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Topic: R.I.P. John "Doc Jon" Deems -- October 27, 1943--May 9, 2011
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 10, 2011 12:58PM)
I am so sad to report that John Deems, known as Doc Jon passed away from brain tumors in Minneapolis at 4:00 pm yesterday.

There is some wonderful video of Doc from the "In the Life" DVD on my Facebook page, [url=http://www.facebook.com/pophaydn]http://www.facebook.com/pophaydn[/url]

You can post condolences on Doc's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1468335824#!/profile.php?id=1468335824

Message: Posted by: Maitre D (May 10, 2011 01:15PM)
Very sad news... He will be missed. Rest in peace, big guy. Don't forget your helmet.

Whit and the SFS crew, thanks for putting together the DVD set while opportunity was here. The glimpse into his life can now carry on forever because of you guys.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (May 10, 2011 02:14PM)
Thanks to Whit I remember the very interesting chat session we had last year. There was Ron Conley, Don Driver, Sam Case, Whit and many others. What a cool chat it was! I remember he was talking about another DVD project. Unfortunately we won't see it :-(.

RIP Doc Jon.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (May 10, 2011 03:49PM)
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 10, 2011 04:02PM)
I will post the three video clips of Jon on YouTube today, for those who aren't on Facebook.
Message: Posted by: iamslow (May 10, 2011 04:22PM)
OMG, I was just chatting with him not too long ago... I even sent him some linen finished decks....so sad... r.i.p Doc Jon.
Message: Posted by: Chris Piercy (May 10, 2011 04:36PM)
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 10, 2011 04:49PM)
Here is Doc talking about the Yakuza:

Message: Posted by: jfquackenbush (May 10, 2011 04:49PM)
Rest In Peace. I only know of him from the Scoundrels video, but he seemed like a genuinely good guy. This is sad news.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 10, 2011 06:47PM)
Here is Doc talking about David Blaine and selling magic to kids at Mall of America:


Doc talks to those who may want to go into "the Life."

Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (May 10, 2011 08:04PM)
Thanks so much for the links Pop!

RIP Jon!
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 10, 2011 09:18PM)
My condolences Whit for the loss of your great friend Doc Jon and thank you kindly for the memories of this wonderful fellow.
Message: Posted by: Bret Maverick (May 10, 2011 10:35PM)
I'm very sorry to hear that, Whit.

John and I emailed each other frequently for several months over a year ago, and I sent him some recipes from his youth that he'd been hankering for, but couldn't find.

He mailed me his DVDs and I enjoyed them, It's not often that an old time worker tips the real stuff to the unitiated on video.

Actually, his death is really depressing to me, marking the fourth person I've known in the biz to pass away in the last two months. The other three were "White Hats" (an expression that Doc chuckled at when I introduced myself to him as being one, to be sure that he knew who he was tipping stuff to). Nevertheless, I think he wore a white hat for more of his life than a black one. (Many of the best white hats I've known walked on the dark side of the streets as kids, squaring-up as they aged.)

Obviously, our different paths in life led to some disagreements in opinions, but I'd really have liked to have met John and shot the **** with him. I truly enjoyed the banterings we had, and will miss our conversations.

May he rest in peace.


P. S. That's a great photo of Doc, Whit!
Message: Posted by: manolesta73 (May 11, 2011 01:13AM)
R.I.P. Doc Jon
Message: Posted by: blackeagle (May 11, 2011 01:24AM)
While keeping the topic of cards and odd, did you know that 2 people out of every 100000 are diagnosed with Brain Tumors every year, so your odds are having one are about .002% (99.998% chance that you are fine). Thus, Doc Jon got a very very bad beat.
Message: Posted by: Kimura (May 11, 2011 02:43AM)
I loved the DVD set, Doc John was quite a character. I think I will watch them again, and I know I'll have a good time doing so.

I only emailed him once, but his reply was thorough, kind and appreciative. Absolute gent.

Message: Posted by: Ron Conley (May 11, 2011 04:32AM)
Doc Jon had a lifetime of experience in the underworld yet the simple honesty of a child. R.I.P. my friend.
Message: Posted by: Bret Maverick (May 11, 2011 08:46AM)
[quote]by blackeagle: did you know that 2 people out of every 100000 are diagnosed with Brain Tumors every year?[/quote]

No, I didn't know the statistic, but my brother-in-law (my very close friend) died of a brain tumor in 2001 at the age of 45. While there are mixed opinions regarding the origin of his brain tumor, he and his wife strongly suspected that it his his very heavy use of early cell phones, which he lived on during his constant business travel.

