Thomas Dean Sr., the father of former Austin Weekly News editor Terry Dean, died Feb. 7, 2015, after a long battle with various illnesses. He was a prostate cancer survivor, but had Parkinson’s disease, first diagnosed in the early 2000s. He also had congestive heart failure, to which he finally succumbed. He was 81.
Thomas was born in Memphis on June 20, 1933, and grew up during the Great Depression. He came to Chicago as a teenager on his own to work and live with relatives here. He later worked at Navistar, formerly International Harvest, as a machinist for 35 years, retiring in 1994. He and his wife Mary, also a Memphis native, were married for 55 years. They had five children, including Terry, Lettita, Talman, Thomas Jr. and Yvette. His wake was Wednesday Feb. 11.