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Robert T. (Bob) Dean

Robert T. (Bob) Dean Obituary
Robert (Bob) T. Dean died peacefully Saturday evening, September 25, 2010, comforted by the presence of family. Born April 10, 1923 in Rensselaer, Indiana, Bob's early childhood was graced with the academic values of his father, a high school principal, and the religious convictions of his mother, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. Family values of individual responsibility, honesty, hard work and community service blended naturally with Bob's outgoing and optimistic nature. The glass was always half full in his eyes. A love of physical activity and the outdoors propelled him into the family sport of golf, adding football and basketball during his teen years and skiing as a young adult. Bob graduated from high school in Bloomington, Indiana and went on to start his freshman year at Indiana University where he met his future wife Maxine in Freshman English. World War II redirected Bob after that first year. He enlisted in the Air Force, spending time with bombardier training and continuing to play football with the military league. This led to his decision after the war to enroll at Cornell University. There he studied electrical engineering and played football with the Big Red during the winning years when the crescent was full, establishing records for kicking and the longest play from scrimmage. He was the Sun's athlete of the year in 1949 and admitted into the CU Hall of Fame in September 1986. It took very little to convince Bob to stay in the Ithaca area after graduating from Cornell in 1949. There were employment opportunities, many good friends and a quality of life in Ithaca that was perfect for a young family. Bob joined a local electronic distributorship before founding Bob Dean lnc., an electronic manufacturer's rep business and then Deanco, an electronics distributor which ultimately expanded to Boston, Maryland, Florida and Chicago. Bob's optimistic view of people and their potential, along with his willingness to set up Deanco with an employee-shared ownership program, enabled this amazing growth. Community involvement was a natural extension of Bob's business and personal life. He was actively involved as an alumni with SAE, Village of Cayuga Heights Trustee, Trustee and past board chairman at First Presbyterian, active in Cornell Council, on the boards of Country Club and TCTC and Director and member of several trade groups. Bob's later years continued to be active; skiing and playing golf into his eighties, nurturing a large circle of friends, engaging his grandchildren on the lake and slopes while optimistically embracing new opportunities and supporting local business efforts. He was a loving and generous man who will be greatly missed. Bob is survived by his wife, Maxine, together "since 1945"; children, Jeff (Barbara Claas) Dean, Diane (Don) Carpenter, Debra (Alan) Ledet, Doug (Sue) Dean; grandchildren, Ryan, Dustin, Kelly, Kasey, Marissa, Kendal, Karen, Kali and Jenna; sister-in-law, Betty; nephews, Ross, Richard, Robert and Randal Dean and their families; and many friends. Preceded in death by his only sibling and mentor, Ross H. Dean. A Memorial and celebration of a life well lived will be held Sunday, October 10, 2010, at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Ithaca. The family invites you to join them for a reception immediately following in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, please remember Bob in a way of your choosing.

Published in Ithaca Journal on Oct. 5, 2010
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