Stillwater News Press


September 19, 2012

James Rex Demaree

James Rex Demaree, 88, died on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 in Washington, D.C. while on an Honor’s Flight to be honored as a WWII vet at the World War II memorial.  A celebration of his life will be held at 10:30a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 at the Strode Funeral Home Chapel in Stillwater, Oklahoma.     Interment will follow at   Fairlawn Cemetery. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Rex was born in Stillwater, Okla., on Oct. 6, 1923 to James Henry and Etta Z. (Kimple) Demaree. He            attended school at Diamond Valley, east of Stillwater but graduated from Stillwater High School in Okla., in the early 1941. He was the State Champion in wrestling his senior year of high school, and won a scholarship to   Oklahoma State University where after his freshman year he was called to duty and served in the Army Air Corp during WWII in the European Theater. After being honorably discharged achieving the rank of Sergeant, Rex came to OSU and became involved in ROTC and quickly rose to Cadet Colonel, and earned a 2nd        Lieutenant Commission upon graduation. He was called back to duty in 1952 to train troops for Korea and  honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant.

Rex earned his living as a contractor, building custom homes and businesses in the Stillwater area for over 20 years and then became Assistant Director of Residential Life at OSU from which he retired in 1987. In 1998 OSU honored him by naming a section of Married Student Housing the Demaree Neighborhood. Retirement as most people define it was not in his plans. He became heavily involved in the Stillwater Habitat for Humanity for many years as well as often helping with family and friends construction and remodel projects. Building was definitely in his blood. Not just building homes and businesses, but also building life-long relationships through his kindness, generosity, and desire to always try to help someone out and do the right thing.

On Feb. 15, 1947, Rex married Dovie Leota Hestand in Stillwater, Okla. They were together for over 60 years, and lovingly raised four children.

He is preceded in death by his parents, and wife, Dovie Leota Demaree.

He is survived by his daughter, Rita Demaree Burns, of Tulsa, Okla.; son, Donald Scott Demaree, of Fairfield, Iowa, son, Terry Rex Demaree, of Houston, Texas; son, James Roger Demaree, of Stillwater, Okla.; son, Ronald D. Demaree, of Jenks, Okla.; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Stillwater Habitat for Humanity, 505 E. 18th Ave. Stillwater, OK 74074

Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting


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