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Donald G. Dean, 93, Fairfield Gym Teacher

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Donald George Dean of Fairfield died Aug. 16 at the age of 93. Dean taught physical education in Fairfield Public Schools for 27 years.

Dean was born Dec. 26, 1917, in Nichols, N.Y., where he grew up on a farm. In 1941, the U.S. Army drafted him to serve in World War II. He was first stationed in Hawaii, where he survived the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Dean reached the rank of sergeant before leaving the military in 1945.

Dean then went on to study at Cornell University and Ithaca College. He also earned a graduate degree from New York University. He taught physical education in New York State for several years before coming to Fairfield in 1952. He started at Stratfield Elementary School and later moved on to the newly opened McKinley. Most of his time in Fairfield was spent at Fairfield Woods School. There he met his wife, Dorothy, who was also a gym teacher at the school.

Dean so loved teaching that he worked as a substitute after he retired in 1979. He also opened his own business repairing golf clubs to keep busy. Dean also loved camping and once took a 10-week camping trip across the country with his family. He would spend much of his later years on Maine’s Dodge Pond.

Dean is survived by two sons, Jefferson Walton Dean and his wife, Heather, of Fairfield, and Gordon L. Dean and his children, of Middletown, N.Y., as well as five grandchildren and many great-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy.

Dean was buried with military honors in a private ceremony Aug. 20.

Did you know Donald Dean? Share your memories in the comments below.

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