John Lewis Dean Colonel, USAF (Retired)
John L. Dean (90) passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus at his home June 18, 2021. Born in Alma, Michigan to Roy and Wilma Dean, John grew up in a farming family and had a distinguished career in the USAF, retiring with the rank of Colonel. In a proud family moment, at his retirement send off, the Lowry Air Force Base Commander extended this send off to Colonel Dean, “with sincere appreciation for his many contributions during his distinguished career on behalf of the United States of America and the United States Air Force - He loved his colleagues and the Air Force.” He attended Cleary College in Ypsilanti, Michigan as well as the USAF War College. His first wife, Peggy, preceded him in death in 1998. They were married in December 1955 and had 4 children. John married Donna Hiatt in Colorado in February 1999, where they have made their home together for these many years, spending time traveling to see family in their RV and spending winter seasons in their Tucson, Arizona home. They have been by each other’s side. Words really can’t express today what they meant to each other, but I do know our father continued to be a content, peaceful and patient man during these final years of life, due in great part to Donna. “Thank you,” hardly is enough, but we love and thank you for so many things in dad’s life. He was a wonderful father to his four children, grandfather and great grandfather to both immediate and extended family members. Anyone who didn’t love the character, integrity and generosity of this man didn’t really know him.
His legacy lives on in the lives of 19 Grandchildren and 20 Great Grandchildren spread out across the country. He made a wonderful imprint on the lives of so many and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his beloved spouse, Donna and her three children; Ron, Janine & Greg along with their families. Additionally, his three children; John, Shawn & Starlite along with their families. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Peggy, son, Bobby Shackleford, daughter-in-law, Patsy Dean and his two sisters; Sharon Sue and Shirley.