Earl Thomas Dean

August 9, 1987February 18, 2021

Earl Thomas Dean, age 33, of Boulder, Colorado passed away on Thursday, February 18, 2021. Earl was born August 9, 1987. No services are being planned at this time. In lieu of flowers donations to the charity of your choice.


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Earl Thomas Dean

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Ethan Edwards

March 1, 2021

As seen from this photo, Earl enjoyed to dance and have a good time!!
Earl and I met at Hoosier heights in Bloomington. We immediately became good friends and climbing partners, and took many adventure packed climbing trips to the Red. When back in Bloomington we would go to comedy shows, get late night food after bar crawls, hit local breweries, cook amazing food at home. We did it all! I could tell Earl would be a lifelong friend and he made my time in Bloomington special.
Of course our time in Bloomington had to end, and Earl moved to boulder and I moved back to Montana. I was excited for him because I knew he wanted to be in the mountains!
One of my favorite memories with Earl was when he drove up to Bozeman with Sean for my wedding. We climbed in the Gallatin canyon the day before and then the next day we partied and danced our minds off (as seen in the photo). He impressed my whole family with his dance moves, you can see my mother-in-law dying laughing in the background.
I wish there could be more Red river gorge trips, comedy shows and tinder stories. Earl you lived life like it was a celebration and always had so much joy. I will celebrate your life and all the great memories, you will be greatly missed brother, Love you Earl!

Carson Small

February 26, 2021

I first met Earl through the climbing gym in Bloomington, IN. He quickly became part of our btown climbing crew... just a group of friends that hung out in the gym, got food and beers together, and carpooled to the Red River Gorge on the weekend. Earl was somewhat new to climbing when I met him, but you could tell he was hooked. I remember asking him why he liked climbing and he started telling stories about surfing while in the Coast Guard... he just loved being outside and being active.

Overtime, we would get into all sorts of shenanigans, often because Earl was game to try things and not take life too seriously (I'm 6 years younger than Earl, but I still needed this reminder from him). He was always being goofy and making us belly laugh with some crazy story or weird pose.

I can't stop thinking about how, when Earl told some absurd story, he would be half talking/ half laughing... sometimes he would barely be able to get his whole story out as we all keeled over laughing at both the story and his delivery.

I miss you, Earl and those "good old days" <3

Mike and Saaraa Minson Hamirani

February 25, 2021

Our Red River Gorge trip wouldn’t have been the same without Earl. We met Earl for the first time in Kentucky and quickly felt welcome and fortunate to be around such a positive and fun person. We climbed and ate, laughed, watched movies, ate some more, bonded over hot tubs, whiskey and coffee contraptions and nerded out on physical therapy and science. Earl carried himself with ease and brought positive vibes wherever he went. We connected briefly after that trip when we ran into each other at mountain sun after climbing. We recently had plans to climb together in New Mexico and were so excited for him to be there. Even though we really only spent 3 weeks together, we talk about him all the time because he made such a long and lasting impression. Earl, wherever you are, we hope you have good coffee, a hot tub, and good skiing and climbing. We will carry you with us by trying to be more like you.

Meri Antin

February 25, 2021

Earl and I didn’t take the leap to date until recently. Similar to his previous partners (who he spoke so highly of) our romance blossomed from a friendship. First, I witnessed how everything he touched turned to gold. His unapologetically, unfiltered humor and caring nature made you want to dive into his warm soul and stay longer.

As we grew closer I remembered telling my girlfriends I couldn’t believe there was a beautiful man that existed like this; one that opened car doors, drove to your house to clean the snow off your car, truly looked into your eyes, was driven and intelligent but yet endearingly humble. He made it easy for you to constantly tell him how wonderful he was because someone as extraordinary as Earl deserved to be told it all the time.

My favorite memories from these past few weeks with Earl included dancing in his kitchen while whipping up sweet potato hash, staying up late sharing life ambitions and talking about everyone that played a significant role in Earl's journey. I adored the way he spoke about his friends, ex girlfriends and family members - Purely love and empathy. It was evident that the people in Earl’s life were what fueled him and were what brought immense joy.

One last memory with Earl was when we were driving home from a trail run, listening to Bay Ledges. Steering and shifting his truck with his left hand and holding mine with his right. I looked over at him, the sun setting behind him over the Flatirons. I saw a huge beaming smile on his face (you know the one I am referring to because you too have been on the receiving end of that magic). I remember in that moment thinking “This man knows how to breathe in all the senses, cherish the moments and appreciate the people involved in it.”

