Jan Irvine Dean
Jan Irvine Dean – known by her loved ones as “Gran Jan,” entered eternal life September 7th, 2015 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Jan was born on February 18th, 1925 in Jacksonville, Texas – the only child of Jacob and Bess Marie Irvine. She married Thomas Scott Dean, of Sherman, Texas, on June 1st, 1945. Jan was preceded in death by her husband Tom, daughter Tamarie and son, Dixon Lee. She is survived by her son, Thomas Scott Dean Jr. and his wife, Karen, of Stillwater, Oklahoma; her three grandchildren, Kira Frisby, and David Dean and Tamarie Rushin; and her great-granddaughter Stella Frisby.
Jan received both her Bachelors of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University, where she was a proud member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She taught freshman composition and honors English at both Oklahoma State University and the University of Kansas, where she worked until her retirement.
Three things stand out about Jan, three of her deep loves and passions: Her family. Her Husband. Her imagination. Volunteering and, of course, any and all dogs. Ok so five things, she was an active lover and liver of life! If you knew Jan, you know that any letter or note you have ever sent her, she kept, whether you sent it fifty-years ago or five months ago, because she was a keeper of memories, she lived in those memories, those letters, her journals, especially after Tom died but really throughout her entire life. She was magic with words – living and making every moment on this earth, while doing the same in the world, places and people she held closely to her heart and within her imagination. Jan was a passionate, artistic, creative person. She loved to read, was a self-taught pianist, enjoyed traveling (she was born to see the world), was a published poet, involved in numerous book clubs and writing groups, had two big green thumbs, and her love of dogs was contagious and deep. She volunteered for over 30 years, and was the recipient of the “Volunteer of the Year in the Lifetime Service Category” through her work at Audio Reader, which brought her endless hours of joy.
A memorial service for family and close friends will be held at 10:00 a.m. September 26, 2015 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to KU Audio Reader, P.O. Box 847, Lawrence, KS 66044 or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 516 W. Third St., Stillwater, OK 74074 or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
Hello family of Jan Dean! You do not know me, but Jan, my mother (Izzy Billington) and Wanda Legeko were friends and sat together daily for their meals at Renaissance Assisted Living. I visited them 4-5 times a week the last year my mother lived there before being moved to the Memory Care Facility. I oftentimes visited during a meal because it was especially fun to visit with Jan. We shared our love of reading and when I found out she enjoyed poetry, as did my mother, I brought her some poetry my grandmother had written and often recited to us children as we were growing up. My mother, whose memory was failing, could always remember those poems and she would recite them to Jan, Wanda and me with great drama and expressions! All four of us would laugh and laugh! It was such fun as Jan greatly enjoyed sharing her poetry too. Even though my mother, and now Wanda have lived in the other building for over a year and a half, I have brought both of them over occasionally to visit with Jan. I also visited with her the Thursday before her death. She was reading, of course, but we held hands and talked. She was a wonderful person with such a caring heart! We will miss her sweetness and positive attitude and send you our deepest sympathies! Hugs and love to all! Jill Webber
Jan’s élan made her a favorite among School of Architecture faculty wives and a legendary hostess. An invitation to Jan’s annual New Year’s Day open house always meant the new year got off to a gracious and optimistic start. I miss her.
I’m very sorry to hear of your mother’s death. She lived across the street from my parents, Jim and Polly Reed, and I visited with both Jan and Tom upon occasion when I would visit my parents. Jan and Tom were both lots of fun and very interesting. Mom and Dad are gone now, as are Jan and Tom, and we miss all of our older generation very much. My condolences on your loss. I will remember your parents fondly.
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