Richard Earl Dean, known lovingly by family as "Dicker Dean," was born in Chicago, Illinois to Laurie DeLany and Earl Dean. As a young adult, he served his country as a member of the United States Army during the Vietnam War, and then went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Richard was the second American citizen and youngest person to become a Master Sommelier in 1975 at the age of 26, and was a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, of which there are only 240 in the world. During his illustrious 44-year career, he served as Master Sommelier for The Mark Hotel and Tavern on the Green in New York city, and for the Taj Campton Place in San Francisco. Early in his career, he worked as a Master Sommelier for a number of Hawaiian hotels and a wine columnist for the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Richard also served as an instructor and judge for the Master Sommelier exams.
During his lifetime, he traveled the world extensively and spent a considerable amount of time in India. Richard greatly valued his independence and freedom to explore other countries and cultures, to learn through his experiences, and to interact and form relationships with people.
He is remembered by his older sisters, Donna Carden and Gail Dean, and by his closest cousin, Darlene Motyka, as an adored younger brother, full of enthusiasm, energy, and zest for life.
To his nieces, nephews, and other cousins, Renee Calabrese, Sam Calabrese, Michelle Womble, Tracy Barker, and Aaron Dean (deceased), he will live forever in their hearts as the "fun uncle" - a perfect blend of curiosity, mischief, and adventure, while at the same time always being gracious, generous, and attentive to others.
He passed away at his home in San Bruno, California after struggling with a terminal cancer diagnosis. No memorials are planned at this time due to the pandemic.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jun. 12 to Jun. 14, 2020.