John Madison Dean of Via Ponticello in Florence died on 4/22/2023 after a long illness. He was 59 years old. He was born February 21, 1964, in Chattanooga, TN to Creston Wingo Dean, Jr. and Mildred Ulm Dean. He was a descendant of the Dean family of Spartanburg County, SC that had been in that county since 1785. Though born in Tennessee, he always called Spartanburg his hometown.
Surviving him are his beautiful, loving wife, Cherrie Johnson Dean of the home; a son, Alex Dean of Florence; a daughter Ravyn Dean (Corey) of Florence and a step-son (who was like his own) Rhys A. Miles (Hannah) of Florence. He is also survived by two sisters, Candace Dean King of Stockton, CA and Linda Portell of Colleton County, SC; a brother, Creston W. Dean of Richland C, SC and a number of nephews and nieces. He is predeceased by his parents and a brother, Mark E. Holland.
Mr. Dean graduated from Robert E. Lee Academy in Bishopville, SC and Francis Marion College in Florence, SC. He was once an employee of Sumter Dairies and Dilmar Oil Company. In 1989, he began his career at the United States Postal Service as a rural letter carrier on Route 10 in Florence. To say his customers came to love him would be an understatement. Many became close friends over the years. He was a past District President of the South Carolina Rural Letter Carriers Association and was the Association Representative in the Florence Post Office for 8 years. Illness forced him to retire in 2020 after 30 years of service. John loved his job. Mr. Dean was also a trained educator, though he never took up the profession.
Mr. Dean was a longtime member at St. Ann Catholic Church in Florence and then St. Anthony Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus at one time. In recent years, he attended Central United Methodist church with his wife, but remained an avowed Catholic. He was sad to have to abandon attendance at Mass due to his illness. He did watch Catholic Television every day. He had a special attachment to the Blessed Virgin Mary who obtained a small miracle for him from Our Lord. He was also devoted to St. Peregrine, the patron of cancer patients.
Mr. Dean enjoyed reading, especially history and biographies, traveling with his wife making beautiful memories, watching almost all sports, and doing genealogy research. He enjoyed studying the Divine Liturgy of the Church and praying the Divine Office. He was a self-proclaimed expert on all things Spartanburg and the Royal Houses of Europe. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his wife Cherrie whom he absolutely adored and was his best friend. He loved his pets, especially Bean Dean, Rajah, Sir Winston the cat and Gidget, who he called the best dog ever.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 PM Friday, April 28, 2023 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church 113 S. Kemp Street Florence, SC.
In lieu of flowers, make a donation to the V Foundation, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge, Jacksonville, FL. or the McLeod Foundation Hope Fund.
Through his long illness he never gave up the fight nor lost his faith.
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