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A winning family.


Because of their harmonious spirit, their dedication to family ideals and their healthful approach to living, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Deddens of Dayton, Ohio, and their children have been selected winners of The Saturday Evening Post All-American Family Contest.

"I had a dream last night we won,' said Mrs. Deddens with a laugh, when she heard the news of her family's first-place finish via a long-distance telephone call.

Since their first daughter, Darcy, was born 13 years ago, Robert and Ruth Deddens have dedicated themselves to raising their children--sometimes getting more than they bargained for. Darcy was only three when quadruplets--Molly, Patty, Katy and Amy--joined the family (triplets were expected) amid a flurry of publicity. The Deddens brought them home from the hospital, one at a time as they gained strength, and cared for them without outside help.

Eight years later, twins were born to the Deddens. Bobby and Jimmy added more activity to an already bustling household.

Robert Deddens, a Dayton attorney, credits his wife for their happy and organized household. Her secret? "I believe in a schedule--efficiency is organization,' she says, adding, "You have to have a calm atmosphere. When the quads were born, I had to sit down and realize I wasn't going to have much time for myself for a while.'

The Deddens live in a large, whiteframe house in Oakwood, a suburb of Dayton. They are in the process of enlarging the house to accommodate their growing family. They recently expanded the kitchen and added an adjoining family-play area for the children.

Mr. and Mrs. Deddens take an enthusiastic interest in their children's activities and make certain that most outings and projects turn into family affairs. "Our whole family is involved in nearly everything we do, either actively or passively as support,' says Mrs. Deddens.

Their busy schedule includes sports (the quads are active in soccer and track), school events, Girl Scouts, 4-H, church activities (they belong to a local Roman Catholic parish) and regular family picnics.

A unique "hobby' for the Deddens is the purchase and rehabilitation of houses in need of repair. "We've purchased real estate requiring substantial improvements, so we had a low down payment, with the idea of obtaining one house for each of our children as a means of financing their college educations,' Mr. Deddens explains. "All of us work at repairing the house, although Ruth is affectionately called our "general contractor.' She coordinates repairs, especially when subcontractors are needed for plumbing, roofing and painting.' To date, the family owns six homes and one cottage and will soon be looking for yet another house for the new baby, born this past Christmas.

The Deddens say they stay healthy by exercising regularly and eating wholesome, home-cooked food. "We try to foster good health with our children and a personal responsibility for their own health,' says Mrs. Deddens, a former physical-education teacher.

Mrs. Deddens says, "We've all learned to share and compromise.' For being named our All-American Family, the Deddens received a new Apple //e personal computer supplied by Apple Computer, Inc.

Photo: The Deddens family: Robert (holding Bobby); quadruplets Katy, Patty, Molly, Amy; Ruth. Sitting: Darcy (holding Jimmy). All the children's clothes are name brand--"Ruth Deddens' originals.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Robert Deddens family
Author:Parker, Diane
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Mar 1, 1985
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