Ronald Ralph Dean, 77
Ronald Ralph Dean, age 77 of Nashua, died Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, at Floyd County Medical Center in Charles City, with his daughter by his side.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, at The United Methodist Church in Nashua with the Rev. Sarah Namukose presiding.
Friends may greet the family from to 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
Ronald Ralph Dean was born on June 11, 1943, to Ralph and Luella (Scoles) Dean in Minneapolis, and when he was a young boy, his family moved to a farm near Nashua.
Ronnie grew up learning the value of hard work as he helped his parents with various farm chores while attending country school. He later attended Nashua High School and earned his GED degree.
He proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1964 as a machinist mate/fireman’s apprentice, and he saw a good deal of the Pacific Ocean — visiting Japan, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, and Australia, where he saw a young singer named Olivia Newton-John perform long before she was a world superstar.
His ship was stationed in California, and his buddy Hank was seeing Carolyn Hadfield. She took one look at Ronnie, and Hank was history. Ronnie and Carolyn were married on Oct. 6, 1962, and when he was discharged from the Navy, the couple made Nashua their home.
They had three children — Brian, Scott, who died in infancy, and Melissa — and “Pooch,” as Ronnie became known in Nashua, worked as a machinist for a number of area companies, most notably Hydrotile. He was also a member of the Iowa National Guard.
His kids remember growing up in a home with a father who worked hard, loved to snowmobile, was a member of the Nashua Fire Department, and enjoyed spending time with his family at the river. Ronnie was also an avid hunter — both for pheasants and wild asparagus; in fact, his buddy Fred and him had their “Black Book” that held super-secret information where to find the best patches of wild asparagus.
In retirement, Ronnie and Carolyn loved their “extended summers” at Blackhawk Park on the Mississippi River, which they called home from the beginning of spring to early fall. For Ronnie, “the river” was his little slice of heaven.
He was a big fan of the Chicago Cubs and NASCAR racing, and he was the proud grandfather of six, who loved their papa with all their hearts. Ronnie was a member of the American Legion and VFW; in fact, he was a member of a Legion post in Ottawa, Ohio, where his son and his family lived. He also held memberships in his life with the Nashua Boat Club and the Nashua Town and Country Club.
Ronnie loved his family and his country. He will be missed — both in Nashua and at “the river” — but he has left those who knew and loved him plenty of great memories that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Ronnie is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carolyn Dean of Nashua; one son, Brian (Wanda) Dean of Ottawa, Ohio; and one daughter, Melissa (Robin) Schmidt of Charles City; six grandchildren, Alexys (Nick) Schmidt, Montana Schmidt, Alexandria Dean, Annika Dean, Harrison Dean, and Hayden Dean; four great-grandchildren, Gracyn, Bennett, Caroline, and Matilda Sears; family friend, Kevin (Lisa) Capper, and their son, Bodee (Chelsea) Capper and his children, Caden, and Ellie Capper; their daughter, Jenna Capper.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Scott Allen Dean in 1968.