Steven Wayne Dean passed from this life Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at the age of 71 after a six-month battle with cancer. His loving wife Beverly was by his side.
He was born in Creston, March 4, 1949, the oldest child of Wanda and Bill Dean. He grew up in Griswold with his parents and little sister, Cis. He graduated from Griswold High School in 1967. On May 25, 1974, he married the “woman of his dreams,” Beverly King in Atlantic.
He and mom lived in Le Claire, Greenfield and New Hampton — starting their family with two kids and making great friends along the way. They made what was expected to be a brief stop in Newton, had another son, and ended up calling it home for 34 years. Over the years, Mom and Dad had several opportunities to relocate to Kansas City but always turned it down for us kids. You can imagine their surprise when all of us kids fled Iowa for Kansas City immediately after graduation. In August of 2018, we convinced them to move to Kansas City to be near us, the grandkids and BBQ! Despite the move, there is no doubt he considered himself an Iowan ‘til the end.
Dad had the best smile, loved his family and his dog, Ally, who preceded him in death in July. He loved tradition, family history and traveling with friends. He loved sports and played baseball in his youth commenting “there was no better gloveman than me, but speed was not my friend.” He cheered on both the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones and would tell us “we should all be proud to hail from a state with two great universities.” He also loved the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals. It pained him a bit when his daughter Lindsey decided to marry a die-hard Cubs fan. He came around and even helped Ryan paint a Cubs-themed bathroom in their first house. He could often be found on the sidelines and was proud to watch his kids and grandkids play football, golf, baseball, basketball and cheer. He was a craftsman like his father and passed this on to his kids. He loved to build things and collect tools. He was often sentimental about them because of the stories, person or history of which it reminded him. One more story about Dad’s tools and “things” … Mom and Dad had a great union — but it was at times a source of marital strife when she would decide to clean the garage and take some things to the curb — only to find that he brought them right back into the garage or to his “secret” storage unit.
Dad worked in the telecom industry his entire career, starting as a lineman and working his way through many positions and more telecom companies than could be counted during the telecom boom and bust of the 1980s and 90s. He retired as an engineer from Windstream in 2017. He loved the people and took much pride in his work with colleagues over those years; however, his true passion was cooking. He was famous for his amazing recipes which ranged from soups to wings to his famous oatmeal pie with homemade cinnamon ice cream. He spent free time researching, testing, changing and handwriting recipes for his recipe book. Dad loved warehouse shopping and held dual memberships at Costco and Sam’s Club so he could make sure to have his cabinets fully stocked for his next great dish.
In 2012 he took his passion on the road, launching the family BBQ team, Skunk River BBQ. He loved talking BBQ and carried a picture of his Jambo smoker with him so he could trade stories with anyone who shared his passion. Together, Dad, Jeff, Andrew and often Uncle Darrell, traveled the country to more than 75 barbecue competitions, enjoying much success including coveted awards at the American Royal BBQ Invitational in 2018 and 2019. He loved nothing more than a “call” (award) at a BBQ competition. He was so proud of their team and while he would likely deflect the title to the boys, he was and will always be our Head Pitmaster.
Steve was preceded in death by his loving parents, Arthur William (Bill) and Wanda Dean. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Beverly Dean; children, Lindsey (Ryan) McDonald, Jeff Dean and Andrew (Scottie Ann) Dean; grandchildren, Madeline and Andrew McDonald, all of Kansas City; sister, Cis (Randy) Bates of Griswold; and many other loving family and friends.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers you use your time to share a recipe with a friend, cook a meal with family or take your dog for a walk. If you feel compelled to do more, donate to the Kansas City BBQ Society Foundation or Operation BBQ Relief. He was proud of the work they did recently to offer relief after the derecho in Iowa. We know both groups would be worthy stewards of any donations sent their way in honor of our amazing dad.
Steven’s visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Rieken Duhn Funeral Home in Griswold. The new Governors guidelines state that only 15 people may be in the funeral home at one time (this includes the family). We will do our best to accommodate everyone during the visitation time. If the funeral home has 15 people, you may have to wait until an opening occurs. Masks will be required. We appreciate your patience and understanding.