Brown-Wynne Funeral Home & Crematory

300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC


Robert Frank Dean

April 19, 1930March 11, 2020

Robert F. (Bob) Dean, 89, died Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Raleigh, N.C. A native of Naples, New York, he was a 1951 graduate of Cornell University and earned a Master of Arts Degree at New York State University in Albany.

In a series of careers, Bob was awarded the Bronze Star Medal as a Forward Observer and Firing Battery Commander during the final year of hostilities in Korea; he taught mathematics and coached the high school golf team for three years in Johnson City, New York and then joined IBM, where he was involved with an interesting variety of product development projects for 33 years. In 1965, those projects brought him to North Carolina. He completed his IBM career in 1990.

During his retirement, Bob was active as an actor and board member with community theaters in the Raleigh area; taught computer basics with the SeniorNet organization; served with United Way and United Arts committees; and enjoyed travel with his wife throughout Europe and The Americas. He was a member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. In 2017 the Deans moved to The Cardinal at North Hills as two of its founding residents.

He is survived by his creative and inspiring wife of more than 65 years, Elizabeth; his sister Betty Reed of Barrington, Illinois; sons Paul Dean of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jim Dean of Raleigh, and Bruce Dean of Steamboat Springs, Colorado; daughters-in-law Chloe Dean of Raleigh and Josie Freschi of Steamboat Springs; and three delightful grandchildren: Nick, Anna, and Smith.

Bob may be remembered for more than 50 years of original Christmas Cards--and for more than 16 years as editor of his neighborhood and family web site, The Poland Place News (final issue available at www.thepolandplacenews.com ). He also self-published two short books and wrote one obituary.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Bob's honor to Raleigh Little Theater or Meals on Wheels of Wake County.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.


  • A Service of Witness to the Resurrection to be held a later date


Robert Frank Dean

have a memory or condolence to add?

wayne crocket

March 23, 2020


Tracey Armstrong Powell

March 17, 2020

Liz, Paul, Jim, and Bruce:
I was so sad to hear the news about Bob. Many of my fondest childhood memories are with your family-- camping trips to Kerr Lake, Myrtle Beach, and other places.... Our frequent trips to Oriental back in the day included sailing lessons, playing bumper pool, and fending off the occasional shark that would wander into our cove. One of my favorite memories was watching the moon landing on July 20, 1969 at your house. I still have the T-shirt Bob made me when I was about 12 or 13 with the acrostic poem using my name. Having attended quite a few Cantey Awards night at RLT, the most entertaining ones were the ones where he was the emcee. I will miss him at family gatherings, especially the games he has led at Thanksgiving for more years than I care to admit. His witty sense of humor will never be topped. Rest in peace, Bob. See you on the other side. With love and sympathy, Tracey

Sarah Patz

March 17, 2020

We here at Raleigh Hearing and Tinnitus Center were deeply saddened to hear of Robert's passing. We sincerely enjoyed working with him, and he always brought a smile to our faces. Our sincere prayers and condolences are with his family.

Renee Werenko

March 17, 2020

Dear Liz and the Dean Family,

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear Bob. I am so grateful that I am one of the many whose lives he touched. His brilliant wit, and intelligent charm came through in every interaction I had with him or his editorial commentaries on family, friends, and the state of...absolutely anything :) Bob reading The Night Before Christmas to a couch full of kids as they grew from kindergarten to college will be a treasured memory for so many years and I am sure generations to come. Cheers to Bob Dean!

Cory and Mary Menees

March 16, 2020

Dear Liz,

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Love from,
Cory and Mary

Rennie Bidgood

March 13, 2020

What a great photo; such a face. This is the face of a great thespian. I wish I'd known him -- perhaps from Raleigh Little Theatre... perhaps from White Memorial Presbyterian Church... or better yet, from being in a play or any theatrical production.

But I never knew him. An email message from Raleigh Little Theatre led me here. And I kinda fell in love with the composite of his photo and obit, apparently self-penned. Before realizing his was an autobiobit, if you will, I thought I'd better get started on my own -- just like I'd better get started on my will. I'm running out of decades.

I love his self-penned obit -- all about how he lived. It's the em dash; the life between the born and passed dates that matters; the em dash. I love his face -- all the character and happiness of a thespian surrounded by theatre and love.

I have no doubt he is terribly missed -- and will be until met again.

RIP, Sir. Maybe catch you on the flip side of the dash.

Karen Fletcher

March 12, 2020

Bob will always be remembered by my family as a dear friend. He was always willing to lend us a helping hand or a humorous song for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Both Liz and Bob have celebrated Derby parties and Liz has helped my son Andrew develop a lifelong love of the Museum of Natural Sciences. We have spent many happy days on Bob's sailboat named "Bleu" down at their home in Oriental, NC as well as in Raleigh on beautiful spring days. When my father became ill, Bob was a constant and welcomed visitor to the nursing home. He loved to put on shows and tell stories to the residents. There are so many golden memories of this exceptional man and we will always keep them in our hearts. May God bless and keep you Bob.