Twin Falls Native, Farmer And Seed / Bean Pioneer Dies At 100
A lifelong resident of Twin Falls and founder of the Idaho Seed Bean Company passed away this week at the age of 100.
Most of us will never truly know what it feels like to devote a lifetime to studying, improving upon, and physically sacrificing for a passion that demands patience, exactness and a vast, scientific understanding. That's what Leslie L. "Bill" Dean did routinely in the state of Idaho for almost 80 years.
In the early morning hours of August 29, 2019, Bill Dean passed away from natural causes at Syringa Place in Twin Falls. Dean was a man that gained respect and recognition--on a global level--from others in the industry. He worked in the fields on his property, at 3637 North 2700 East, until he was 96.
Bill Dean graduated from Hollister High School in 1937. He went on to study plant pathology and became a bean improvement assistant at the College of Idaho until 1939. He obtained both a bachelor's and master's degree in agriculture, and in 1951 graduated with a PhD from Purdue University.
As far as gaining recognition in the industry, Dean received his share of professional commendation. He authored the Bacterial Blight Control Order, which outlines protocol for farmers dealing with diseased crops, that is still practiced by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. In 1973, Dean was awarded the International Bean Improvement Cooperative - Meritorious Service Award, and in 2000 was honored with a Lifetime Meritorious Service Award from the University of Idaho.
On a personal level, Dean was my wife's last remaining grandparent. Although I only found myself in his company a handful of times (or less), he was always cordial. I last saw him at a celebration for his 100th birthday, which was February 4, 2019, at Rock Creek Restaurant, a favorite spot of his. I was fortunate enough to share a glass of scotch with him at his residence a few years back.
Dean is survived by his seven children, Patricia Dean, Dorothy McMaster, Laurie Dean-Evans, Elizabeth Dean, John Dean, Holly Homan and Truman Dean.
Services will be held at Parke's Funeral Home, in Twin Falls, on Friday, September 6, at 11 a.m.