Harold Joe Dean


January 28, 1939 - September 25, 2017

Harold Joe Dean, 78, of Coos Bay passed away peacefully Sept. 25, 2017 at home surrounded by his family.  He had pancreatic cancer.  Cremation rites have been held under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary.

Harold was born Jan. 28, 1939 in Hood River to Lucy B. (Carter) Dean and two years later adopted by his loving stepdad Samuel H. Dean.  Early in Harold’s life, his family moved to different states looking for work.  Harold attended elementary school in Texas, Arizona, Calif., and Klamath Falls.   He and his brothers occasionally helped their parents pick cotton, peaches, and potatoes.  His family finally settled in a small town of Myrtle Creek where he finished his junior high and high school years.  Harold played football from 8th to 12th grade and lettered each year.  He loved fast cars and became extremely talented in the mechanics of them.  Having a car was very important to Harold.  He worked odd jobs and saved his money to buy his first car which was a ‘49 Mercury.  He would volunteer his time after school at an automotive shop, so he could learn more about the trade.  Harold was also very adventurous while growing up and some might have even called him a “rebel” in his teenage years.  However, that seemed to change once he met a young woman named Juanita Stimson whom he courted four years before marrying.

After graduating from high school in 1958, Harold and a friend went to Alaska and worked in a cannery.  After two weeks, Harold returned home and worked at Keystone Mill for one year and earned enough money to go to college at Oregon Institue of Technology in Klamath Falls. After completing his first year, Harold came back to Myrtle Creek and went back working at the mill so he could earn enough money to finish his schooling.

Harold and Juanita married, Aug. 6, 1960 and traveled to Coos Bay for their honeymoon.  The following year, their daughter Stacy was born.  In late 1961, Harold moved his family to Klamath Falls so he could finish his degree in automotive at OIT.  In 1962, after he earned an A.A.S. degree in Auto Mechanics Technology their second daughter, Terry was born.  The family traveled back to the coast buying their first home in North Bend.  After 12 years of living amongst the fog, Harold and Juanita purchased several acres in the country and built their forever home.

Harold worked at several automotive shops as a mechanic including Bay Motors and Automotive Electric before venturing out on his own in 1977 and opening his own business.  He named it Harold’s Englewood Automotive.  His automotive business of 24 years was highly respected and successful.  In 2001, he retired.  Harold was an avid hunter and fisherman.  He enjoyed the outdoors, working in his yard, family gatherings, but most of all, he loved his grandchildren.  To his great-grandchildren he was known as “Papa D” his drawer full of goodies, warm hugs, rides on the tractor and watching cartoons.

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He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 55 years, Juanita, who passed away with pancreatic cancer in 2015.  He is survived by his two daughters and sons-in-law, Stacy and Brad Gulseth of Coos Bay and Terry and Mike Schmidt of McMinnville; seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren; brothers, Steve and Ray Dean of Myrtle Creek.

A celebration of life for Harold will be celebrated at a later date. At his request, Harold’s ashes will be laid to rest alongside of his wife, Juanita during a small family and friend gathering.

Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, 405 Elrod Ave, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.

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the life of: Harold Joe Dean
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