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Dean was born in Emporia, KS to Jefferson Haney and Jeanne Fleming (nee Irwin) on May 14, 1946. As children, he and his four siblings learned to appreciate the art of travel early. While his father pursued his own education and then later worked as a school administrator, Dean's family moved from Kansas to Japan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan and finally to Worland, Wyoming in 1960. There he devoted his energy to basketball, hunting and fishing. After graduating from Worland High School in 1964, Dean traveled extensively throughout the West, Mexico, and Alaska before meeting his wife, Patty Strasheim, in Jackson in 1973. Jackson would remain a base for the rest of his life as he balanced his love for the hills of Wyoming with a passion for the ocean and sailing.
Dean always sought hard, challenging work as a commercial fisherman, logger, driver, and road construction supervisor. He worked on jobs from the Alaska Pipeline in the 1970's to the Jackson Lake Dam in the mid 80's and the Mystic Seaport Museum in 2002. And between those jobs he worked in every corner of Wyoming building dams, roads and runways.
He was gifted with a profound intellect and was a voracious reader who was passionate about ideas, books, music, politics, and sports.
Above all, Dean was immensely proud of and devoted to his family, including his parents, wife Patty, daughter Jessica (born 1980 in Juneau, AK) and son Josh (born 1983 in Ft. Smith, AR). He felt fortunate to have spent his last month enjoying the company of friends and family from Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Oregon, and Hawaii. And the highlight of that month - one last road trip to his sailboat in CA with Josh, Jessica and her husband, Paul.
As one life-long friend put it, "Here's the thing about Dean: He lived life as few people do. A man with not much higher education, he was one of the most intelligent guys I have ever known, truly a Renaissance man in the sense of having a powerful curiosity, an engaging wit and an all-consuming passion for life. Oh, yeah, he was also one of the best friends a person could ever have."
We will miss him. We are glad we knew him.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1988 and a brother, James Jay in 2000.
He is survived by his wife Patty, daughter Jessica Haney Wireman (Paul) of Jackson, son Josh of Brooklyn,NY., his mother Jeanne I. Fleming, sisters Carol Carden (Pat) and Mary Kay McCoy, a brother Joe Haney (Elaine)and Sister-in-law Ginger Haney Bur and numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews.
A small celebration of Dean's life was held on December 13th at the Old Wilson School House.
A Memorial Fund has been established through Jackson Youth Hockey and charitable donations may be made online in Dean's honor to the Dean Haney Memorial Fund at jyhockey.org. Donations may also be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society online at donate.lls.org or by phone at (888) 557-7177.
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