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Dr. David C. Dean

March 28, 2021

Visitation: No Prior Visitation
Service: SATURDAY, June 9, 2018: A Memorial
Service will be held at 6 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo. DEAN – Dr. David C.
May 21, 2018, beloved husband of Jean
(Butler) Dean; loving father of Bruce,
Keith (Therese) Dean and Laurie (G.
James) Baird; loving grandfather of
Jenna, Marielle, Julia, Lisa (Patrick)
and Brian (Lisa); great-grandfather
of Piper, Ava, Nicholas and Sophie;
loving brother of Sylvia (Robert) Raban,
Archibald and the late Donald Dean;
beloved brother-in-law of Anne Dean
and Beth (George) May; also survived
by many nieces and nephews. No
prior visitation. A Memorial
Service will
be held at 6 PM on Saturday, June 9,
2018, at Westminster Presbyterian
Church, 724 Delaware Ave., Buffalo,
NY 14209. In lieu of flowers, please
send memorial gifts 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.
Online condolences may be shared at April 19, 1931 — May 21, 2018

Dr. David Campbell Dean, who served as Chief of Cardiology at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 1962 to 1991, pioneered medical innovations, received awards, held offices, educated his peers and published research papers.

But his defining trait went far beyond his interest in science and medicine, his family said. It was his unwavering interest in people — relatives, friends, patients, colleagues and even strangers.

"He loved people, loved to talk to people, loved to find out their stories," said his daughter, Laurie Dean Baird.

On May 21, Dr. Dean, a powerhouse of intellectual curiosity, accomplishment and activity whom his daughter nonetheless described as "a county doctor," died in his Snyder home. He was 87.

At 6 foot 3, Dr. Dean would lean down for face-to-face conversations, Baird said, an experience that some found too intense. But for others, especially his patients, being so thoroughly heard and seen would be both refreshing and reassuring.

"He was sort of a country doctor," his daughter said. "People could call him at home, his patients would bring him gifts, the neighborhood kids who needed physicals would come over. The door was always open."

Although Dr. Dean closed his office a few years ago, he remained active until his final weeks, reading EKGs and providing independent medical evaluations, said his daughter. "Mentally, he was very strong," she said.

Dr. Dean was born on April 19, 1931, the oldest of four children of the late Dr. Archibald S. and Eleanor (Genthner) Dean. The Maine natives brought their family to Western New York when Dr. Archibald Dean, who was also a professor at U.B., began work at the Department of Public Health of Western New York State.

Dr. David Dean graduated from Amherst Central High School in 1948, earned his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in 1952, and graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1956.

In the summer of 1955, he met Jean Lord Butler, also a Maine native, when she came to Buffalo for Occupational Therapy training. They married on June 9, 1956.

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.

He then returned to his hometown. Beginning in 1961, he served as a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the U.B.’s School of Medicine.

He was Chief of Cardiology at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 1962 to 1991. Dr. Dean worked with Dr. William Chardack and Dr. Andrew Gage, who conducted pioneering work on the first implantable cardiac pacemaker, and the three co-authored multiple publications between 1964 and 1981.

Dr. Dean authored 64 journal publications and edited the book "Interpreting ECGs, An Advanced Self-Test Guide." He trained 60 Cardiology fellows and interns and gave lectures on cardiology all over the world.

After stepping down from the V.A., he worked as a consultant for many hospitals in the Buffalo area, including Buffalo General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Millard Fillmore.

Dr. Dean was a three-time winner of the Physicians Recognition Award from the American Medical Association and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Federation of Clinical Research and the Council of Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association. He founded a chapter of Mended Hearts and was an official adviser for the national advisory board of that group.

Dr. Dean belonged to many medical associations, including the Paul Dudley White Society and the International Society for Heart Transplant. He helped train local first responders and firefighters in CPR. He served as president of the Buffalo Academy of Medicine, the Association of VA Cardiologists, the Health Science Library and the Gross Medical Club, whose meetings he attended through the last months of his life.

A lover of both the arts and sports, Dr. Dean held season tickets to the Buffalo Philharmonic and sponsored the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine. Since 1970, he held season tickets to both the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He was also a consultant for medical care of Sabres players.

In 1964, the family started summering on Mount Desert Island, where Dr. Dean enjoyed hours on the water in his powerboat. "He was very jovial, and loved to tease," his daughter said.

An avid tennis player, he participated in countless games and competitions at the Causeway Club in Maine. He and a partner won the ‘Over 100’ Mixed Doubles Championship in 1997 and 2000.

"His definition of family was a friend of a friend of a friend," said his daughter. "He loved to make connections among people he met."

Dedicated to education, Dr. Dean established the Archibald and David Dean Scholarship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2009.

On Christmas Eve, with his health failing, Dr. Dean gave his wife of 62 years a handwritten note that said, "May you have many more healthy years." With what his family called "this simple yet profound gift," Dr. Dean communicated his wish that his wife "live well and long, even as his own health was declining."

Besides his wife and his daughter, he is survived by two sons, Bruce and Keith; a sister, Sylvia Raban; a brother, Archibald Dean; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday in at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave. BUFFALO, N.Y. AND MOUNT DESERT ISLAND

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


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