MILTON-FREEWATER - Robert H. Dean, 84, of Milton-Feewater, a World War II veteran and mechanic for the company that built the first rocket to go into outer space, died Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007, at his home following a lengthy illness. The family will hold a private celebration of life today at the home of his son Charles Dean.

Mr. Dean was born Feb. 1, 1923, the son of Albert and Florence Hazeldahl Dean in Moorhead, Minn. He married childhood sweetheart Ruth Wilson before leaving to fight in World War II where his U.S. Army unit took part in the invasion of Normandy. After his honorable discharge, he worked as a general mechanic for various companies including the company that built the first rocket to go into outer space.

Mr. Dean was a loving family man. He is survived by his wife of 65 years; sons Charles Dean of Milton-Freewater, Jack Dean of Livingston, Texas, and Steven Dean of Reno, Nev.; daughter Janette Kangas of San Diego; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sister Doris Anderson of Fargo, N.D.; and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and two sisters.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Walla Walla Community Hospice in care of Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.

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