Richard Dean
1949 - 2020
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Richard Dean
1/5/1949– 6/9/2020
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.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jun. 12 to Jun. 14, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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48 entries
August 24, 2020
Richard will always be remembered as a kind and funny person. I had great lovely times working with him at The Mark and I learnt a lot about wines from him.
May your Soul rest in Peace!

Jose DaSilva
friend / coworker
Jose H Da Silva
Coworker
June 23, 2020
Richard, we worked together at the Third Floor for many years and laughed together for many years. You were one of the reasons it was a pleasure to go to work. We had so many good times I'll never forget. Somehow lost track of each other after Bill was transferred to SF. After many years you found us and happily you were the same old Richard. Fun to be around! Your humor, generousity, and kindness never left you. I will miss you my dear friend. Hope your having a taste with Siggy and laughing at us for being so sad. I love you my friend.
Catherine Haller
Friend
June 21, 2020
Richard was one of my very best friends. We were roommates at 21 years old in Honolulu for 5 years and both got into wine at the same time. He and I sat the Master Sommelier exam together in London in 1973. He and I saw each other every year after that and I will miss him terribly. He was such a caring friend.
Eddie Osterland
June 19, 2020
Richard was a gentleman and a true professional. It was an honor the few times I was able to work with him. Prayers for his family and friends.
Michael Vaznaugh
Friend
June 18, 2020
Richard always made my day. What a great and fun man he was to be around. We spend many years together at the Mark Hotel.
R.I.P. my friend.
Erwin
Erwin Schrottner
Coworker
June 15, 2020
Supportive, kind, funny and a true pro. I loved calling on Richard at the Mark. He will be greatly missed.
Jodi Stern
Friend
June 15, 2020
His palate excelled in building exceptional pairings for menus that were exquisitely original. With a chef, kitchen, staff, and environment that sang in aesthetic harmony, one had to marvel at his genius in propelling Taj Campton Place Restaurant into becoming a destination of the highest order.
Richard Reader
Acquaintance
June 15, 2020
Lovely and very gracious human being who I had the great pleasure of working with in San Francisco when he oversaw the Campton venue. My condolences to all those who cherish his memory. He will remain fondly in mine.
Mick Cameron
June 15, 2020
Richard was always the consummate professional and when you were in the city where he worked, always sharing fun times and stories. I first met him at the 3rd floor in Honolulu. When tasting wines with him he had a passion for the knowledge and always made sure to live life to the fullest.
He always helped mentor so many.
He will be missed. RIP

Bob
Bob Cooley
Friend
June 14, 2020
I was saddened to read about the passing of my friend, Richard. I met Richard several years ago, I was his realtor when he bought his San Bruno condo. We connected immediately as we are both originally from Chicago. We stayed in touch over the years. I deepest condolences to his sisters Donna and Gail, and his entire family and community. May his soul rest in peace.

Sincerely,
Norma Sayage
Norma Sayage
Friend
June 14, 2020
May God Bless you and your family.
I have never known anyone who could make me laugh as hard as Richard. He was naturally funny. When I moved to Manhattan in 1996 it was very difficult time for me and Richard was my rock. We occasionally would take the red eye to hit the Prime Rib buffet at the Tropicana. After leaving New York he invited to for staff training at the Mark just we could hang for awhile in New York.
I will always grateful and cherish my memories with Richard, wonderful times.
I love you.
Michael McNeill
Friend
Michael McNeill
Friend
June 13, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Richard Dean was a Great Gentleman and Sommelier
R.I.P
Carlos Ruiz de Somocurcio-Leon
Coworker
June 13, 2020
I am so sorry for the lost of a great Man and Sommelier R.I.P
Carlos Ruiz de Somocurcio-Leon
Coworker
June 13, 2020
I worked with Richard over the years that he arranged winemaker dinners with me. He was a gentle soul, the consummate professional. I was greatly saddened to hear of his passing.
Eileen Crane
Friend
June 13, 2020
What a great person to know and work with.
Ira M Harmon, MS
Friend
June 13, 2020
I met Richard working and he was an incredibly gracious person. My deepest condoleances
Audrey Herd smith
June 13, 2020
I am deeply saddened by Richard's passing. I had the privilege of working with Richard on MS courses and exams over several years. He was a consummate service professional who understood the needs and desires of his customers. He always had a mischievous glint in his eye and a fun-loving lilt when work was done and it was time to relax. Rest in peace, Richard, and thanks for the memories.
Wayne Belding
Friend
June 13, 2020
knew Richard in and from Hawaii days and had the pleasure of selling wine to him at Campton Place SF. A unique, quirky humor, always a gentleman and so very knowledgeable. He is missed Janeanne Rinaldi -Wine Industry friend
JRinaldi
Friend
June 13, 2020
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Lori Cabbage
June 13, 2020
I worked with Richard for many years at The Mark...his unique and wonderful character made it fun to be around him. He will be truly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Christian Hommerich
June 13, 2020
Lovely to have worked with you and learned from you. Will always remember you fondly, may you rest in peace.
Ashrafi Matcheswala
Coworker
June 13, 2020
Some of my fondest memories of working were at The Third Floor (see picture of 2006 TTF reunion in Las Vegas), where I met many people, who are still friends. Richard was one of them. He introduced me to wine and, BTW, to my wife, Debbe. Thank you for your friendship and all that you've given us for all these years. We miss you.
Edward CHIN
Friend
June 12, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
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Lawrence Stone-NILSEN
June 12, 2020
Condolences and thoughts to Mr. Deans family. Richard helped me in a moment of panic for my Advanced exam when I forgot my wine opener and crumber at the Mark Hotel in NYC in 2003. He whisked me aside and gave me his, as I walked in the door and he wished me good luck. Great human being.
Chris Blanchard, MS
Friend
June 12, 2020
Saddened by the loss of Richard. Sending condolences to his family. He was a customer of my grandfather who introduced him to my father who became his friend and whom I became friends with later on in life (though he knew me for most of mine). He helped me get a job in hospitality in NYC and when I moved to San Francisco he was right there to reconnect with. We chatted a lot about food and wine. I even took him to his first Rodeo at Cow Palace in 2018! We had a blast (See photo below). He will be missed.
Christian Robert Gourdin
Friend
June 12, 2020
So sorry to hear of Richards passing. What a star in the world of wine and gracious hospitality. He will be remembered as a wonderful person and friend. Condolences to his family. Sheila Donnelly Theroux
Sheila Donnelly Theroux
Friend
June 12, 2020
We had fun times being part of the Mark Family. I loved giving advice about fine cigars.
Mel Fixman
Coworker
June 12, 2020
Richard was a good guy before I became a Master and a great friend after, an incredible gentleman and gracious host. My deepest sympathies for your family, Rest in Peace old friend,
Ron Mumford
Friend
June 12, 2020
My sincere condolences to Richards family. I had the pleasure of working with Richard at The Mark in New York and at Taj Campton Place in San Francisco and I am deeply saddened to hear about his passing.
Corinna Luebbe
Coworker
June 12, 2020
I worked with Dean at the Third Floor in Hawaii from 1972-1975. Taught me how to uncork a bottle properly and gave my first tasters cup. Always treated us to late suppers after a good night. Taught me a lot about wines. Bye my friend and a toast to your final journey. Cheers, Patrick
PATRICK Leung
Friend
June 12, 2020
I am sure that there are many of Richard's customers over the years who never even knew his name who would flood this board with comments if they new of his passing. They would reflect Master Sommelier Dean's gracious and warm professionalism on the restaurant floor, and how they still remember that special evening at one of the many fine establishments where he worked these many years later - and how Richard helped to make the experience so memorable. We have lost a friend, mentor, colleague. RIP.
Peter Granoff, MS
Friend
June 12, 2020
'My condolences and thoughts are with Richard's family. He was a true original and we (the OG of American Master Sommeliers) called him 'The Legend'. He was an inspiration to many and beloved friend to many more. The wine world is less without him but heaven just gained one tremendous sommelier...
Evan Goldstein
Friend
June 12, 2020
Sad to hear about the passing of a good friend, I will always remember his good sense of humor, his devotion to his profession and his kindness to everybody he was in contact with. Fond remembrances, my friend.

