Gary Matthews - Day in Review
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Donald Dean Vance

Donald Dean Vance

Donald Dean Vance

- February 13, 2020

Donald Dean Vance was born July 4, 1926, in Dupree, SD, to the family of Carl and Lorna (Robertson) Vance.  He attended twelve years of school in Dupree.  Between his junior and senior years of high school, he worked in the shipyards in Long Beach, CA, where he met Shirley Temple!

     In 1944, Dean enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a signalman on an escort aircraft carrier in the Pacific Theatre.  He was the first on board to learn that Japan had surrendered!

     Dean attended Northern State Teachers College in 1946 and 1947 before serving as Assistant Postmaster and clerk upon his return to Dupree.  After leaving the Post Office, he left Dupree to work in East Los Angeles, then he returned to Dupree, purchasing the Ziebach County Abstract Company in 1952.

     In 1959, Dean became a single parent of three very young children.  He sold his business and moved to California, where he was employed in the title insurance industry in San Diego until 1968, when he became Regional Manager for St. Paul Title Company in Boulder, CO.  In 1986, Dean became Chief Title Officer of a national title company in Phoenix, AZ.

     In South Dakota and Arizona, Dean held high offices in the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and later became a member of the American Legion honor organization, 40 et 8.  While in San Diego, Dean served as President of the East San Diego Exchange Club, and was appointed Chairman of the 1966 State Convention of the California Exchange Club.

     Dean was recognized in “Personalities of the West and Midwest,” in their 1970-71 edition for his service to the community and state.  In 1972, Dean was awarded a Certificate of Merit for distinguished service to his community, and he was listed in “Volume IX Dictionary of International Biography.”

     Dean moved back to South Dakota in 1985, settling in Spearfish.  Having spent most of his adult life serving veterans and performing community service, he immediately began volunteering at Ft. Meade Medical Center, serving nine years “on the inside,” then later as a volunteer driver of the Disabled American Veterans hospital van for the Northern Hills.  Dean had previously driven a DAV van in Arizona for three years, so he very proudly accumulated a total of fifteen years serving veterans.

     Donald "Dean" Vance, 93, of Spearfish, died Sunday, February 3, 2020, at Department of Affairs, Fort Meade Veteran's Administration Hospital.

     Dean is survived by a sister, Marilyn Wenlund of Spearfish; a son, Donovin Sprague (Debra) of Rapid City; two daughters, Lorna Blamey of Boulder, CO, and Jolene Vance of Louisville, CO; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

     Dean was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Darrel Dean; his two brothers, Vernal Dale and Carl Wayne; his sisters, Shirley Jeanne, Wilma Lavonne, Wanda Arlene, and Joyce Maxine.

     Committal services, with military honors, will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery on Monday, February 17, 2020.

     In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ft. Meade Medical Center: 113 Comanche Rd., Ft. Meade, SD 57741 or your local Autism Society: Autism Society of the Black Hills, 505 Kansas St., Rapid City, SD 57701 and Autism Society of Colorado, P.O. Box 1313, Golden, CO 80402.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785