Robert Lee Dean, a life-long resident of Jackson, transitioned from his earthly life to be with the Lord on April 28, 2023 while at Jackson Medical Center. He was born on Jan. 2, 1941 to the parentage of Ethel Glivens Dinkins and Vernon Robert Dean in the Vernal Chapel community of Jackson. His spiritual upbringing began at the Vernal Chapel Baptist Church, where he accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior at an early age.
Robert graduated from Harper High School in 1960, uniting in Holy Matrimony to the love of his life, Carolyn Ann Simon on May 27, 1961. Following the couple’s marriage, they relocated to Jackson. They united with the Mt. Olive No. 2 Baptist Church, where he was a faithful and dedicated member, serving as a deacon, trustee, and church treasurer. When something was needed to be done, Robert was always willing and ready to do what was needed.
Allied Paper Mill marked the beginning of Robert’s work career, where he later became a full-time employee. The company would later become Boise Cascade; he would retire following 41 years of dedicated service. He was one of the first African American maintenance supervisors.
Robert was a very active member of the Jackson Fire Department, with 35 years of dedicated service and was honored with the Chief's Award in 2001and Fireman of the Year in 2003. He took great pride in his stewardship within his community and participated in numerous committees such as the Jackson Kimbell House Board, the City of Jackson Board of Adjustments and the Jackson Recreation Center, the Clarke Voter League, Clarke County Chapter of ADC, Clarke County Democratic Executive Committee, Clarke County Chapter NAACP and Clarke County Industrial Board, along with many others.
Robert was actively involved in the Civil Rights movement, working very hard in trying to make a difference in his community, passionate about people getting out to exercise their right to vote. Robert worked along with his cousin, the late Rev. Frank B. Dean and many other leaders in bringing Dr. Martin Luther King to the city of Jackson.
For many years, he freelanced as a photographer and videographer for weddings, social events, and capturing mementos amongst family and friends. In 2012 he ventured into the funeral industry as the owner of Jackson Memorial Funeral Home. He enjoyed carpentry, a consummate handyman he also enjoyed gardening and maintaining his lawn. He remained aware watching the local news as well as his favorite, CNN News, so he could hear all about the latest that was going on at the Capitol.
Robert loved helping others. He didn't mind jumping and assisting anyone with any project that they had going. He was just that kind of person.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Ethel Glivens Dinkins Dean and Vernon Dean; brothers, Warren Dean and Edmond Dean; and sisters, Doris Dean Foxx, Retha Mae Dean, Mary Lee Dean Williams and Inez Dean King.
He leaves to cherish his lasting memories his loving, caring and devoted wife of 61 years, Carolyn Ann Simon Dean of Jackson; his five children, Gaynor Dean (Alvin) Lewis of Copperas Cove, Texas, Vincent Dean, Stephanie Dean (Anthony) McReynolds and Steven (Telecia) Dean, all of Jackson, and Terrance (Ebony) Dean of Copperas Cove, Texas; 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; his siblings, Helen (Donald) Pettway of Des Plaines, Ill. and Ethel Lee Dean of Jackson; sisters-in-law, Melvadean Dean of Mobile, Margaret Simon of Brockton, Mass., Marie (Billy) Bankston of Jamaica, N.Y. and Marilyn (Johnny) Berry of Walker Springs; brother-in-law, Barry (Wanda) DeLeon of Irmo, S.C.; with a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, long-time close friend, Abraham Kimbell and many other friends and former co-workers.
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