Cover photo for Dean Farrell's Obituary
Dean Farrell Profile Photo
1955 Dean 2023

Dean Farrell

February 19, 1955 — January 12, 2023


William Dean Farrell, age 67, passed away Thursday January 12 th , 2023 in his adopted hometown of Raymond, Washington. Dean, as he was always known, made the sad and unimaginable decision to end his own life, and his family is heartbroken to be without him. Dean was born on February 19 th , 1955 in a military hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia to William and Marva Farrell (Monk) while his father served in the army. Eventually the family would move to Midway, Utah near the town of Heber and close to both his sets of grandparents – William & Annie Farrell and Dean & Arthella Bethers. Over the next few years, the family grew with Paul, Susan, Bruce, and the twins, Burt and Bart, filling the small home on Stringtown Road. As the oldest child, Dean supported his family from a young age, balancing school, work, family chores, and a healthy dose of mischief with his siblings, cousins, and friends. Occasionally known as “Vince” due to an unfortunate set of coke-bottle eyeglasses which reminded his friends of a well-known cartoon gopher of the same name, Dean attended Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah where he infamously played most of a football game with a broken foot.

 After high school, Dean continued to work, support his family, and spend time with his friends. While his mom had successfully prevented him from buying a Corvette once he was old enough to drive, he eventually bought a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner (Motor Trend’s Car of the Year he was always quick to point out). He loved that car and always regretted not buying it back from the insurance company after it was totaled in an intersection collision. While it never made up for the loss of the car, he was always happy that he regained consciousness in time to see his passenger punch the at-fault driver of the other vehicle. His love of classic cars stayed with him his entire life, and he would often attend car shows with his family.

Unsatisfied with the types of jobs he was able to hold, he returned to school, attending Utah Technical College at Provo and wisely earned not just a certification, but a degree in Electrical and Automation. That decision opened up far more job opportunities leading him into construction and, eventually, an apprenticeship as an electrician. The skills and talents of “Mean Dean the Wiring Machine” spread via word-of-mouth and he was able to earn better and better employment. Every drive through south King County with his family would include multiple instances of “See that building? I wired that building.”

Shortly before earning his degree, his friend – everybody’s friend – Barbara (Barwick) Hilton introduced him to her cousin, Diane Fiedler, and he fell in love. Dean and Diane maintained a long-distance relationship while she lived in Dickinson, North Dakota until they couldn’t stand to be apart anymore and she moved to Salt Lake City to live with her grandmother, Marie Evans, while she finished high school.

Dean and Diane were married in August of 1975 and soon moved to Auburn, Washington, Diane’s hometown, where Dean continued his education with night courses at Renton Vocational-Technical Institute and continued finding ever-improving employment as an electrician. He worked hard and studied hard, often juggling multiple jobs, furthering his education, and still finding plenty of time to spend with his growing family. In 1977, their son William Ian was born and in 1980, their daughter Caitlin Marie followed. During their time in Auburn, they were active in the Latter-Day Saints church with Dean participating in church league softball and in musicals put on by the congregation, Dean having inherited a beautiful and strong singing voice from his mother. With his young children he was a kind, attentive, and goofy parent. One of his favorite things was to lay on the floor, becoming a human jungle-gym for his kids to climb on, jump on, and roll around on. The laughter during those times was equal parts his and his children’s.

In 1985, Dean gained employment at the Weyerhaeuser sawmill in Raymond, Washington, moving his family to what would become his next, and final, home town. For the next 32 years, he worked at the mill as an electrician - first learning from the crew, then training multiple apprentices, and eventually retiring as the senior electrician. His time at the mill coincided with the modernization of the aging mill, and he was always proud to have been a part of that digital transformation.

In Raymond, he created a home that was welcoming and enjoyable for his family, his extended family, and really anyone who needed a place to hang out. As his children reached high school and college ages, the house was open to anyone and everyone. It was not unusual for Ian and Caitlin to come home and find their friends already at the house, spending time with Dean and Diane. That tradition continued with his grandchildren making frequent visits only to find other neighborhood kids already playing in the yard.

Dean always had a love of the outdoors. Early in his life, he enjoyed hunting and often went fishing – sometimes after hours at the hatchery… Later, he would purchase a boat and several RVs which helped him continue his tradition of experiencing the outdoors. He loved to camp, whether each summer with his in-laws’ Bridge Club at Baker Lake, or on trips with his family to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Dean reconnected with high school friends Brent Giles and Kim Jasperson as he approached retirement. With their spouses, they would camp for weeks at a time all across the American west. While those trips included a fair bit of tourism and sightseeing, the real focus was friendship, with many long nights spent fireside with whiskey and Coke, caffeine-free so that Brent could still get a good night’s rest.

In 2005, Dean gained a son-in-law, Kyle Luccio and in 2007, a daughter-in-law, Sara Farris. Both were immediately and unconditionally welcomed into the family. His love for his expanded family was always evident. He could always be counted on to provide fatherly advice to Kyle on an automotive or home improvement project, and he treasured the beautiful handmade items Sara would often deliver.

Three grandchildren, Ace, William Henry, and Nora (Eleanor) were his most-cherished gifts. His grandchildren gave him the opportunity to, once again, be kind, attentive, and goofy. While it would have been easy for him to play the curmudgeon and scoff at the interests and experiences of children two generations removed from himself, he met them where they were, diving head-first into their interests and making no attempt to make them like the things he liked. His grandchildren experienced nothing but complete fascination and participation from him. A day spent watching Ace perform in musical theater or learning a complicated board game with Henry and Nora was a perfect day in his eyes, and it showed.

Dean loved to experience life. His home was not filled with elaborate possessions but with simple mementos of a life full of activities. He never hesitated to take someone to a concert or for a ride around the lake on the boat. He could always be counted on for blackberry picking expeditions or just a quiet drive in the woods. He found joy in his experiences and even more joy when he could share those experiences with those closest to him.

Dean truly loved his wife and truly loved his life. His family and friends were his world, and he never turned away an opportunity to be with them. He was loved by so many, respected by so many, and will be missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of Dean’s life will be held at 2pm on Saturday, February 25 th in Raymond at the Elks Lodge. The celebration is open to all those whose lives he touched. Donations in his name can be made to the LV & Stella J Raymond Foundation, a local technical education scholarship fund, or the Alliance of Hope.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dean Farrell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

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