Hunting 05

Dean Robert Webster, R.Ph

May 19, 1937 ~ October 4, 2020 (age 83)


Always a man with a smile on his face and a kind demeanor, Dean left us peacefully at his home surrounded by family, on October 4th, 2020 to be reunited with family and friends that have passed before him. Dean R. Webster, 83, was born in Kalamazoo, MI the only child of Lyle F., and Mable E. (Cooper) Webster. Growing up, Dean's parents made sure he learned to work and earn his own money to buy and save for the things he wanted. Dean recounts his first job as pulling nails for 10 cents an hour, from an old house that was torn down by his dad, materials that were recovered and reused to build a cottage on Pine Lake. Odd jobs followed, such as mowing lawns, car washing and selling live bait for fishermen around the Kalamazoo area.

At age 12, Dean became a Kalamazoo Gazette paperboy delivering newspapers to homes on the East Side of Kalamazoo. Steadily handling more responsibility, Dean went to work at Stone's Pharmacy on East Main at age 14 working after school and weekends as a soda jerk. The owner, and Dean's mentor, Bernie Stone, suggested to Dean to consider Pharmacy as a profession. Dean was a 1955 Graduate of Richland Rural Agricultural High School and as Dean listened to his mentor, he graduated from Ferris State University in 1959, receiving a degree in Pharmacy. Dean became a Registered Pharmacist and practiced pharmacy in the Kalamazoo and Richland area for two years following his graduation. Dean learned of an opportunity to work for Abbott Laboratories in their Hospital Products Division, and was hired to become a Hospital products consultant for Abbott. He worked for Abbott Laboratories for 31 years and retired at age 55.

As a member of the U.S. Army Reserves for six years, Dean left with the rank of S/Sgt. Dean also gave his time freely in part as follows; 42 years as chairman of the board of appeals and chairman of the zoning board for Cooper Township. He became the longest appointed member to accomplish that tenure in the state of Michigan. Dean taught Hunter Safety for the state of Michigan for 20 years and served on the Board of Governors for the 36,000 acre, Hiawatha Sportsman's club in the Upper Peninsula. Dean was a judge at the Gilmore Red Barn Spectacular, judging early cars and trucks for over 20 years. Dean also spent 17 years as a volunteer at the Kalamazoo County Fair. Dean was one of the original investors and sat on the board of North American Manufacturing Company in Indiana for over 10 years.

Dean's motto was "Quality has no Fear of Time". He valued quality and gravitated towards things that could stand the test of time. He cherished family lore, and was always quick to tell a tale or story. A perpetual student, he read and kept current on politics and world events. Often you would hear Big Band music playing where he relaxed; tobacco pipe in hand Dean could identify the Band Leader of the era and the name of the song. An avid history buff, he would also be quick to recount a story he had seen while watching the History Channel; most often on something related to WWII, which was his war when he was a child. Dean enjoyed the outdoors especially, working on his farmland that his ancestors homesteaded before him. Dean had many interests including all things mechanical. Dean's depth of knowledge in the mechanical arts was astounding. His interests included woodworking, shooting, reloading, hunting and fishing, photography, Model A Ford cars; of which he was a 60 year member of the Model A Ford Club of America, and was a premier restorer and tinkerer of the Model A. Also special to him were John Deere two-cylinder tractors which he would use to work his farm.

Dean married Sandra K. Roush in 1959; Sandra passed in 2016. Dean remarried in 1992, to Frances M. Waters, R.N.; she survives. Dean's two children, Thomas L. Webster, (Kristen); and Laura A. Silverman, (Dave) both survive. Dean has 5 grandchildren, Kimberly, Claire, Matthew, Joseph, and Kaila, three great grandchildren, Emilee, Owen, and Lucy Kay, all surviving. Also surviving, is a special little dog, Sophie.

It is hard to put down into words simply here, in black and white, all the color of his life, and his family's colorful history. Dean left us with a legacy of many cherished and fun memories and will be missed greatly by his family. For many years he would remark following a trip or event, "What a Day", signaling the event, either planned or spontaneous, held significance to him. To all those that knew him, Dean cherished your friendship.

Cremation services will be held privately and Dean will be interred over his beloved "Meadowbrook Farm" in Cooper. Dean's wish is for a celebration of life party to honor his life and memory which will be held at a later date due to Covid restrictions.

Please visit Dean's personalized online guestbook at

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