In Memory of




Obituary for Mary B. Dean

Mary Belle Dean (McClellan), born May 19, 1925, near Cass, Arkansas, died January 29, 2023 in Jefferson City, Mo. She went to her Lord and Savior and to be with her husband, John K. Dean, who passed away on June 7, 2001. She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Johnann McClellan of Ozark, Arkansas; and by all five brothers, Jay, Forrest, Monta (Mun), Miles Fredrick (Wood), and Jim.

Mary and John are survived by: two sons, Kenneth D. (Charlotte) of Columbia, Mo. and Michael K. (Linda) of Jefferson City, Mo.; five grandchildren, Justin Dean, Megan Jarrett (Justin), Andrea Spain (Chris), Andy Dean and Sherry Dean; and eight great grandchildren.

Mary was introduced to John Dean by her brother, Miles Fredrick (Wood) who had been John’s school classmate. They were married March 13, 1943, in a field near Ozark by a Justice of the Peace. She once joked that the marriage party consisted of a couple of cows who wandered through.

While John was away in WWII, Mary worked at a canning factory in Ozark, at a clothing factory, and at a grocery store in Fayetteville. After the war and John’s return, they settled in a mountainous area near Cass, locally known at “Fox Hollow.” They raised their family and cared for John’s mother. In addition to homemaking, Mary also drove a school bus.

The family subsequently moved to Clarksville, Arkansas and a year later to Doniphan, Mo., as John followed job opportunities. One of those opportunities led to an offer of employment in Jefferson City in 1955 for Central Electric Power COOP, where John worked until his retirement in 1979.

Mary worked at Simonsen Junior High School cafeteria for several years as a cook, cashier and assistant manager. She became part of the initial staff at the new Gerbes on the east-end, and subsequently moved to the new west-end store when it opened. She was employed by the Gerbes/Dillon Company for over 30 years. She continued working part time for many years thereafter, as she loved meeting and talking to people from all walks of life.

In 1956, the family became members of Memorial Baptist Church. Mary served the church in the infant care unit for over 50 years. She took an active role in the Golden Circle Sunday School Class. She loved every member of this unique senior group. Mary was a regular attender until she gave up driving at the age of 95.

Mary loved her family and watching each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow and prosper. She was a great cook and enjoyed canning produce from their garden and sharing their bounty with friends and neighbors. She continued to live in the family home that she and John bought in the mid-1950s, until moving into an assisted living apartment at Heisinger Bluffs in April of 2021. She stayed there until her move to the skilled nursing facility at River City Living Community in early January of 2023.

Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 4, 2023 with her funeral service following at 11:00 a.m. in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend David Newton officiating. Graveside services and entombment will be held at the Mausoleum of Hawthorn Memorial Gardens.

A webcast of Mary’s service will begin at 11:00 a.m. Saturday for friends that are not able to attend by going to her memorial page on Freeman Mortuary’s website.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the charity of the donor’s choice by mailing donations to P.O. Box 95, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary, 915 Madison St, Jefferson City, MO 65101.