Warren Dean Gillin
November 27, 1926 ~ October 14, 2013
Dean Gillin, loving husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend, died Monday, October 14, at his home in Wenatchee. He was 86. Dean was born in Johnstown, PA, the youngest of 10 children of Charles and Mary Jane (Hildebrand) Gillin. He graduated from East Conemaugh High School near Johnstown in 1946. Following graduation, he went to work for the Church of the Brethren Publishing Co. in Elgin, IL, where he met his future bride, Marian Deardorff. They were married in 1948 in Wenatchee, WA, where they made their home.
Dean worked at The Wenatchee World for 40-plus years, retiring in 1991. In his job as district manager, he supervised hundreds of newspaper carriers, modeling his intrinsic principles of responsibility, ethics, courtesy and respect. He enjoyed leading carriers on newspaper-sponsored trips to Disneyland, the Pacific Northwest Exposition in British Columbia, and backpacking in the wilderness. Dean loved the outdoors and taught his six sons to do the same. His favorite spot was the Tyee area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, where he enjoyed deer hunting every autumn with his boys, brothers-in-law and friends.
While Dean was a patient and soft-spoken soul, he had a competitive side, exhibited in full force with sports. Dean played Church League basketball and softball and he played to win. He attended as many of the basketball, baseball, hockey, track and soccer games of his children and grandchildren as his schedule allowed, frequently embarrassing his family with exuberant sideline “coaching” and “refereeing.” His proudest school days memory was of playing high school football: He broke his collarbone in a tackle, but completed the game in spite of the pain. And don’t forget the time he caught that long bomb and ran 60 yards for a touchdown!
Dean served as a Boy Scout leader, participated in the Y’s Men program at the Wenatchee YMCA and was an active and devoted member of the Sunnyslope Church. He owned and operated a cherry orchard in Wenatchee for 20 years and ran a snow-plowing business.
He had a special way with babies, toddlers and children, who loved to read a story with Grandpa, take the little boat out fishing, or go for a ride through the orchard on the back of his tractor. He hiked, biked and trudged through the snow for the perfect Christmas tree well into his 70’s. Dean had a deep compassion for those less fortunate, providing clothing and shelter for the homeless. He had a passion for sweets; his last meal was strawberry ice cream. Dean met his death as he had lived most of his life - softly, tenderly, patiently. We will miss him ever so much.
Dean is survived by his wife, Marian, at home; a brother, Chalmer Gillin and sister, Elmira Cobaugh, both of Pennsylvania; sons, Keith (Bobbie) of Bellevue, Scott (Marcy Groche) of East Wenatchee, Gary (Susan) of Wenatchee, Tony (Evy) of Wenatchee, Craig (Lisa) of Issaquah and Kelly (Patty) of Wenatchee; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Dean’s Life is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, October 25, 2013 at Brethren-Baptist Church United, 535 Okanogan Ave., Wenatchee. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Sunnyslope Church, the Wenatchee YMCA, or the charity of your choice. Telford’s Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.