I've never used mine much and try to use a wired earphone when I do.

Message: Posted by: silverking (May 11, 2011 09:08AM)
Doc Jon was one-of-a-kind, and in the sweetest way possible.
He could swear up a storm (even in PM's and emails), but remained a truly kind man throughout.

I exchanged many PM's with him on another forum, and (thankfully) he never shirked an opportunity to share "just one more" story with me.

A few of us here talked about his [b]"In The Life"[/b] DVD back when it came out:

It's worth thanking Whit for helping Doc get this all down on tape, so it could be shared with those who were sincerely interested in the ups and downs of "The Life", and in Doc Jon as a person.

.........RIP Doc Jon, a gentleman of the [i]finest[/i] kind.
Message: Posted by: Bret Maverick (May 12, 2011 09:42AM)
Very well said, silverking, and thanks again for sharing that photo of doc and video links!


Posted: May 12, 2011 10:35pm
Obviously, Whit, I meant to thank you for posting Doc-Jon's photo and video link, but couldn't correct my error in time.

Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 13, 2011 10:48AM)
Thank you, Bret. It has been helpful to me to have something to do for Jon. I think he would have been very happy to see his "testimony" made public. It was very important to him.
Message: Posted by: Tony45 (May 19, 2011 03:54AM)
I recently got to see the whole video about Doc through a friend. I enjoyed it thoroughly, the man in my opinion was for real. I was expecting to hear a lot of tall tales and nonsense, but this guy struck me as genuine and down to earth and totally believable. Extremely funny, sounded just like the older guys I grew up with, a true character. Someone you would have enjoyed spending time with.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 19, 2011 08:43AM)
There are plenty of newspaper accounts about John Deems of various arrests and trials and about the slot machine drilling that are included on the Doc Jon DVD discs. He was the real deal. There are also prison records you can check.
Message: Posted by: Tony45 (May 19, 2011 01:58PM)
Yeah Whit, I read through them, interesting stuff. Especially about the murder of the casino boss and his wife, that was credited to Spilotro in the movie casino. Sheds a different picture on it now, seems like the request came from L.A.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 19, 2011 02:09PM)
Folks! Doc Jon left the "Life" and went straight because of his sweet wife, Nellie.

Trying to start living the straight life at his age, and then suffering a stroke and then brain tumors left Nellie with some debt and nothing much else. She needs some help to get resettled. Anything will help, even ten dollars.

We have set up a Paypal account for Nellie at DocJon@pophaydn.com

Nellie is not computer literate, and has no access to Doc's Facebook, email and other accounts. So this is also the best place to reach her. I will forward everything sent to that email to her by snail mail.

All donations will go completely to Nellie. We really appreciate you guys chipping in whatever you can and passing the word. Repost this wherever you can.

Contribute at http://www.PayPal.com to DocJon@pophaydn.com

You can pay with any credit card. You don't have to join Paypal to donate.

There is nothing Doc Jon would have appreciated more than his friends helping to take care of his beloved Nellie.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 21, 2011 01:10AM)
Please spread this to people. If you found any of Doc's work useful or inspiring, send five bucks to the collection. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: tenchu (May 21, 2011 05:18PM)
;( RIP Doc Jon.
Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (Oct 27, 2017 09:52PM)
RIP my brother. You would have been 74 today.

John was a great friend and mentor in my magic upbringing and I know part of him will remain with me thru the years. My father is a few days shy of being a year older than John ((dadís 75th birthday was on the 11th). Even though they were so close in age, Doc was more like an older brother to us and really fun to session with as well as learn from.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Bones (Oct 27, 2017 11:44PM)
Thanks for flagging Doc's birthday Jeff, he was a great guy - full of knowledge and more than willing to share.

He is definitely missed!
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 2, 2017 03:31PM)
Cheers, guys! To Doc Jon!
Message: Posted by: Lseeyou (Aug 29, 2019 02:52PM)
Great discovery today!!!

Thank you Pop Haydn and all you guys that organized this lovely interview!

Doc Jon Amazing Testimony!!

LIFE "I ended up in Hawaii... my wife.. something put me together with her... she's telling me that her father was the richest guy in the world... I'm looking for the money but in her purse was a bible and that's basic where it started" :beatingheart:

Now he is with Father and having lot of fun :love: