Written by Darryl Woodson
That force of nature known as Gus Deeds died on Nov. 19, 2013.
He was born Austin Creigh Deeds on May 6, 1989, the son of Pamela Miller Deeds of Lynch Station and R. Creigh Deeds of Millboro. At the time of his death, Gus was taking a break from school and residing in Millboro with his father.
Gus was a lover of life, a writer of songs, a composer of musical scores, an avid outsdoorsman and a friend to all he knew. He made friends easily, named every animal he came in contact with, gave nicknames to everyone he knew, was interested in Celtic mythology and languages. He had a deep knowledge of history and could speak any language he put his mind to learning.
At an early age, Gus showed an interest in music. He participated in band throughout elementary and high school, and was active in all phases of the band at Bath County High School. He won a number of awards as trombone player. He loved the harmonica, keyboard and stringed instruments as well and was well known as a skilled clawhammer banjo player.
Gus played soccer throughout elementary school and two years of varsity soccer at Bath County High School.
He was valedictorian of his high school class, achieving numerous academic awards.
He matriculated to the College of William & Mary, eventually deciding on a major of music. He participated for two years in a bluegrass band and composed a number of works in his third year. He was a Dean’s list student at William & Mary.
Gus was baptized at Windy Cove Presbyterian Church on Christmas Eve, 1989. When he died he was a member of Millboro Presbyterian Church but had many friends at Goshen Baptist and Eden United Methodist. He took his faith very seriously and had an intense knowledge of the Bible.
One of the great influences of Gus’ life were the summers he spent at the Nature Camp in Versuvius. His natural curiosity and interest in the natural world, his love of native Appalachian music and his relationships with people were deepened intensely through the many summers and lifetime friendships he developed at the Camp.
Gus was predeceased by his grandfather, Hugh E. Hicklin and by his paternal grandfather, Robert L. Deeds, Jr. In addition to his parents, he is survived by three sisters, Amanda Deeds of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Rebecca Deeds of Charlottesville, and Susannah Deeds of Farmville. He is also survived by his maternal grandparents, Gerald and Patty Jo Miller of Harper, W.Va., and his paternal grandmother, Emma Tyree Hicklin of Millboro, and his stepmother, Siobhan Deeds, also of Millboro. He is survived by three uncles, Frank R. Miller of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Greg Deeds and Edward Hicklin, both of Millboro. He is also survived by an aunt, Sandy Maiolo of Beckley, W.Va., and numerous cousins and friends.
A celebration of Gus’ life will be held in the future. It is requested that memorial gifts on his behalf be sent to The Nature Camp Foundation, P.O. Box 265, Studley VA 23162 or a charity of your choice.