- About Us
Dean was born January 19, 1928, in Ozark, Missouri, the youngest of five children born to Claude Kent Dishman and Mary Sylvia (Shipman) Dishman. Dean’s journey took him from challenging early years of a broken home and poverty to remarkable lifetime achievements. He had a strong moral compass, along with character and integrity, that guided him through life. He loved God, his family, his country and his community. He had a strong work ethic that was incomparable, never quitting until the job was done and done right (“If you don’t have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to do it over?”) He loved the outdoors, the dessert, Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan. He relished life and all the adventures it brought. He took great delight in the joys of his family, the challenges of business and the warmth of friendships. His natural talents allowed him to excel at hunting, fishing, trap shooting, golf and flying. He had an uncanny knack for real estate and property development. He knew love only once, with his precious Patty Lee. His faithfulness and devotion to her were unfailing. Dean was unashamedly patriotic. In his later years, he was found standing as straight and tall as he was able, his hand over his heart and tears in his eyes as the National Anthem was being played on TV before a sporting event.
When Dean was young, his family moved to Boise, Idaho, and his older sister was able to get him enrolled at St. Joseph’s Catholic grade school. When he was 13, he was teasing one of the girls in his class. He picked up a clump of grass and threw it at her. The girl ducked, and the clod of dirt and grass hit another girl in the face. That’s how he met a feisty little Irish girl, Patricia Lee Murphy. He would end up marrying her on June 26, 1948. They both said that their lives began the day they got married. Dean attended high school at St. Teresa’s Academy until January, 1945, when he dropped out of high school and, with the permission of his mother, joined the Navy as soon as he turned 17. He was assigned to LSM 338 and went to Yokohama, the Port of Shimizu (where he helped raise mini subs deliberately sunk by the Japanese to keep the U.S. from getting them), and Hiroshima shortly after the bomb was dropped. After he was honorably discharged, he returned to Idaho in 1946, got his GED, and began working for First Security Bank. Within six months, Dean had been promoted to supervisor over 28 bank tellers, making $50 a month. The Bank was so impressed with him that they offered to pay for his night classes at Boise Junior College. Dean also joined the Boise Junior Chamber of Commerce (the JayCees), becoming the Director, as well as the organizer and Chairman of the first Soap Box Derby held in Boise on Capital Blvd. While a member of the Boise JayCees, Dean met Jay Hill, who offered him a job at his tire store, Hill’s BFGoodrich. As a businessman, Dean was shrewd and visionary. To improve sales, he made changes to the tire store, creating an area for offering firearms and even household appliances to the customers. Within a few years, Dean’s innovation had made the store the most profitable in the area, and Jay made Dean a junior partner. But Dean’s entrepreneurial juices were flowing, and he decided to start his own tire store. In 1961, he moved his family to Caldwell and founded Dean’s Goodyear. Dean’s business skills as a Goodyear dealer earned him five cruises to the Caribbean and a trip to Hawaii for him and Pat. During his time in Caldwell, Dean was a member of the Advisory Board of Salvation Army, on the Board of Trustees at Caldwell Memorial Hospital, a member of Rotary Club, a member of Caldwell City Planning and Zoning Committee, Director of the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, a member of the National Dealer’s Advisory Council for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Director of Ore-Ida Economic Development Association (along with Al McCluskey, he obtained the first sewer grant ever for the City of Caldwell), co-founder of the original Ducks Unlimited Chapter in Canyon County, Ducks Unlimited Sponsor, Ducks Unlimited State Treasurer, received Ducks Unlimited Conservation Award, Chairman of Aviation Committee of Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Caldwell Airport Commission. Dean had gotten his pilot’s license for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. During his 38-year flying career, he would eventually own a total of six airplanes. His passion for flying prompted his vision for a new, larger airport for Caldwell. Dean was appointed Special Airport Commissioner by Caldwell’s mayor to explore the possibility of relocating the existing airport. At no cost to the city, Dean conducted a feasibility study, a site selection study, and a public hearing on a new site. Dean coordinated efforts of Alpha Engineers and the City of Caldwell with the F.A.A. to prepare an environmental impact statement for the new airport. He then obtained maximum funding from both the F.A.A. and the State Department of Aeronautics for construction. Dean had a real estate brokers license, so he found a buyer and negotiated a cash sale of the old airport for the city. He also found a buyer and negotiated a cash sale of city property southeast of the old airport. Dean secured airspace dedication through Congress for a special “reliever” designation and supervised the zoning of the new airport as to F.B.O., Agriculture and private sectors. He negotiated new leases for the F.B.O., Agriculture and private hangers. Dean never asked for, or received, compensation from the city of Caldwell for his time and energy to see the project through. In 1976, Dean was presented with a specialized plaque “In grateful appreciation from City Council and citizens of Caldwell for your contribution of time, effort and leadership in bringing about Caldwell Industrial Airport”. The Caldwell Industrial Airport is now the second largest airport in the state of Idaho. Dean’s awards, plaques and trophies are too numerous to mention. They fill an entire room in his house.
When Dean retired from the tire business, he went into the cattle business for 18 years and had two cattle ranches. In the mid 1960’s, he purchased 40+ acres of land on the West Mountain side of Cascade Lake. He would fly prospective buyers up to view the property, and each time he did, he sold a lot. He saved one very special lot to build ‘The Cabin’. It was close to the lake and Dean’s grass air strip. Dean and Pat finished the cabin in 1969, and over the years, the cabin and their family grew. It was the source of countless wonderful memories for four generations. The family reunions each summer were called Homecomings, after one of Dean’s favorite songs.
Dean eventually owned three homes at the same time; his home in Caldwell, a condo in Indio, CA, and the beloved cabin at Cascade.
Dean passed away peacefully on Easter morning, April 1, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Dean is preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, his wife, Pat, and his daughter Diana. He is survived by his daughters Linda (Jim) Vavold and Debbie (Zack) Davis, nine grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild along with numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Lenity Senior Living in Caldwell and the ER and ICU staff at St. Luke’s, Meridian, for providing efficient, caring treatment for Dad/Papa Dean.
Mass will be celebrated on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Caldwell; inurnment will follow at Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell. Condolences can be given at www.flahifffuneralchapel.com