December 30, 1963 – August 11, 2019
Dean passed away on August 11th, 2019 at his home, surrounded by loving family and close friends. He died as he lived, courageously.
He leaves behind family, friends, colleagues, and students whose lives were enriched through the course of his outstanding journey. Dean accomplished a great deal in his 55 years with us. The true tragedy of our loss lies in what he would have done if he only had more time.
Dean was a soldier, a professor, an elected official, an aspiring parliamentarian, and a successful venture capitalist.
Dean served proudly in the Canadian Army Reserve, being commissioned as an artillery officer at the remarkable age of 17. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and commanding officer of Vancouver’s 15th Field Artillery Regiment – the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.
Dean was a lifelong learner. Student president of D.W. Poppy Junior Secondary, he chose to leave Langley Secondary School after grade 11. He applied to Douglas College at age 16 as a ‘mature student’ graduating from Bishop’s University in Quebec at the age of 20. He later earned his MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Paris, France, and his PhD from Cass Business School at the City University of London in the United Kingdom. He also picked up his CGA-CPA and FCCA designations in accounting and finance along the way. Dean taught business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for 25 years. He was a keen student of history, literature, and language, a voracious speed reader who developed fluency in the French language through years of determined study, notable for someone born, raised, and nearly a lifelong resident of the Fraser Valley.
Dean was a visionary and successful entrepreneur. He always attributed his biggest success to picking business partners he said were smarter than himself, building a number of successful businesses with operations in Canada, Europe, and southeast Asia. These included Carmanah Technologies, BackCheck, and CubicFarm Systems. He considered himself lucky to work with many talented and dedicated people. He was especially sad to be leaving his primary business partner, Dave Dinesen, just when their next big adventure is taking flight.
Dean was a lifelong activist in the Conservative Party of Canada, joining at age 12, serving on the national executive of the Progressive Conservative Youth Federation from the age of 16. After finishing university at age 20, he worked in the Prime Minister’s Office under Brian Mulroney. Returning to Langley after completing his Ph.D, he was elected twice to township council. He was instrumental in the construction of the 208th Street overpass connecting Walnut Grove with the rest of Langley, the construction of the Walnut Grove Aquatic Centre, and the elimination of the township’s debt. He ran for Parliament twice, where he earned the respect of supporters and opponents alike as a principled champion of the Conservative cause and a tireless campaigner.
Dean was active in his community and humanitarian work. When he was 16 years old, he toured United Nations refugee camps in southeast Asia with his local member of Parliament. Upon returning to Langley, he organized sponsors to welcome families of Vietnamese refugees. For his service to Canada, Dean was awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Canadian Forces’ Decoration, with two bars.
Dean leaves behind two daughters, France-Victoria and Lutece-Britany, whom he loved with all his heart. He is survived by mother Sharron and sister Shelley. He hoped to see his father Tom again on the other side.
Dean was an honourable man who kept his word, made friends through earned respect, and kept his confidences as a man. Dean was never boring.
A memorial service and celebration of life for Dean will be held on Saturday, September 14th at 1:00 pm at the Langley Events Centre Banquet Hall, 7888 200th Street, Langley, B.C.
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