Roger Dagorn
Roger Dagorn
Friend
June 12, 2020
Great and a very humble person at heart. I feel so sad about his loss and hope his soul Rest In Peace and Heaven. I will always remember him for all his help and support.
Amod Singh
Friend
June 12, 2020
Great and a very humble person at Heart. I feel so sad for this loss and will always remember Mr. Dean for his help. May his soul Rest In Peace.
Amod Singh
Friend
June 12, 2020
It has been an honor/privilege to have worked with you all those years at Campton place! You will be greatly missed!
Linda Ho
Coworker
June 12, 2020
Dear family of Richard, I am deeply saddened by your loss and send my deepest condolences. Indeed, as a fellow member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, it is our loss as well. Rest in peace, Master Dean!

Eric Hemer
Friend
June 12, 2020
Please accept my deepest condolences, Richard have and will always be the 1st leader and mentor of the New York Sommeliers along with Roger Dagorn. I feel very privileged and hope he is now in peace.
André Compeyre
André Compeyre
Coworker
June 12, 2020
He singlehandedly brought wine knowledge to Hawaii.
Benoit Gateau-Cumin
Coworker
June 12, 2020
I worked with Richard at The Third Floor Restaurant in Waikiki where I appreciated his wine knowledge so much. Richard was lots of fun and very generous and gracious. I raise a toast to you and God bless!
Mary Devine
Friend
June 12, 2020

It was nice to meet you and I'll miss your joy and your jokes you shared with the coworkers
Rest in peace, buddy
Cristian vizuet
Coworker
June 12, 2020
Richard when I was a young wines salesman in San Francisco you always took the time for me and treated me with kindness and respect. Thank you for making a positive impact in my life.
Chris Pedersen
Friend
June 12, 2020
Sorry to hear about Mr Dean death .I will always remember him helping and teaching! Great person, will be miss.
David Liang
Coworker
June 12, 2020
So many memories I have of you. We grew up together and had so much fun at family gatherings and all the times I spent at your house, your mom and dad were my Elmhurst parents. Always loved you to the Moon and back. Rest in peace my beautiful cousin.
Sandy Sorensen
Family
June 12, 2020
Quick to smile and as friendly as a man could be. I can see him now, and hope that his family knows what a fine human he was.
Robert Jones MS
Acquaintance
June 12, 2020
Richard was always the consummate professional and when you were in the city where he worked, always sharing fun times and stories. I saw him in December when we had lunch at Campton Place......mahalo also for the wine tours you were always gracious in setting up for us when we visited Napa, Aloha
Tim Nolan
Friend
June 12, 2020
He was a great mentor to me in my early wine days and then a friend after I passed the Master Sommelier Exam. I will never forget some of the crazy restaurants he took me to in Queens. Always an adventure. Rest In Peace my friend. I will miss you greatly.
Greg Harrington
Friend
June 12, 2020
RIP Rich..will always cherish our friendship and times together in both Honolulu and NY...You always carried a good and caring heart
Scott Yelin
Friend
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