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Dee Lufkin Risenmay, 83, of Rexburg, died April 16, 2020, at Madison Memorial Hospital of complications due to the treatment of lymphoma.
He was born June 16, 1936, to George Henry and Jane Lufkin Risenmay in their Woodville farmhouse, and grew up working on the family farm. He attended schools in Woodville and Shelley.
Dee attended Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) and Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University) before beginning his missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Swiss-Austrian Mission. He returned to the U.S. for surgery on a foot injury, then completed his missionary service in the East-Central States Mission in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Following his mission, Dee farmed with his dad for a year, then transferred to Brigham Young University where he met his future wife, Emmajean Rasmussen, of Vernal, Utah. They married on September 9, 1960. Four children were born to them: Jeri Lyn (David) Gill of Sugar City, Michael Dee (Leanna) of San Antonio, TX, Kurt R (Corrina) of Idaho Falls, and Liesl Ann (stillborn).
Dee’s career included 27 years teaching released-time Seminary in the Idaho Falls and Shelley areas, interrupted by a sabbatical year to earn a Master’s degree at BYU, and another 1½ years as the Home-Study Seminary Supervisor for western Kansas and Nebraska. He taught Religion classes for an additional 10 years at Ricks College/BYU-Idaho.
Dee and Emmajean loved to travel. Over the years, they toured the Middle East, Central America, China, many European countries, and much of the United States and Canada. Dee and Emmajean spent more than a decade directing Church History and American History tours, part of that time as Church Service missionaries assigned to BYU-I Travel-Study. They also loved hiking, camping, and fishing with their family.
Dee loved teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and was an influence for good on literally thousands of students, friends, neighbors, and, most of all, posterity. He was known for his kindness, gentle smile, and understanding. He served in many leadership positions in the Church, including in bishoprics and high councils. He especially loved serving for many years as an officiator in the Rexburg Temple.
He is survived by his wife, three children, 25 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and his sisters Dona (Willard) of Woodville, and Marion (Robert) Kelley of Draper, UT. He was preceded in death by one daughter; brothers Howard (Verda), George, Eldon (Velma), William, Jay (Carla), and Douglas, and sisters Marie, Rena (Dell) Hymas, Eva, and Esther (Joe) Johnson.
Dee was interred at Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery on April 17 in a small service attended by local family members. A full memorial service will be held at a later date when pandemic conditions allow.
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