Dean Lee

Mitchell

Dean Lee, 86, of Mitchell and formerly of Forestburg, died Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, at Bittner Funeral Chapel. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Artesian. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral service at Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Dean Emmett Lee was born Nov. 18, 1933, in Mitchell at St. Joseph Hospital to Ralph and Clara (Fairfield) Lee. Dean attended the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls for 12 years, graduating in 1952.

After high school graduation, Dean worked as a farm laborer for several years. He was in a farm partnership with his brother, Tom, raising cattle and putting up hay. After he retired, Dean continued to help various neighbors with farm work.

Dean was involved in providing habitat for pheasants and was an avid deer hunter. He enjoyed feeding and watching the birds and watching baseball, basketball and football on TV and taking in many Dakota Wesleyan and Sanborn Central games.

In 1998, Dean started the “Dean Lee” scholarship fund to the South Dakota School for the Deaf. He also gave a monetary gift to the Artesian, Letcher and Forestburg Schools in 2003 to help towards the purchase of land to build a new school in Forestburg.

Dean had a speaking and hearing handicap but would communicate by pulling out a notebook and pen from his pocket to share a story or catch up on “local news.”

Dean is survived by his cousins and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, James; and his brother, Richard “Tom.”

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Sanborn Central Scholarship Foundation. Dean’s love for hunting would make it appropriate to wear hunting attire to his services.

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