Dean was a complex man of many talents, virtues and highly imaginative ideas. Ontario-born, he lived most of his life on Vancouver Island where he applied his creative skills in auto body painting and restoration; owning his own successful business.
Fuelled by adrenaline, his journey took him to many places with his loves…Harleys, dogs, fast cars, old trucks, nature and women. His knowledge of antique/ classic vehicles would astound you. John Prine music/stories was never far from him.
Dean had many friends from a whole gamut of lifestyles…childhood friends, 12 step programs, his profession, street life, bikers, and in his last couple of years enjoyed the peace and solitude that home life offered him. Penny, the Pug became his best friend!
He had a charisma that was infectious…one was either attracted by it or not…he accepted both! His compassion for others was an attribute that humbled him when it was acknowledged. He offered cigarettes, clothing, money, and support of every kind to anyone who needed or wanted it. Dean said many times “this is my way of paying back society”.
He loved Campbell River for it’s surrounding nature. One would see him on a bench peacefully watching over the ferry terminal, fish boats, sea animals and the beautiful sky. He would call me and share what he saw.
We were sitting on his favourite bench one day, looking at the pile of rocks in front of us, and he pointed out that the rocks are all placed so strategically and naturally so as to support each other; the small ones keeping the bigger ones sturdy, and together the rock wall was a strong supportive entity. Just like a community should be…..
Our prayer for Dean’s legacy is a message for hope and immediate need to resolve the crisis of downtown street life in our community.
It’s mind-boggling and unfortunate that that is what took him out.
He is missed by his Mom and sister in Ontario, special friends Betty-Jean and Chester and the many people who he touched throughout his life.
His favourite t-shirt reads…. “We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
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