Fern Deans

5 entries
  • "My sincere condolences to the family. God is s God of..."
  • "Phil, may God comfort you at this sad time. You are in my..."
    - Thelma Williams
  • "Our hearts are deeply saddened by the news of Fern's..."
  • "Phil; I am so sorry to learn of your loss. I remember Fern..."
    - Enoch Jones
  • "Phil, I am so sorry to hear about Fern, a beautiful..."
    - Tom Moser
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Fern Louise Powell Deans, 74, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, the 29 th of October surrounded by family after a courageous and hard fought battle against heart, brain, and pulmonary issues over the last three years and especially the last six months until the Lord called her to her Eternal Home in Heaven.

Fern was born on the 3 rd of June in 1941 in Bay City, TX to Marianne Lorenzen Powell and Samuel L. Powell and grew up on her namesake grandmother Fern Lorenzen's family ranch outside Edna, TX. She went to Vanderbilt Elementary School and High School in Edna as a proud cowgirl and played clarinet in the band, along with many other school activities. She graduated in the top 5% of her class in 1959. She later went to Houston Business College and completed her courses in less than 2 years, again with honors. She first went to work as a secretary for a patent lawyer firm in downtown Houston for several years and was then later recruited to NASA in the legal office by their patent attorneys where she began her 25 year career at NASA in 1965. Fern quickly moved from the legal patent office to Apollo Luna Mission planning office, and later Apollo Lunar Science Experiment office whose staff was responsible for experiments in the CSM/SIM Bay and the Lunar ALSEP experiment stations left on the surface during the six lunar landing missions and the lunar rover vehicle used on the moon for extended exploration away from the lunar lander on the last three Apollo missions, 15, 16, 17 over the time period of July 1969 to December 1972. It was during this time, Fern met her future husband, Philip M. Deans who was working with the Engineering Directorate support to these same engineers on the Mission Planning and Lunar Science Experiment and Apollo Program Offices. After about a year of courtship they established a wedding date on August 15, 1969 after the successful completion of the Apollo 11 First Lunar Landing on July 20 th , 1969 and the safe return of crew back to earth landing on July 24, 1969.

After the Apollo Program ended, Fern's group supported the Skylab 3 Manned Missions of 30, 60, 90 days duration and they performed all kinds of biomedical experimentation on the astronauts for long duration zero gravity effects on crew performance and external science studies of the earth observation with an EREP package similar to the earlier lunar orbiter SIM Bay experiments of the lunar mapping and observation and the Apollo Telescope Mounted Camera for long duration studies of sun, solar activities and space radiation effects. She later worked in the Medical Directorate with the doctors and engineers monitoring the overall crew health, mission monitoring, medical facilities for health monitoring of astronauts, their families, and the NASA workforce for annual monitoring and any space degradation effects of flown astronauts. It was during this time, Fern got to experience one of her most exciting events as a test subject, due to her small size, 5 percentile (Asian female), to test out the lower body negative gravity suit/rubber pants with waste band pressurized to force/redistribute blood back to extremities and head to condition from zero-g back to 1 G during re-entry from spaceflights. Fern was fortunate to work in the most creative and innovative part of NASA's human spaceflight programs with some outstanding people in all the areas of space disciplines, engineering, science, and medical on all the major programs. During this creative time, women made significant strides forward and were really the glue and executive secretarial support arm to their managers, and they were merged into the "60's Chicks Professional Group totally recognized and supported by the JSC top center management as the movers, shakers and expediters to process all their extensive official documentation, directions, and administrative functions. While working for NASA, Fern, Phil and son Jeff were able to go to KSC and witness Apollo 15 and 17 launches. They were fortunate to go to the second return flight of Space Shuttle/Orbiter STS-127 which was launched on July 4, 2009 as a family, with son Jeff and two granddaughters participate and witness the last Space Shuttle/Orbiter STS 135 final flight in the program before premature retirement. Fern and Phil celebrated her 74 th birthday back on June 3 rd , 2015 and their 46 th wedding anniversary on August 15, 2015 while in Cornerstone LTAC hospital in Webster, TX. The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, therapists and staff of Cornerstone LTAC ICU and Memorial Hermann SE ICU for their compassionate care.

Outside of NASA, Fern supported her husband, Phil and their family with her youthful love of ranching, animals, particularly the baby goats, sheep, calves, cow dogs, and horses. Phil and Fern were involved in ranching operations for over 35 years in Houston and Jackson Counties, 35 year members of Farm Bureau, TSCRA, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as lifetime members, enjoying many rodeos and entertainers over those 25 to 35 years. It was during their ranching in Grapeland, Houston County, that they fell in love with Bluegrass and attended the First Salmon Lake Labor Day Festival started by Floyd and Fanny Salmon in 1976 and never missed a Festival until Fern had a fall and brain surgery back in April 2013. Fern and Phil have also been lifetime members of the Bay Area Bluegrass Association (BABA) in League City held at the Civic Center for over 29 years, and have supported monthly shows and FOTS festivals conducted by BABA over the years. When they would visit Phil's family back in his hometown, of Wilson, NC they would always try to make a weekly show at the Bluegrass Barn near New Hope where Phil grew up.

Fern was preceded in death by her grandparents, Fern and Andrew Lorenzen; her parents Sam and Marianne Powell; several great aunts, aunts and uncles; and cousins.

She is survived by her husband, Philip M. Deans; son, Jeffrey L. Deans; two granddaughters, Faith Erin Deans and Emily Grace Deans; their mother, Nadia Loren Deans; sister Lucy Smith and her son, William Smith of Tucson, AZ; special cousins, Mary Bell and June Neal; aunt Dorothy Lorenzen; a number of cousins in the Lorenzen and Powell families; special childhood friend, Kay Jorgensen from Edna and her hairdresser, and life friend, Sandra Cooley of League City, TX; also by many friends in her extended family community in the NASA Clear Lake, Bay Area and hometown Edna from over the years; her family on the East Coast: sister and brother-in-law, Lou Deans Gordon and JR Gordon of Wilson, NC; niece Alice Susan Gordon and husband Witold Tulodziecki of Roswell, GA; niece Barbara Ann Overman and husband Ron Lort; great-niece, Morgan Alicia and husband Art Tollinger and their children of Chesapeke City, MD; great-nephew Andrew Overman Lort, of Wilmingon, NC; nephew and niece, Leonard and Terrie Deans; great-nephews, Adam and Jordan Deans, of Timberlake, NC; nephew and niece, Frank and Kathy Overman, of Kenly, NC

A memorial service and celebration of Fern Louise Deans' life is planned on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Jeter Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 311 N. Friendswood Dr. (FM 518), Friendswood, TX 77546 (281) 992-7200 with Rev. Steve O'Donahoe officiating. Fern's final interment will be in Evergreen Memorial Gardens, in Wilson, NC, on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to, Wounded Warriors Foundation, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or www.woundedwarriorproject.org ; , P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or www.stjude.org ; Bay Area Bluegrass Association, 5820 Misty Meadow St., League City, TX 77573, 281-993-1620 or www.bayareabluegrass.org ; or a your .

Condolences may be sent to the Deans family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com


Funeral Home
Jeter Memorial Funeral Home
311 N. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546
(281) 992-7200
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Published on yourbayareanews.com from Nov. 6 to Nov. 19, 2015
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