Loyal A. Dean

April 26, 1924May 31, 2021

Loyal Albert Dean, born April 26, 1924 and passed away May 31, 2021. His name was, in fact, his story. Marked by an unwavering sense of devotion, Loyal Albert Dean’s life was lived in service to his Savior, family and country. Born in rural Sunfield, Michigan, Loyal graduated from Spring Arbor High School and attended Lansing Community College. He married his wife of 76 years, Arlene Tracy Dean, at Central Free Methodist Church in 1944, where they sang together in the choir and remained members until the end of their lives. In September of that year, Loyal was drafted into the United States Navy and served as a classified mail carrier at Pearl Harbor, delivering news of the Japanese surrender to the Battleship Missouri at the end of the war. Toward the end of his tour, Loyal was asked by a Navy barber if he knew anyone who could cut hair. Always up for a new challenge, Loyal volunteered for the job, mastered the traditional Naval buzz cut, and a new career took shape. After leaving the Navy, Loyal returned to Lansing, enrolling at Michigan State to follow his dream of becoming a conservation officer. But when he and Arlene learned that a second child was on the way, Loyal enrolled instead in barber college to provide for his growing family. Loyal opened Dean’s Barber Shop in 1950 and spent the next 65 years as a Master Barber.

Loyal and Arlene shared a love for travel, returning to Hawaii, visiting nearly all the US states and twice to Europe. Loyal was a talented athlete, playing baseball as a pitcher in high school and later pitching in baseball and softball city leagues. He competed in bowling, and played golf well into his early 90s. Loyal also loved music and sang tenor at church and the Men of Orpheus Choir, even played in a harmonica ensemble. Loyal was an extraordinary gardener. His back yard was filled with fruit trees and vegetables. Each year he would give away bushels of apples, peaches, pears, squash etc. He gave his all in whatever he decided to do.

What’s in a name? In the case of our beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather, the answer is simple: Loyal - one who was guided by faithfulness, courage and enduring love, a proud WWII veteran and family man with humble beginnings. Loyal’s passing on Memorial Day is emblematic of his story, a true legacy.

Loyal was preceded in death by his beloved wife, just 10 weeks prior, parents Raymond and Maud Dean, sister Charlotte Ella Campbell and brothers Franklin, Lawrence and Duane. He is survived by sister Asenath Taylor (Harry), daughters Linda Dean, DeeAnn Galbreath McCormick (Mark) and Bethany Patton (Paul) and twin sons Joel (Jenifer) and Jack, as well as six grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Carol McDonell, the caregivers at Vista Springs Promissa and Grace Hospice, who made the end of his life dignified and peaceful.

A Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday, June 7, 2021 at Central Free Methodist Church, 828 N. Washington Avenue, Lansing with visiting one hour prior. Interment will follow at Deepdale Memorial Gardens, Lansing. Visitation will be held from 4-6 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home Lansing. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution may do so to Central Free Methodist Church. To leave an on-line condolence for the family please visit


  • Joel Dean
  • Jack Dean
  • Andrew Galbreath
  • Aaron Galbreath
  • David Thorne
  • Joe Livckas
  • Eric Lammers
  • Kenneth Taylor



  • Visitation

    Sunday, June 6, 2021

  • Visitation

    Monday, June 7, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, June 7, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Monday, June 7, 2021


  • Order of Service for Loyal A. Dean


Loyal A. Dean

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Carol McDonell

June 7, 2021

My dear Friend Loyal was true to his name. He was genuine in his giving, caring and compassion. He was one of, if not, the most positive people I had ever met.
His infectious personality made for me to be an absolute better person. The last few years of knowing both him and Arlene will never be forgotten, leaving an imprint in my heart forever.


June 7, 2021

It was always a pleasure to see the Dean Family at Central church A faithful family and ready servant there. They shared their talents of singing and sharing the Lord. Now he may join Arlene in Heaven

Beverly Maier

June 4, 2021

Our Haitian church (Calvary Free Methodist Haitian Church) so loved Loyal when he would come and join us in worship. He would always have an encouraging and loving word to share about what the Lord had done in his life. Now he is with the Lord he so loved and while we grieve our loss of him, we rejoice in his eternal life.