Ralph Leonard Dean of Norman, Oklahoma, passed away on July 26, 2020, in Claremore, Oklahoma, at the age of 71 years.
Ralph Leonard Dean was born on July 13, 1949, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was the son of Roland Leonard Dean and Betty June (Sines) Dean. He grew up in Oklahoma City attending Oklahoma City Public Schools, graduating from Capitol Hill High School in 1967. Before he turned 18, Ralph enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country during the Vietnam War. Following his discharge, he came home and furthered his education at the University of Oklahoma earning a BBA in Finance and Economics in 1973. While at OU he met his wife of 45 years, Sharon Phelps, and they made Norman their home and raised two children, Shannon and Ryan.
Ralph loved his country and his community. He was civic minded and served his community by volunteering as a coach for Optimist Basketball. In addition, he was actively involved in the Norman Rotary Club and served as the president during his membership.
Ralph worked in banking and finance, was an entrepreneur and risk taker and started his own computer business. Ralph later earned an MBA in hospital administration from the University of Colorado- Denver. He worked in the capacities of chief financial officer and chief operations offer in health care systems in New Jersey, Colorado and Louisiana. Before his retirement, Ralph spent nearly a year building a hospital infrastructure in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ralph had an interest in history, politics, coins, OU football, and classic cars- especially his 1949 Ford and 1990s model Jeep Grand Cherokee Wagoneer. Most of all he loved spending time with his grandchildren. Ralph’s family use the following adjectives to describe him: commanding, larger than life, charismatic, intelligent, charming, generous and protective.
Ralph was extremely proud of his two children, Shannon and Ryan, their achievements and careers, and the fact that they both achieved advanced academic degrees. Ralph also loved and respected the partners they chose in life and the families they made. His grandchildren were his most prized possessions and he loved visits and watching them grow.
He is preceded in death by both his parents; and his sister, Linda Gabriel.
He is survived by his daughter, Shannon Largent and husband Charlie of Blanchard; his son, Ryan Dean and wife Olivia of Norman, and their mother, Sharon Dean of Norman and three grandchildren; Sydney Largent and Phelps and Ellis Dean. One sister Cynthia Black and brother-in-law, Roland Black of Sherwood, Arkansas; one brother, Richard Dean and sister-in-law Jill of Tuttle; one brother-in-law, Ron Gabriel of Moore, 4 nephews and one niece and many great nieces and nephews.,
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 1, 2020, at 10:00 am, at the Shekinah Fellowship Church at SW 104th and Walker with Ralph’s nephew, Matthew Black, leading the service. Burial will follow in the Resthaven Memory Gardens Cemetery.
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