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With great sadness, we announce the death of Linda Nicks Dean on January 6, 2024. Linda led a beautiful and rich life, and her greatest joys were her husband Tony, their four children, and their twelve grandchildren.
Linda was born in New Orleans on February 29, 1944, and shortly thereafter moved with her family to Mobile, Alabama. She graduated from Mercy High School in Mobile, where she was president of her senior class and associate editor of the school paper. One of her favorite pastimes was sailing with her Girl Scout troop and Scout leader mother in Mobile Bay. After graduation, she spent the summer working at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, where she summited the 14,000 foot Long’s Peak.
Linda received her B.S. in English from Spring Hill College in Mobile. At Spring Hill, she was associate editor of the student literary publication, and a member of the yearbook staff and the debate team. Linda met Tony during sophomore year and they married on August 27, 1966 - the last big party before all of their friends went their separate ways after college. It was the beginning of a magical 57½ years of marriage.
Linda and Tony headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts and while Tony was in graduate school, Linda taught English at North Cambridge Catholic High School until the birth of their first son, Paul. After Tony completed his studies in 1970, they moved to Columbia, Missouri, where Dianne and Melanie were born. While there, Linda was actively involved in school and community activities, including serving as president of the school PTA.
In 1979, the family moved to Westfield, New Jersey, where Linda again was actively involved in all sorts of local activities, including leading the Newcomer’s Club, actively supporting Junior League and starring as a high-kicking chorus line member of the PTA fund-raising musical. Occasionally, she exercised their rescue Siberian husky by letting Duchess pull her bicycle along the bike trail – an alarming practice she forbade the kids from copying. Thankfully, this form of exercise stopped when their fourth child, David, was born in 1982.
In 1983, the family moved to Clinton, in rural New Jersey, where they lived happily for the next 17 years. Linda once again was the president of the Newcomers Club and continued her enthusiastic involvement with all school and children’s activities, which now involved a great deal more driving. As the children grew, Linda started her own business, Office Supplement, which evolved into her serving as the executive director of the Hunterdon County Bar Association. She still found some time to take her Phantom sailboat out on the local reservoir and to adopt more dogs.
With the children grown and gone, the next 17-year adventure began in 2000 with Linda and Tony’s move to Golden, Colorado. Western life agreed with her and true to form, Linda quickly immersed herself in local activities. One highlight was serving as a docent at the State Capitol in Denver where she loved leading fourth graders on tours. She even managed to introduce a whole class to a surprised Governor Ritter one day. Another favorite activity was volunteering at the Golden Visitors Center where her southern charm was a big hit with visitors from all over. She continued her long-standing Junior League involvement and found Freckles, another wonderful dog to rescue. Once Dianne’s family moved to the area in 2004, Linda had the added joy of being a hands-on grandma.
A new tradition started in 2006, when Linda and Tony began visiting Hilton Head, South Carolina. Every summer thereafter, courtesy of Linda and Tony, the family has enjoyed a joyous reunion that has grown to include 22 family members. While restaurant reservations were sometimes difficult, this was a highlight of Linda’s summer, rivaled only by the grandchildren’s visits and all the family holiday celebrations throughout the year.
When Tony retired in 2017, they headed to Bethesda, Maryland to be near Paul, Melanie and David and their families, as well as to enjoy the lower altitude. Linda’s greatest joy in recent years was spending time with family. Linda and Tony moved to Ingleside at King Farm in Rockville last January and thoroughly enjoyed having so many new friends under one roof.
Through all those busy years of her wonderful life, Linda’s focus was always squarely on her family and her love knew no bounds. Her abundant love, energy and support formed the foundation of a rock-solid family bond.
Linda is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Anthony M. Dean, four children, their spouses, and twelve precious grandchildren: Paul and Kim Dean of Vienna, VA, and their children Aidan (15), Megan (13), and Camden (11); Dianne and Dan Rabbitt of Golden, CO and their children Andrew (24), Katie (22), and Hailey (14); Melanie and Rob LaCount of Bethesda, MD and their children Gabriel (18), Nolan (16), and James (14); and David and Molly Dean of Sandy Springs, Georgia and their children Caitlin (12), Conor (9), and Claire (5). Linda is also survived by her sister Jean Blake, who lives in Rockville with her husband Max.
We are so blessed to have had the joy of Linda’s faith-filled optimism, unfailing kindness, and outsized energy and heart for nearly 80 years. The example of her life and her faith will continue to inspire her entire family. May she rest in peace with God and the Blessed Mother.
The funeral mass is at 11 am on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church, 9601 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814. Family and friends are invited to share memories and fellowship beginning at 10 am. A reception will follow the mass downstairs in Caulfield Hall.