The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

James B. Dean


MARQUETTE, Mich. — James B. Dean, 82, of Wakefield, died Monday evening, May 13, 2013, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette with family at his side.

He was born June 18, 1930, in Birmingham, a son of the late J. Boyd and Irene (Rohloff) Dean, and was raised in Mohomet, Ill.

James was a decorated veteran of the Korean Conflict and served in the U.S. Navy, assigned to destroyers and submarines stationed in San Deigo, Honolulu, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, Va., and Charleston, S.C., retiring in 1967 as a chief petty officer after serving 20 years and one day.

On Sept. 28, 1957, he married the former Dorothy Nurmi on the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois.

Following his retirement from the Navy, James made his home in Wakefield and worked for the White Pine Copper Mine from 1968 to 1992 as an electrician.

James was a member of the VFW and attended All Saints Lutheran Church where he helped with the Church Men’s Group and had served on the Church Council in the past.

He was also active in the Wakefield Cardinal Booster Club. He enjoyed attending Navy ship reunions, fishing trips to Isle Royal and Canada, playing golf and truly treasured time spent with his grandchildren, especially attending their various activities and events.

James was always quick with his wit and generous with his time and talents. His gifts of laughter, love and sincerity will be remembered by all who knew him.

He is survived by Dorothy Dean of Marquette; children, Daryl (Mary) Dean of Rhinelander, Wis., Karl (Dianne) Dean of Chanhassen, Minn., Kevin (Diane Miller) Dean of Wakefield, Liisa (Carl) Waara of Grayland, Wash., and Sarah (Matt) Jackson of Marquette; grandchildren, Christopher, Timothy (Alicia) and Kolin Dean, Sarah (Mike) Pentek, Jacob Dean, Lindsy, Courtney and Sam Dean, Evan Waara, Lucas, Hayden and Chloe Jackson; a brother, Bill (Wanda) Dean of Champagne, Ill .; a special sister-in-law and friend, Martha Nurmi; his beloved dog, Toto Too; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Marilee Drew.

A memorial service will be held in August 2013 at All Saints Lutheran Church in Wakefield. A date will be announced.

Something that James felt very fortunate to have been able to do during his life while healthy, was visiting the U.S. Navy Memorials in Washington D.C. In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting contributions be made in his memory and honor to the U.P. Honor Flight, a non-profit organization that transports veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit their memorials at no cost to them. Memorial contributions can be made at, or by mail to: Upper Peninsula Honor Flight, c/o Community Foundation for the Upper Peninsula, 2420 1st Ave. South, Suite 101, Escanaba, MI 49829.

Jim’s family would also like to thank everyone who served him so well at D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans during his short time living there. They filled his last weeks with dignity and honor, recognizing his sacrifice for this country and honoring that every single day with their compassion and care. We are grateful for this beyond description.

The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home in Marquette is assisting the family where memories may be shared at


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