In the early morning hours of Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, our dad and grandpa, Claude William Dean Jr., forsook his broken earthly vessel and slipped quietly into the loving embrace of his Heavenly Father, Savior and friend. Dad was born Feb. 9, 1930, in Medford, Ore., to Claude and Peggy Dean. He was later joined by four brothers and two sisters. He spent a great deal of his life in Oregon, with many years in southeast Alaska and Orofino before settling with his wife, Marjorie, in Clarkston in 1989. Dad was a logger by trade, working in the Northwest and Alaska. Logging was in his blood. Even in his final years, he still dreamed of going back to Alaska and driving a log truck. Dad was a hard worker and could not stand being idle. He had to be busy doing something, so he took on lawnmowing jobs. He was still mowing lawns, sometimes up to three lawns a day, until the age of 83. He took great pride in his own yard and vegetable garden. He and his garden were featured in the local newspaper at one time. He spent hours working in his yard and garden until poor health left him unable. He loved to hunt and fish and often talked of how much he missed it. Dad enjoyed spending time with his kids and grandkids, but boy, was he partial to babies. Watching this strong, masculine man going all soft and mushy over a baby could bring a smile to everyones face. The older grandchildren were often taken out to his garden to help him pick produce and were treated to trips out for ice cream. Occasionally, his orneriness would come out and he would terrorize them by pushing his false teeth partway out of his mouth. Im pretty sure all the grandkids know about this experience. Some would be amused by it, but others were not. Dad would just smile. He loved his ice cream and was partial to chocolate milk shakes. In fact during his final day with us, thanks to his grandson, James, those of us who were privileged to be there were able to be a part of him enjoying his final chocolate shake. For a few minutes, we laughed and kidded with him in his unexpected and final minutes of awareness and clarity as he drank his shake and expressed his gratitude for his friends and family. What a gift that was for those who were present. Most of all, Dad loved the Lord. He spent hours every day sitting at his kitchen table, reading his Bible and praying for every member of his family, as well as a long list of others. He wanted so badly for everyone to come to know Jesus, and he was never afraid to share his faith with anyone. Dad attended many churches over the years, but in his final years he was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Clarkston and participated in Sunday School and Bible Study at Orchards Community Church in Lewiston before getting out and around became too difficult. Dad was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie; his parents; his sister, Bernice; and his son, William (Bill). He is survived by his children and stepchildren, John, Craig, Larry, Kenny, Vicky, Sue, Mike, Robyn, Doug, Roy and David. He is also survived by his sister, Becky; and brothers Eldon, Bob, Joe and Mike; as well as 41 grandchildren and many, many great- and great-great-grandchildren. Our family would like to express our deep and sincere appreciation to Dr. Greggain, Dr. Kumar and Beth Blankenship for taking such great care of Dad over the years, and the staff at Prestige Care and Rehabilitation Center in Clarkston for the kind and compassionate care given to our dad and grandpa during his final days. We would also like to personally thank his best friend Bob Bryant, and his friends Bob and Doris Bevins, for offering their loving companionship and support to Dad over the past few years. It is also with great pride and respect that we thank Dads grandchildren, James Grogan and Darah Watkins, for being such a constant and faithful presence and help for their grandpa as he traveled through his transition from his earthly home to his heavenly home. Mom and Dad, you two get along and behave now, you hear? Merchant Funeral Home is in charge or the arrangements. A graveside memorial with family and friends is planned for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Asotin Cemetery. A private family covered-dish dinner is planned immediately after the service.

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