DeeDee Jonrowe was born in Frankfort, Germany in 1953 while her dad was in the service. She went to school in Virginia and in 1971 the military brought the Stout family to Alaska. DeeDee has a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences & Renewable Resources and and now lists her occupation as kennel owner and dog racer.
DeeDee says she grew up loving dogs and all animals. In her book, Iditarod Dreams, she describes her family as a "dog family". DeeDee wrote, "We were a dog family. We had a long line of German shepherds. We had everything. We've adopted from animal shelters. We've had Pekinese. We've had a hodge-podge of different kinds of dogs and now my house dogs are Labrador retrievers."
DeeDee and her dog team don't wear pink to make a fashion statement. They wear pink because she is a breast cancer survivor. Jonrowe was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2002. She ran the 2003 race, finishing 18th, just three weeks after completing chemotherapy treatment. In 1996, she was injured in a car accident that killed her grandmother and seriously injured her husband. She trained while she recovered and finished fourth in the 1997 Iditarod. In 1999, her dogs quit on the Yukon River. She revamped her team and finished 10th in 2001.
"You're amazed by what you can do when you're called upon, and those challenges have given me a feeling of self-esteem. I've looked at death unwillingly, so when I choose to take on adventure willingly, I'm not intimidated," says Jonrowe.
DeeDee has been described as the Princess on runners. She is petite, blonde, and attractive competing in a sport that usually conjures up images of big burly men. Deedee is no "Spring Chicken". At age 55 she is considered a senior citizen on the Trail, but don't tell her that.
When DeeDee isn't racing she enjoys cross country skiing, Labrador retriever's running, in-line skating, pure bred Ragdoll cats and horses. DeeDee is married to husband, Mike, who helps extensively in her training season.
In an article from Pink Magazine, DeeDee describes the success lessons learned through the sport of mushing:
1. Passion can make a difference in other people's lives. And if you do something you are passionate about, you can be the best.
2. If you do something 150 percent, you'll be successful. If you're in a job that is just a paycheck, [it'll] be hard to out-compete the person who's passionate.
3. Challenges are really opportunities to become better at who you are.
4. Family is the most valuable thing. We've looked financial ruin in the face. You can make it on very little if you have to.
5. I wouldn't change my husband, where I live or the dogs I own for all the money in the world.