William “Bill” John Albert Alfred Dean, 61, of Greenville, Ill., passed away on March 26 in a tragic snowboarding accident at Wolf Creek Ski Resort, Colo.
Bill was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on March 30, 1961, to Vera Florence Hubbard Dean and the late Laurence Alfred Dean. Bill is survived by his large and loving family: his wife, Debbie; his child, Michaela Laurence (26); son William Zachary(24); and (much to his chagrin) the family dog, Casey (14); his sisters, Anne Andrews, Cathy Newhouse (Marc Bondarenko), Janice Woofter, Donna day (Dan), Cindy Wehrkamp (Mike), Patti Aitken (Paul); and a host of nieces and nephews. Likewise, he is survived by the numerous children who grew up in his home.
Bill was always willing to open not only his home, but his heart to the kids his children brought in. From feeding to housing to teaching to playing, Bill was a father and mentor to many — not just his own. He was always there with a delicious home-cooked meal, a humorous word and a ready-to-work attitude to anyone who came seeking his advice — kids, neighbors and friends alike. His competitive nature and passion let him push himself and others past their perceived limitations in the most rewarding of ways. He changed the lives of many and the stories he told as well as the ones about him will influence generations to come.
Bill received his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University in 1985 and MBA from University of Texas Arlington in 1992 (with gratuitous grammar help from his wife). Bill’s professional career took him across the U.S. and China with companies including Johnson Controls, Lennox, Waterfurnace, ShenLong, Bosch, Enertech, Emerson, and (his personal favorite on name alone) Big Ass Fans.
Bill was a brilliant engineer, always lending a helping hand to anyone in need. Neighbors and friends alike were lent favor after fixable favor. Sometimes his family was convinced he’d pay extra to rent a house with issues in pursuit of a project. His work ethic and love for problem solving was enormous.
That zest for life followed him in all things. He loved fishing (with his buddies), wakeboarding (with his son), working out (with his child) and, above all, snowboarding. Bill was an extremely skilled snowboarder and had been in love with the sport for over a decade. He was known to play at feebleness to invite along younger men to board with him only to dust them and chuckle about it later. He took great pride in his skill. Perhaps the only thing he was more proud of than his snowboarding was his children (but this might be a debate). His love for the sport and pursuit of skill were indicative of his lifelong endeavors towards excellence, adventure and joy. Everyone who met him loved him. His loss will be felt keenly by all for years to come. Donations in his honor can be made to Upper San Juan Search and Rescue.