Amherst Magazine

John W. Dean '59

John W. Dean '59 died November 24, 2009.
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Losing John was to lose some light into our heart of laughter. John made us happy people with a smile that we absorbed with delight. He continued to smile through hard years when his body began to impede his abilities to work and, more importantly, interfere with his beloved game of golf. MS eventually made him pretty much housebound. He wanted so much to be at our 50th Reunion.

After Amherst, John headed to Fordham Law, then on to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. One note to Alice opined: “I could not have found a better mentor for younger lawyers. John was tireless in teaching the proper way for an attorney to act, always taking time to go beyond the black and white of the documents we were preparing and explain the reasons behind the actions.”

He married sweet Alice Kinsey 44 years ago, and together they raised two children, Emily and Peter. His give-back to his community was immense.

John was a storyteller and could entertain at length. He enjoyed Broadway’s musical theater and heartily participated in the annual Milbank Mighty Arts Players as a songwriter and lead performer.

Bill Pozefsky adds, “The John I knew was unfailingly positive, optimistic and light-hearted. It was a joy to spend time with him. He was a wonderful friend who always made me feel good.”

Dick Spaulding writes, “We all remember John’s laughter. John could talk and laugh at the same time with the laugh adding meaning and emphasis to the words. Occasionally the laughter got the better of the words, and John would have to pause to realign his faculties. John’s predominant laugh was a clear projection of enjoyment. I think John’s laughter let us know that he enjoyed his friends as much as we enjoyed him.”

—Hank Poler ’59

 

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