Obituary for Cecil Burns Deel

Cecil Burns Deel was born March 20, 1937 in Cucumber, West Virginia. He was the oldest of

eleven children born to Henry Deel and Nettie McGraw Deel. He passed away at his home in

Cleveland, TN on May 14, 2017.

As a young man, Cecil worked with his father cutting and milling timber for the coal mines. He

loved the outdoors and became proficient with horses and mules and sawmill operations.

In the summer of 1955 Cecil left the coal hills of West Virginia and joined the United States

Army. He served two years and returned home to continue working in the family business. The

Pastor of a small church had begun to urge Cecil’s father to attend, and to “get the preacher off

his case,” Henry sent Cecil to church in his stead. On January 13, 1958, Cecil Deel responded

to an invitation, and in his own words, “was saved, sanctified, filled with the Spirit, and called to

preach the Gospel.” Thus, a tremendous ministry of evangelism, missions, and pastoral work

that spanned nearly six decades was launched.

In April of 1959 Cecil was invited to preach a two-week revival at the Church of God in Allisonia,

Virginia. It was there he met a young lady who had spent many hours sitting on the banks of New

River praying God would send along her soulmate, someone with whom she could travel to

other countries and spread the love of Jesus Christ. When the announcement was made that a

young, single preacher was coming, Alvin Landreth told his daughter, “This is the man you will


On the last night of revival, Cecil walked Alvin’s third child, Frances Dawn, home. Five weeks

later – on her 19th birthday and the day after her high school graduation – they were married in

that same church. God had answered her prayers.

Cecil Deel’s years of dedicated service included several pastoral assignments in Virginia, as

well as two in Colorado. In Virginia, he served as State Evangelist, as well as a member of the

State Council and Youth and Evangelism Boards for the Church of God denomination. His love

for missions was the heartbeat of his ministry, whether in the urban environments of US cities,

the Native American reservations of the southwest, or overseas. Through preaching and

benevolent outreach, Cecil made significant impact in Jamaica, Nicaragua, Haiti, India, Japan,

Korea, and most notably in the Philippines, where he served as Director of the Servicemen’s

Center at Clark Air Base in Angeles City. Through it all, Dawn was by his side, living the dreams

she had as a young girl growing up by the river.

Cecil Deel is survived by his wife of fifty-eight years, Dawn Landreth Deel, sons Bruce Deel

(Rhonda), Jeff Deel (Tracy), Keith Deel (Letha), and daughter April Underwood (Keith), nineteen

grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers Bob, Jim, John, and

Arthur Deel, and sisters Betty Twigg, Sue Defoe, Rose Flora, and Lou Greenwood.

The service will be conducted at the Pulaski Church of God on Thursday, May 18th,2017. The family will receive visitors Thursday from 11:30 – 12:30, followed by “open mic” tributes at 12:30. Service begins at 1:00 p.m.

Interment will follow at Highland Memory Gardens in Dublin, VA.

As an alternative to flowers, contributions may be made to The Mission to support ministry and

mission’s projects that were special to Cecil. The address is 1300 Joseph Boone Blvd NW,

Atlanta, GA 30314.

To sign the online guestbook, visit

Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.