The Hill Funeral Home and Cremation Services 614-882-2121
James Dean Obituary - Hill Funeral Home

Arrangements

A mass of Christian burial is scheduled Monday, December 27th, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic church, 313 N. State St., Westerville OH,  with Interment to be in the Amesville Cemetery the Following Day, also called the Dean Cemetery, which is adjacent to the Dean family home where Jim was raised and often played among the cemetery headstones, wondering about the lives and hardships of his ancestors. Friends may call Sunday December 26th, 2021 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hill Funeral Home, 220 S. State St., Westerville, OH.

What a man of integrity and professional inspiration to those of us fortunate enough to work with him. He introduced me to the shopping center business in 1983 at Jefferson Mall, and I considered him a mentor in professional courage, diplomacy, and communication. “Trained by James Dean” was a professional advantage—because of the high regard in which he was held. My wife and I will never forget the kindness he and Nita showed us then, and pray for their comfort in this difficult time.

Myron Worley

View Other Condolences
Add Your Condolence

Obituary for James Dean

James Dean 1947-2021

James Dean

04/30/1947 - 12/22/2021

James (Jim) L. Dean, age 74, of Westerville, died at home Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021 at 7:37 p.m.  The cause of death was several prostate-related issues, including neurogenic bladder, prostate cancer, bone metastasis, and late-stage kidney disease.

 Dean was born in Amesville Ohio in 1947.  He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Raymond Dean, and his mother Elsie Olive (McConnell) Dean, both of Amesville, Ohio.  He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Juanita (Burger) Dean, their daughter Terrel Lefferts (Rob) of Redmond, WA, and their two talented children Kaelyn and Oliver.

 He is survived by three older brothers Gary Dean (Judy) of Naperville IL, Larry Dean (Karen) of Pinellas Park, Florida, and C. Richard Dean (Phyllis) of Athens, Ohio.  He also has two brothers-in-law: Rick Burger (Lori) and John Burger (Anna) and many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by niece Jennifer Dean of Naperville, Illinois, and nephew Todd Dean of Logan, Ohio.

 Dean is a 1965 graduate of Ames Bern High School and a 1969 graduate of Ohio University with a degree in communications.  It was at O.U. that a lightning strike caused him and his future wife, Nita, to first meet, leading them to believe their partnership was destiny and endorsed by God.

 Following his ROTC commissioning at O.U., Dean was trained as a Tank Platoon Leader with the US Army at the Armor Officer Training Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and later was one of only four military officers assigned to the headquarters and studios of the American Forces Network in Frankfurt, Germany.  Following military service, he worked in news, sales and management at several Ohio radio stations including WATH in Athens, WAWR in Bowling Green, and WTVN in Columbus.

For 25 years he managed large retail shopping centers including the grand openings of Towne Mall in Middletown, Ohio and Louisville’s Jefferson Mall, the largest in Kentucky.  His final assignment was as general manager of Northland Mall in Columbus for 17 years.

 Dean was a longtime member of Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville where he served as a lector and as a volunteer leader with the RCIA program for many years.  Until his recent illness and COVID-19-limited activities, he and his wife enjoyed traveling, gardening, and playing pickleball.

 In his high school and college years, Jim earned extra money as a drummer for the Athens garage band called The Oceans.  In 1965, the four-piece group recorded a 45 RPM record, She’s Gone, which weirdly has today become popular with record collectors nationwide and especially in Europe where collectors are willing to pay upward of $300 for a rare, limited-edition copy when available.

 Jim had been under Hospice care since January and bedridden since May.  During this time, he received extraordinary care from Kim, Lucy, Lilian, Mary Ellen, Darriel, and Brittany, his nurses, aides, and private care aides.   

 A mass of Christian burial is scheduled Monday, December 27th, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic church, 313 N. State St, Westerville, with Interment to be in the Amesville Cemetery the Following Day, also called the Dean Cemetery, which is adjacent to the Dean family home where Jim was raised and often played among the cemetery headstones, wondering about the lives and hardships of his ancestors. Friends may call Sunday December 26th, 2021 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hill Funeral Home, 220 S. State St., Westerville, OH.

 In lieu of flowers, the family requests prayers for Dean and his survivors.Jim would like to express his special appreciation to his many coworkers who gave their talents, dedication, and support to him during his working and retirement years and to the many caregivers who helped him during his final weeks of illness.

 

 

Final Note From James Dean:

 

It is true that you should not be sad for me now, for it is only my survivors who hurt.  My family and friends gave me one of the best lives imaginable.  My parents always loved me and put me first, manipulating me to college—at their expense—and allowing me to grow without abuse, criticism or loneliness.  My brothers paved a path for me, setting examples and giving me many happy memories.  God introduced me to Nita, and she not only loved me as a husband but also truly became my closest personal friend, listening to my complaints and overlooking/adjusting my weaknesses.  Together, we had the privilege of being the parents of the greatest daughter in history.  We laughed.  We shared.  We talked.  We played.  We traveled.  (We ate.)  We had great pets (Yoyo could have been worse.)  I escaped childhood illnesses, diseases, accidents, violent crime, Vietnam, etc.  I kept out of hospitals until this last journey began.  I prayed daily that my parents, Nita and Terrel and family members would be safe.  If I have died now, a definite reason has wound up my perfect life, My only sadness is that I know you will be sad but please consider that you cannot know what happens at death.  As I read in 1990, the caterpillar certainly doesn’t know it will someday be a butterfly.  A long-ago priest once said the after-life will be nothing like we expect.  I think of the cliché of trying to explain (or believe) vision, taste, feeling, hearing or love to somebody who has never experienced it.  Some have said, “hell could be having to live your life over.”  Although there are some elements (the bully on the playground, JVJ, etc.) that I would not be thrilled at—the various aspects that have involved my family and friends would be wonderful in such a rerun. I encourage my survivors to be happy I made it so long and so far with such great circumstances.  Be nice to all others. Discharge any guilt as it is not justified.  Have faith.  Get on with your life, and be excited about the possibilities in your next chapter.