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Ernest Dean '54 February 18, 2021 3:01 PM updated: February 18, 2021 3:28 PM

Ernest Frank Dean
August 23, 1932 - February 4, 2021

Ernest Frank Dean?? died February 4, 2021, in Mansfield, Texas, after a brief illness.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel Frank Dean and Mollie Geneva Freshour?, and his brother, Durward Stanton Dean (Susanna Glancy).

His birth on ?August 23, 1932 in Athens, Texas, set in motion a life that brought him to the heights of the business world, but also kept him firmly grounded in faith and family. Although he lived all over the world, he never lost his taste for fried okra, green onions, and crowder peas. He graduated from Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, and received his Associate’s degree from Tyler Junior College. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University, graduating in 1954. While at Texas A&M, he proudly wore his boots as a member of the Corps of Cadets and he continued in the Aggie tradition throughout his life.

After graduating, he went to work for the Atlantic Refining Company in Odessa, Texas, where he met his beautiful wife, Gloria Fay Kisinger. They married in 1955 in Red Springs, Texas; soon afterwards, he served in the Army for two years. Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, he was second in command at the Petroleum Products Testing Laboratory at Fort Lee, Virginia. After leaving the service, they returned to Odessa and he continued working with the Atlantic Refining Company and its successor, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) until 1989. Most of his working time was spent in oil drilling and exploration.

Ernest and Gloria traveled all over the world as he continued his career with Atlantic Richfield. The couple and their children lived in Punta de Mata and San Tome, Venezuela; Tripoli, Libya; Sydney, Australia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Chatsworth, California; Tehran, Iran; Hong Kong; Dubai, U.A.E.; Zhanjiang, China; and London, England before retiring to his hometown of Athens, Texas.

Ernest is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Gloria, his four children and their spouses: Matthew Stanton Dean '81 (Kelly Jeanne Howard), John Anderson “Andy” Dean (Colette Christina Hutchings), Deborah Fay Dean Dufour '84 (Joseph Earl Dufour), and George Edward Dean; ten grandchildren and spouses: Kelsey Claire Dean Griffith (Launey Patton Griffith), Carter Gresham Dean, Christine Elise Dufour Khokhar (Kanwaljeet Singh Khokhar), Kayla Nicole Dean, Parker Howard Dean (Jessica Rae Trevino), Allison Michelle Dufour Etchison (Bo Nathaniel Etchison), Riley Anderson Dean (Claire Rebecca Allen), Brandi Michelle Dean, Katherine Elaine Dufour, Mallory Jaye Dean Schultz (Adam Christopher Schultz), and three great-grandchildren: Jordyn Elizabeth Sosa, Thompson Dean Griffith, and Mehar Singh Khokhar. Ernest is also survived by brother-in-law Carl Kisinger (Syble Jo Reid), sister-in-law Shirley Ethel Kisinger Reynolds (Thomas E. Reynolds), cousin Robert Jack Dean, and nephews Daniel Frank Dean (Michelle Blom) and Michael James Dean.

As a Christian, Ernest was always involved in the church wherever they lived, whether it was in missions, as a choir member, Sunday School teacher, clean-up crew, usher, deacon or church pianist. He loved to play Texas Forty-Two, tennis, and was an avid golfer. In later years, he was a member of The Gideon Society and served as a volunteer for the Athens Food Pantry, towing his trailer to deliver food to the pantry for those in need. He was also a founding member of Shady Oaks Baptist Church in Crossroads, Texas. He and Gloria were also dedicated volunteers and patrons of the East Texas Arboretum. Ernest loved his wife, Gloria, his family, and above all, his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Memorial donations may be made to two endowed scholarships at Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas, 77840 or, either account# 04-33878 - Ernest F. Dean '54 Endowed Scholarship or account# 04-33992 - Gloria and Ernest Dean '54 Endowed Foundation Excellence Award, Shady Oaks Baptist Church, or The Gideon Society. Funeral services will be held at Shady Oaks Baptist Church on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 2 pm, with a graveside burial following at Shelby Chapel.

© Autry's Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home

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