Deane Automotive Center
Richard “Dick” Dean was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Riverside, Connecticut. He enlisted in the Navy shortly before the end of World War II, then went on to graduate from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in English.
In early 1952, Dick came to Denver and worked for Capital Chevrolet at the corner of 13th Avenue and Broadway. Marvin Milsap, a former Denver Chevrolet zone manager, was the dealer there, and he generously agreed to move Dick from department to department, through an informal training program, starting in the Service department.
Roy Mason, general manager, bought out Milsap a couple of years later. In 1953, Dick went to work for Motors Holding Division of General Motors and spent the next six years in various cities around the country, mostly as branch manager.
Dick returned to Denver in 1959 and purchased the Buick dealership on East Colfax and Forest Street from Bob Gerardot. After moving to South Colorado Boulevard in 1963, Deane Buick operated there for 31 years. In the 1960s, Dick added GM’s Opel line, then added Saab in 1975 when the business became Deane Buick-Saab. When he added a Dodge franchise, it became Deane Automotive Center, Inc.
Dick’s real passion was civic engagement. He was committed to Denver and worked to improve the city’s environment, business climate and opportunities for children and youth. He was particularly passionate about early childhood education and development.
Dick served on numerous business and non-profit boards, including the Denver Chamber of Commerce, Mile High United Way, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and The Clayton Foundation. Also, he served on the Denver Planning Board, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation and Winter Park Board of Trustees.
Dick passed away in the fall of 2016 at age 89. He was married to Zyla for nearly 61 years and is survived by three children and three grandchildren.