David C. Dean, MD


          David C. Dean, MD

   19 April 1931 – 21 May 2018

Dr. David Campbell Dean was a beloved doctor, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and great-uncle. In all of the many roles he held and to all he served, he brought love, joy and curiosity. He not only wished for patients, family members and strangers he encountered to be healthy, but also actively helped them heal through lively conversation. A question master, Dr. Dean sparked life in those he spoke with, helping them realize that their opinions, their stories, and their lives mattered.

Dr. Dean had Maine in his DNA. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., to parents from Maine (mother Eleanor from Guilford and father Archibald from Portland), Maine held a special place in his heart. He followed his father’s footsteps and graduated from Bowdoin College (1952) and on to medical school at Johns Hopkins (1956).

The summer before he graduated from medical school, he found the perfect woman, Jean Lord Butler. Daughter and stepdaughter of prominent physicians, she was born and raised in Bangor. They met when friends of their parents asked ‘the Deans’ to look out for Jean when she came to Buffalo (what she then thought was the end of the Earth) for occupational therapy training the summer of 1955. They were engaged within weeks and married by the time David graduated in June.

They visited Jean’s parents (Dr. and Mrs. James Howard Means) at their summer home on Isle au Haut, but when the family got larger and the trip to Isle au Haut more challenging, Mrs. Means sold her Bangor home and bought the family summer home on the Shore Road in Manset (Southwest Harbor) in 1964. And, so began the 50-plus-year love affair with Mount Desert Island.

Dr. Dean embraced every inch of the area. He met lifelong friends and supported the community (patron of Acadia Repertory Theatre, Camp Beech Cliff, Friends of Acadia, Maine Seacoast Mission and more). In addition to Acadia Rep, he would regularly attend lectures at the Claremont Hotel, the Jackson Lab and College of Atlantic. He dug in to the history of the island, of the community, of the people who called the island home (summer or year round). An avid tennis player, he participated in countless Causeway Club round robins and won the “Over 100” Mixed Doubles Championship with Susy Flack in 1997 and 2000.

He loved to socialize. His tall stature made him easy to spot. His joy of life and friendly teasing nature was disarming and contagious. His favorite day of the summer was the Fourth of July — where he would get the family together to head over to the Bar Harbor Athletic Field for a day of fun (starting with the blueberry pancake breakfast, then on to the Independence Day parade, lobster races, seafood festival and craft fair). So many new people to meet! His opening line would generally be “Where are you from?” He would immediately lean in to learn more about them, and also offer up tips from the island.

What he loved most was the sea — sailing or motoring around the inner islands, lunch at Islesford Dock restaurant, touring through SWH and NEH, checking in on the various osprey nests, fishing for mackerel or bass from the mooring, or sitting on the shore for a great lobster cook out. In addition to being on the sea, he loved what could be harvested from the sea — sometimes things others would question! He would stop and pick up fresh seafood from the “little van at the head of the harbor” — and swore that eating pickled herring for breakfast would help him live longer.

Dr. Dean’s day job was as a cardiologist. He was at the forefront of preventive medicine, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of heart disease. He loved his profession and he continued to practice medicine through his last days.

From 1959 until 1961, Dr. Dean was instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and in 1960, he served as a cardiology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital under the founder of preventive cardiology, Dr. Paul Dudley White.

From 1962 to 1991, he served as chief of cardiology at the Buffalo VA Medical Center, where he built the first cath lab in 1962 and worked closely with Dr. William Chardack, Dr. Andrew Gage and Wilson Greatbatch, who developed the first successful implantable pacemaker in the world, before working as a consultant for many hospitals in the Buffalo area.

Since 1961, he served as a clinical professor of medicine and clinical professor of rehabilitation medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. His two-year Cardiology Training Program at BVAMC turned out 60 cardiologists. He published 64 articles in refereed journals, edited the book “Interpreting ECGs, An Advanced Self-Test Guide” and gave lectures on cardiology around the world.

By his family and friends, Dr. Dean will always be remembered as an inquisitive, adventurous person who led a life full of rich conversations. He taught by example the art of inquiry: with an easy laugh, tall stature, and nodding head, he asked people questions that stretched them outside of their comfort zones while making them feel worthy of a full interview. He had an insatiable, infectious curiosity that propelled him to talk to anyone, no matter their occupation or relation to him. He knew that he had something to learn from all types of people.

David will be remembered for his keen intelligence, inquisitive nature, zest for life and love for all people. All those whose lives he touched are healthier because of him.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 62 years, Jean (Butler), and children Bruce, Keith (Therese) and Laurie (G. James) Baird, grandchildren Jenna, Mari, Julia, Lisa Baird (Patrick Price) and Brian (Lisa) Baird, and great grandchildren Ava, Piper, Nicholas and Sophie. He was a loving brother to Sylvia (Robert) Raban and Archibald and the late Donald S Dean; loving brother-in-law to Anne Dean and Beth (George) May; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Archibald and David Dean Scholarship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, c/o Helen Kennelly, The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, 750 East Pratt St., 17th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202.

A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at the Causeway Club “Red Barn,” 10 Fernald Point Road, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.

Online condolences may be shared at www.thedietrichfuneralhome.com.

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