Colonel Wilson “Bill” Dean. 06/18/1936 – 06/18/2019
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Col. Wilson “Bill” Dean passed away at Green Acres Retirement Living in Manistee, the morning of June 18, 2019 on his 83rd birthday.
Bill was born in Muskegon, MI to William and Dorothy (Wilson) Dean. When Bill was 6 mos. old the family moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. In his early teens the family moved back to Muskegon. This is the time when Bill developed his love for hockey. He graduated from Muskegon High School (and followed the Big Reds throughout his life). His education continued at Elkhart University in Indiana, Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The University of San Francisco, California where he received his Master of Science in 1983.
While living in Elkhart, Indiana, Bill worked at Miles Laboratory under Dr. Robert Lim MB, CH.B, PH.D, D.SC who first afforded Bill the opportunity to work in a research environment. “Through Dr. Lim’s teaching, the doors to Pharmacology and Physiology were opened providing the basis of my (Bill’s) life work”.
Bill left Elkhart to work for International Research and Development Corp. in Mattawan, Michigan where he worked for over 30 years. He spent 2 years at Mobile Stony Brook Lab in New Jersey and 8 years at Redfield Lab in Redfield, Arkansas before retiring in 2002.
Bill enlisted in the National Guard in Muskegon, MI in 1954 as a Private. Later, he transferred to the Indiana National Guard. In May of 1972 then Major Wilson Dean graduated from the Command and General Staff College Officers Course. In November 1979 Bill became Colonel Wilson Dean. Bill always said, “the most rewarding time in my life was time in the National Guard”. In 1996 he retired from the Indiana National Guard.
In 1969 Major Wilson “Bill” Dean met Valoyce “Val” Lattin in Kalamazoo. They were married in a blizzard on January 16, 1971 in Bethany Reformed Church by his cousin Rev. Dean Bailey, Pastor of the Methodist Church in Traverse City. Bill and Val Spent 48 years living, loving, laughing, traveling, sharing ups and downs and making memories together. Also, in those 48 years they had two beloved pets. Tina the German Shepherd lived 14 ½ years. She adopted Charlie Cat 6 months before she died. Charlie the Tabby Cat lived 22 years.
In 2002 the Deans moved to Manistee to retire and become active in the community. Bill served on the Lighthouse Landing Condo Board, the Shoreline Showcase Board, The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce Promoters, the Ramsdell Theatre Volunteers, the Harbor Commission and the Planning Commission.
Bill was the oldest of seven kids in his family. He is survived by three brothers and their spouses; George and Joy Dean (Montague, MI), Alfred and Leigh Dean (Lakeland, TN) and Mark and Chris Dean (Montague, MI) and one sister Diane Jane (Dean) and Jerry Ashendorph. Two brothers preceded him in death with surviving spouses; David and June Dean (Montague, MI) and Steve and Beth Dean (Whitehall, MI).
Bill is also survived by his wife Valoyce “Val” Dean, two daughters and a son-in-law; Sherry DeVrias (Kalamazoo, MI) and Dawn and David Bach (Bradenton, FL). There are numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.
A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held Friday, July 19, 2019 from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM at Green Acres Retirement Living; 1835 12th St., Manistee, MI. Pastor Paulette Zoulek will begin the celebration at 2:30 PM. Please come and share your fond memories and photos of Bill. We would love to hear your stories and please sign the guest book. Light refreshments will be available.
A second Celebration of Life will take place in Montague, MI at a later date.
If you wish to give a donation in Bill’s name it may be made to Homeward Bound, the Salvation Army or your favorite charity.
Please visit Bill’s personal page of memories at www.oakgrovefh.com. Arrangements by the Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Manistee.