Richard "Drew" Dean

16 January, 197023 August, 2022
Obituary of Richard "Drew" Dean
Richard "Drew" Drews Dean, age 52 passed away on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. Born on January 16, 1970, Richard Drews Dean, known to all as “Drew,” died suddenly while windsurfing on his beloved Hood River on August 23, 2022. Those feeling the weight of his loss may find some comfort knowing the Medical Examiner believes Drew had a sudden medical event and did not suffer. He was a faithful constant to all who had the pleasure of being part of his family as well as a true, keen friend, and a brilliant, compassionate colleague. When he was two and his family lived in Connecticut, eldest sister Carolyn was vexed that she did not have an outlet in her bedroom for her new electric blanket. Unnoticed, Drew toddled from the second floor down to the basement, found a three-way plug, toddled back upstairs and wordlessly handed it to Carolyn. All who knew Drew, as a beloved son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, friend, and colleague, will recognize Drew, the man, in Drew the toddler. He was always observant, thoughtful, independent, practical, humble, and as kind as he was brilliant. As a student at La Jolla High, Drew would be called down to the main office when they experienced computer problems. During this period of the mid 80’s, he also earned his spending money setting up and programming the PCs and VCRs of a large swath of La Jolla. His prized possession was a powerful Sun Microcomputer, and decades later he liked to note how much more capable his iPhone was. Drew found his intellectual home when he transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in 1990. He graduated from CMU in 1992 and went to receive his Phd in Computer Science from Princeton University from 1994-1998. His mentors and colleagues at both schools became lifelong friends with whom he would do important work in the field of computer security. Drew worked at Palo Alto Research Center, Stanford Research Institute – a work home he returned to more than once–Yahoo, Qualcomm, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) and Amazon, where he was a Sr. Engineer. Upon hearing of Drew’s passing, his friend and colleague Hassen Saidi wrote, “He was an amazing colleague and a fantastic computer scientist and human being. He leaves an immeasurable void. When the history of crypto research is written, people will realize the impact of his DARPA years.” As a son, brother, uncle, and friend, Drew shared his passion for travel, music, great food and good wine; he generously treated his niblings to culinary experiences their parents would never have sprung for. Drew is survived by his parents Richard and Sheila Dean of La Jolla, California, his sister and brother-in-law Carolyn Dean Stafford and Toby Stafford of Manchester England, his sister and brother-in-law, Julie Dean and Paul Wedderien of Rockville Maryland, and their children Claire, Anna and Lew Wedderien. Drew was quietly generous. His favorite charities in recent years included Habitat for Humanity, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the West Seattle Food Bank and, above all, Fare Start. In lieu of flowers, we would suggest a donation to one of these or to the charity of your choice in Drew's honor. Memorial Services for Drew will be held on November 17th, at 10:30 am at All Hallows Church, 6602 La Jolla Scenic Dr S, La Jolla, CA 92037.

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Thursday, 17 November, 2022

Funeral Mass