Jason ‘Dino’ Classay was born May 1‚ 1968‚ to Minor and Roberta (Hinton) Classay Sr. of Whiteriver‚ Arizona. Dino was a lifelong resident of Whiteriver. He attended Whiteriver Elementary School‚ Whiteriver Middle School‚ and Alchesay High School. In high school‚ Dino was a three sport athlete. He excelled on the basketball court‚ the football field‚ and the baseball diamond.
After high school‚ he married his wife of 25 years‚ Mitzi (Stevens) Classay‚ and he began his 22-year career in wildland firefighting as a member of the elite Fort Apache Hotshot crew. Dino was highly trained in his line of work. He completed the Fire Use Training Academy in Albuquerque‚ New Mexico‚ and burn management training in Florida. Dino also demonstrated excellent leadership skills. He not only served as a sawyer squad boss and Class C faller‚ but he also taught a saw class to younger crew members‚ and safety was always a priority in the lessons he taught. Many of the younger crew members considered Dino a big brother who was always laughing and joking. Though he was a funny guy‚ the crew members also looked at him as a protector.
Dino was an avid outdoorsman. When he wasn’t at work‚ he was either hunting or fishing with his son‚ Thane‚ grilling at cookouts after returning home from a fire assignment‚ or enjoying the company of his family‚ especially his granddaughters‚ Kamare and Kylee.
Dino was a dedicated family man and a close friend to all. Although he stood at 6′ 2”‚ he was soft spoken‚ loving‚ and genuine on the inside.
Dino is survived by his family in Whiteriver‚ Arizona: his wife‚ Mitzi; son‚ Thane Classay; daughter‚ Mandy Classay; granddaughters‚ Kamare and Kylee Classay; mother‚ Roberta Classay; brothers‚ Minor Classay Jr. and Marty Classay; sisters‚ Debra Bead‚ Tina Classay‚ and Roberta Lupe; a traditional God-daughter‚ Tyler Baha; and his second family‚ the Fort Apache Hotshots.
He has fought the good fight of faith.