News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Atigun John Dethlefs

June 25, 2009 - June 19, 2024

It is with profound sadness that the family of Atigun John Dethlefs, age 14, announce his tragic passing on June 19.

Andy and Mary Dethlefs welcomed their first born Atigun John on June 25, 2009. He came into this world in a time of darkness, two weeks after the passing of his uncle, Ian Ferguson. Over time that darkness became filled with his light. His smiles, giggles, and just raw energy brought comfort to all of us.

Atigun John Dethlefs

Atigun was intensely curious from day one. He was constantly watching, learning, and interacting. Seeing him exploring his world was one of the greatest joys, and helped others to see things for the first time as well. His awareness of his environment, keen sense of observation, his intuition about others, and his ongoing thirst for adventure led him into so many interests and hobbies.

His quick wittedness, which some had a hard time keeping up with, was legendary, and left both young and old in stitches. You were lucky if you were ever the subject of one of his jokes, and even luckier if you managed to make him the subject of one of yours. His huge personality can't be distilled down into words, but many saw him as gentle and kind, respectful and mature, and others saw him as a comedian, a brother, a bonus son.

Fiercely loyal and supportive, the brotherhood he built with others in this community was reflective of his ability to relate, to connect, to laugh with others from many different backgrounds. His friendships were both wide and deep, filled with laughter and fun, and was well on his way to making his own stories to share around the campfire.

Creative, explorative, and curious, his eye for photography and seeing beyond what's obvious became evident at a young age. His fascination with acoustics, cinematography, computers, mechanics, music (of all kinds) represented his ongoing curiosity of the world.

At the age of three, he became a proud big brother to Soren, and his world was changed in so many ways. His desire to share all his experience and knowledge with his new buddy sometimes got the better of him, but the long list of adventures that made the "don't tell mom or dad" list was extensive.

At the age of 6, Atigun helped welcome his sister Eva into the family. While most of his time was spent off doing his own thing, the occasional moments he spent engaging with his siblings in play, laughter and fun lit up their worlds.

Atigun's love of the outdoors was evident early on. From hunting lady bugs as a toddler to discovering his passion for two-wheel travel by age 4, he was constantly exploring. His independence took root on his bike, and he spent many hours building trails and jumps for his mountain bike. It didn't take long for this passion to evolve to include motorcycles, exploring the trails of Central Oregon and the playa at the Alvord Desert. Skiing with his family and friends was a permanent winter activity, and there wasn't a run or trail he wasn't willing to try, and eventually master. Hoodoo was a second home for Atigun, and you could find him doing fast-laps on Ed or blasting down the backside.

He entered this world in a time of darkness, but left surrounded by so much light. Doing something he loved, with people that he loved, in a place that he loved.

While we mourn the loss of who he was, and who he was yet to become, the gift of who he is to all that have known him, and even those who didn't, will continue to shine his light.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m. on the field at Reed Stadium in Sisters, Oregon. Limited seating; feel free to bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

A scholarship honoring Atigun Dethlefs is being established with SistersGRO. In lieu of flowers please consider donating at or PO Box 1546, Sisters, OR 97759 Contact [email protected] with any questions.


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