February 14, 1949 – February 24, 2023
It is with sadness that Casey announces the passing of her loving husband of 34 years, who passed from this life on February 24, 2023 at the age of 74. Dean suffered cardiovascular problems in the fall of and underwent a quadruple bypass In addition, he had been fighting cancer and other medical challenges which could not be addressed by further treatment. He passed quietly with his wife and other family at his side.
Dean’s family history was a complex one, but he was adopted into the family of loving parents Arvid and Audrey Anderson, now deceased. He is survived by several siblings; from his birth, adopted,
and step families: Laurie Rantala, Kim Rantala, Carol Vandenbrink, Debbie Currie, Darrel Anderson, Dale Anderson, Gladys Samson, Bev Gieselman and Carol Boa. Dean was predeceased by his step-brother Ron Johnson and step-sister Linda MacIntosh.
A proud baby-boomer, Dean was born in Vancouver but raised in the Fairfield Island area of Chilliwack. He attended school at the Fairfield Island Elementary School and made a great many cherished friends. He attended both the Chilliwack Junior High School and the Chilliwack Senior High Schools before going to the University of Victoria.
Dean subsequently enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Following training, Dean served in Saint Hubert, Quebec where he experienced the excitement of Expo 67 as well as the tumultuous period of the FLQ Crisis and proclamation of the War Measures Act.
On leaving military service, Dean returned to BC and enlisted in the Correctional Service of Canada and he served at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Abbotsford for eight years. Dean then returned to Ontario where, in 1988, he began a 25-year career with Canada Post in the Toronto-Scarborough area. In addition to his regular duties Dean served as a union representative for sick and injured postal employees. He returned to BC in 2014 to enjoy his retirement.
Dean and Casey were married in 1989 and enjoyed their mutual interests in travelling, camping and other adventures. Dean was clearly a renaissance man with wide interests and much knowledge of history, geography, politics, and other areas that piqued his curiosity and need to help his fellow man. Over his life Dean had a pronounced interest in various levels of government and worked on many different campaigns for candidates of every political stripe. He was always committed to helping people who encountered problems with any level of government- civic, provincial, or federal. Dean was always working on motorcycles and over the course of his life he owned more than 30, mostly Hondas. He also had an artistic side and became an accomplished photographer and artist. He produced many beautiful paintings some of which were commissioned. He generously donated others to a variety of worthwhile organizations, notable events and to family and friends. Dean combined his love of cycling and motorcycling along with photography and always sought out beautiful scenes while on the road. A great many of his photographs had been featured on Global TV, often providing a backdrop for Global weather reports.
Dean loved history generally but paid special attention to his hometown of Chilliwack. He became very knowledgeable on the history of Chilliwack including its local geography, districts, people, businesses …especially from his baby-boomer’s perspective. He skillfully used his personal collection of photographs and movie films he made over the course of many decades. His old images were digitized and converted to current formats suitable for publishing. He established a significant presence on Facebook to document his observations and memories of the last mid-century. Several thousands of his loyal Fb followers are thankful for his faithful efforts in maintaining, nurturing, and curating this ‘MID CENTURY MEMORIES OF CHILLIWACK’ group site and then ‘CHILLIWACK REVISITED FIFTY YEARS LATER’. His commitment to both groups is a testament to the thousands of people who followed and continue to follow his active group which is carrying on thanks to Dean’s thoughtful momentum.
Dean’s encyclopedic knowledge of Chilliwack and the Upper Fraser Valley was instrumental in his numerous nostalgic articles written about people and time from the last mid-century. He spent many hours reviewing archived issues of the Chilliwack Progress and often printed a poignant picture that was published long ago and then thoughtfully writing an article, some pithy and some more detailed, of noteworthy people and events. He did similar dives into various Chilliwack school annuals and reprinted extracts for nostalgic recollections of those who followed his articles. As new members joined the Fb group(s) a surname may have spurred his recollection of a potential relative that, once affirmed, could be highlighted in a contextual welcoming to the group. In many ways, Dean helped people who were new to the Fb group(s) to reconnect with others who had long since lost touch with.
No service is being organized at this time but may be planned for later in the fall.
Those who wish to can make a donation in Dean’s name to Soldier On (or a veterans’ charity of your choice.)
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