E. Dean Jones, Sr. passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 23, 2023, at the Good Samaritan Society in Waconia, MN. He was 85 years old. Funeral Service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the Kolden Funeral Home in Belle Plaine. Chaplain Helmar Heckel will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will follow service at Oakwood Cemetery in Belle Plaine. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Foundation at www.good-sam.com/foundation.
Dean was born in Kansas City, MO, on December 19, 1937, to Jack and Dorothy (Olson) Jones. He was the second of three children. His parents moved to Omaha, NE, in 1942, when he was five years old. He attended Saunders Elementary and Central High School (class of 1955), where his favorite subjects included Latin, History, and Math. At Central, he proudly participated in the ROTC program all four years. He also formed friendships that lasted throughout his life.
After high school, he attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he studied sociology and anthropology. His experiences at Central High and Carleton College left an indelible impression on him, reinforcing for him the value of being a well-educated person.
In 1962, he met Mary Swanson, after being set up by friends on a blind date – it was love at first sight. The night they met, at the end of their date, they walked around the block in the rain because they didn’t want the evening to end. They married on October 28, 1962, at the First Presbyterian Church in Omaha, NE.
Dean started his career as an advertising copywriter for the Omaha World-Herald. He worked in advertising agencies in Omaha and Lincoln before joining Fultz, LaCasse & Greenlee in Des Moines, IA. He was subsequently hired by Samuel Schwartz, his longtime mentor and friend, as head of marketing for Ardan Catalog Showrooms.
He spent the last part of his career as a database marketing expert, working for firms in Fredericksburg, VA, Boulder, CO, Chanhassen, MN, and Houston, TX. He was known for his ability to increase response rates by building sophisticated database models and combining them with creative direct marketing techniques. His work was recognized by the U.S. Postmaster General. He retired in 1999 and, with his wife, moved back to the Minneapolis area in 2003.
Dean was passionate in his love of architecture, particularly the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and visited nearly all of Wright’s buildings in the U.S. He loved to cook, having learned by watching Julia Child on public television. He was an adept gardener and knew the botanical names of the plants he grew. He was an enthusiastic dog owner and raised two Airedales (both named Jenny) that he loved like children. He was a talented writer and could write in a way that was clear, compelling, and unfussy. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music and history and art – and was particularly interested in classical literature, formed by his early Latin studies at Central High.
But the two great passions of his life were his family and his faith. He was devoted to his wife, Mary, for 54 years, until her death in 2016. His four children and two grandchildren were a constant source of pride and joy for him. While he was raised in the church, he became a born-again Christian in 1978 and his faith in Jesus Christ sustained him through the end of his life.
Dean is preceded in death by his wife, Mary; his parents, Jack and Dorothy (Olson) Jones; and his sister, Judi E. Anding. He is survived by his brother, John E. Jones; his children, E. Dean (Mark Brodeur) Jones II, Margaret Jones, Thom Jones and Sarah (Joe) Musco; and his granddaughters, Isabel (Matt Beich) Bengtson, and Reilly (Bradey) Pahl.
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