My heart aches for Earl’s loved ones that knew him for years and in many cases, a lifetime but it also brings a smile to my face knowing he was so blessed to have all of you in his life and vice versa. I am sending my love to each of you.

Joshua LaMar

February 25, 2021

Earl and I moved out to Boulder together in 2016. Moving into a town with so much adventure was like two kids in a candy store. We took every chance to get out and go climb and celebrate with a beer at local breweries. Earl found a new love for skiing the first winter we were here and never stopped. He would literally ski every month of the year, even if it was a tiny patch of snow on top of a mountain. Later he would learn to love biking and scrambling through the front range. Beyond his love for adventure he shared an equal amount of love for his friends. He'd cook us dinner, tell us endlessly entertaining stories, give us compliments, and buy us gifts. Earl always put a smile on my face and made me laugh. I will never forget our good times together. There were plenty of them.

Here's a picture of Earl climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park.

Tyler Rohr

February 25, 2021

This is a small memory but it is something that always stuck with me, long after my brief time with Earl passed.

We had met on the internet probably, or maybe a mutual friend, and we were both new to Boulder looking for climbing partners. About 10 minutes into meeting each other, while shuffling across a Tyrollean over boulder creek, I watch a-gasp as my phone fell in the creek. I had forgot to talk it out of my pocket. When Earl joined me on the other side and saw my flustered disposition, he calmly said some thing to the tune of,

"No drama, I have a spare iPhone I can give you."

And he did.

We fell out of touch after climbing a few times, but I had that phone for years, and it always reminded me of the kindness in people.

Im so sorry for your loss. Earl will be missed wider than you know.

Angie Summerlot

February 25, 2021

Earl is my baby brother and there are so many memories that I was blessed to share with you over the years. Even though we were 13yrs apart, there was so much that you taught me and inspired me to do. I love you so much and will carry you in my heart forever.

Sean Buehler

February 24, 2021

Earl was the closest thing I've had to a big brother, and I looked up to him like one. I thought he was cooler than the other side of the pillow. Cooler than Ice-T. Cooler than a powder day at Eldora. I tried to emulate him in so many ways it's not even funny. Most recently this included growing out my mustache because his looked so sweet (mine was decidedly not as sweet).

Earl meant more to me than I'm even sure I've yet realized. Over the years, we traveled across the United States pursuing bigger and better climbs together. I felt so comfortable and safe with him as my partner, and he always motivated me to push harder. He taught me about multi-pitch climbing, cooking, beer, bikes, skiing, and yoga. But he taught me even more without knowing it. Like how to lift the spirits of an entire room with nothing but a smile, or how to show my friends how much I really love them through presence and patience. He did these things by pure example, and with a humble nature that spoke to the magnitude of his love for others. He was one of my greatest role models.

As my life became busier and more stressful these past few years in medical school, Earl made it a point to reach out every now and then to see how I was doing, and to tell me how proud he was of me. His support meant the world to me.

In November, we were able to share one last trip together to Red Rock, a place that was special for both of us. He didn't know it at the time, but I was in the middle of some of the most challenging and dark months of my life. The days we spent climbing, laughing, and pushing each other in the midst of total desert splendor buoyed my soul enough to push through my personal darkness, and his huge, goofy smile and radiant heart were the fuel for that renewal.

I am so grateful to his family for producing someone that brought such light to my life and to countless others.

"Per Ardua Ad Astra"
Through struggle to the stars.

Susie Dean

February 24, 2021

Earl Dean was my stepson, but to me he was a son. And I loved him that way he lived with me and his father during his time at IU. He was passionate, caring about everything he loved and believed in. He prepared wonderful meals so I wouldn't have make dinner when I got home from work. He was very driven when going for his degree and never let things side track him. He loved all his family and friends and our heart is broken without him. But life is more precious for the 33years we had him in
our lives. Always loved and in our heart!

Sarah Spencer

February 24, 2021

Earl was an incredibly kind, generous, gentle, and loving human being. He was always ready for an adventure and found humor and joy in most everything. To me, he was a friend first, and then a lover. He treated me like a queen and was so compassionate and chivalrous. He made me laugh every time we were together. My most cherished memories together are attending live concerts (Avett Brothers, Local Natives, Kishi Bashi, Jose Gonzales to name a few), rock climbing (typically in El Dorado canyon), drinking beer (at New Belgium, Avery Brewing), and cooking amazing food together. Earl made a huge impact on my life and brought so much joy into it. His smile would always light up a room and his beauty (both inside and out) was so special. My heart aches for the pain he endured, and for his family/friends pain. I hope to god wherever he is, he’s on the top of a scenic multi-pitch climb with a yummy IPA. We love you Earl 💚