"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
Patrick Gary Dean, Sr. was born on July 29, 1933, to the late Georgia Lee Clarke and Henry Dean in Saluda, South Carolina. At an early age, the family moved to live with relatives in Philadelphia where their union produced three more children Edith, Russell, and Marvin.
As a school boy, Patrick and the Family resided in the North Philadelphia section of the city. He attended Mcintyre Elementary, Fitzsimons Junior High, and Simon Gratz High School. Patrick loved sports, especially football. However, because he suffered from rheumatic fever for about three years, he was unable to participate in sports or other childhood activities.
Around the neighborhood, "Little head Pat", as he was sometimes called, was one of the most loved people who didn't take any mess. He was a fierce protector of his sister, who remembers never having any problems in spite of the gang activity--all thanks to her big brother "Sonny" was affectionately known in the family.
After high school, Patrick was drafted into the Army where he was stationed in Hawaii, one of the few places that accepted African American soldiers. He served his country well and received an honorable discharge. While away, Sonny always sent toys home to his little brothers because family meant everything to him.
In 1960, Patrick started a family of his own by marring his childhood love, Yvonne Campfield who knew at age 7 that she wanted to marry Sonny. Their marriage and home were full of love. Derek, Patricia, and Patrick, and a host of adopted children completed Sonny's family.
To provide for his family, Patrick was employed by a steel company in Morrisville. Patrick is most known for his employment with Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). He worked at PGW for 30 Years before finally retiring in 1990 at the age of 57. Truth be told, Patrick never really retired.
With his unconditional love for family, Patrick gladly stepped up to be the primary caretaker for his mother in 1991 when her health began to fail. Until her passing in 1999, Sonny was by her side from watching Young and the Restless to traveling to doctor appointments. She wouldn't go to bed if Sonny wasn't there. His siblings were grateful for their big brother.
After the passing of his mother, Patrick worked in a series of fields; always keeping current with the newest wave of income streams: Patrick fixed cars, sold insurance, repaired plumbing, and as everyone knows, worked on heaters. Even when Patrick's health was failing, he would still take a call in the middle of the night to make sure the person at the other end of the line had a heated residence. He assured his family, that when people stop working, they die, and he said he was very much alive. This was evident with his most recent work as an Uber driver, a service he fulfilled up until his passing.
As Patrick's family expanded with the birth of grands, great-grands, nieces and nephews, his house became a place of fellowship and food. Patrick loved to cook, a passion he got from his father. On any given day, you could find him cooking chili, fish , pepper steak, lamb, beef, or any exotic meat, baking peach cobbler, or making chicken salad. You could not enter the Dean residence without being offered something to eat or drink, and "no" was not an acceptable answer. As much as he cooked, Patrick had the appetite to match. If he was ever visited in the hospital, no matter the time of day, he had a tray of food and extra sandwiches tucked away.
Patrick was an avid bowler. He loved bowling so much that he formed family bowling teams with his brother, sister-in-law, sons, daughter, and friends. He even organized a junior bowling team to ensure that his grandchildren carried on the bowling legacy. It was nothing for Patrick to be in three or more bowling leagues at the same time. For many years, Pat was the anchor and was counted on to bring in the win which he often did.
When Patrick wasn't bowling, eating, working or spending time with family, he was serving at the church. In his younger years, he was a member of Faith Baptist Church where he sang with the Paul Roberts Concert Choir and the Faith Baptist Gospel Choir. He later joined Thankful Baptist Church were he served faithfully with his wife Yvonne by his side until her passing in 2009.
As a member of Thankful up until his own passing, Deacon Dean proudly directed several plays, completed theological classes, and facilitated noon day classes and Bible studies. He truly loved conversing about Lord and spending time in worship and prayer. After a period of time, God blessed Deacon Dean with a dear and compassionate friend in Constance Johnson. Connie has been by Pat's side through his later years and has been a faithful encourager, caretaker, and loving companion.
Patrick loved his family and community. He served as a ward Leader and always had a strong opinion about the political condition of the city, state, country, and world. He would gladly tell you his perspective and engage in deep persuasive dialogue. Sonny was appreciated for his honest and straightforward conversations; if you ask anyone in the family about him, you will learn that he was insightful, easygoing, uplifting, and loveable. He also enjoyed sharing. As the family patriarch he always had a story to tell or wisdom to impart. He often gave advice to the surrounding community, as a neighborhood mentor. His passing on February 11, 2017, was a surprise to everyone.
Patrick was preceed in death by his wife, Yvonne. He leaves rejoicing with many fond memories three children: Derek (Karen), Patricia, and Patrick, Jr. (Jill); three siblings: Edith, Russell (Phyllis), and Marvin (Arneta); Five grandchildren: Tanganyika (Mike), Jasmine, Mare', Derek II, and Patrick III; two great- grandchildren: Seneca and Paris; a host of adopted children: Shelley, Melvin Jr. (Monica), Gina (Charles), Rosalie, Cynthia (Terence), Lorenzo, and Howard; a host of adopted grandchildren: Christine, Jennifer, Sherrell, Corey, Drew, Melvin, Uriel, Alexxis, and Terence; one adopted great-grandchild: Julian; a very special friend: Constance Johnson; 3 God daughter: Sharon, Donna, Cindi and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Humbly Submitted by the Family We love you,
Dad -Pop-pop - Brother - Uncle - Cousin -
Friend - Deacon - Child of God
Saturday, February 18, 2017
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Thankful Baptist Church
1608 W. Allegheny Ave
Philadelphia, Pa 19132
To send flowers to Patrick's family, please visit our floral section.