He was born May 23, 1927, to Ray and Ruth Kells in Russell, Iowa. The family moved to Powell in 1941, where Dean graduated from high school and enjoyed participating in many activities. He played in the PHS band and was elected senior class president.
Dean enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduation and served as a paratrooper in the 22nd Airborne Division in World War II, stationed in Japan.
He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stetson University and the University of Florida and began a lifelong career in education at Ocala, Florida. He married Mary Ross Anderson in 1957, and they had two children, Ross and Deanne.
In retirement, they moved to Montreat, North Carolina where they kept a summer cottage in the mountains. They purchased “The Glass House,” and used it as a bed and breakfast retreat center for many conference groups. In 2008, they moved to Highland Farms Senior Community in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Throughout his life, Dean enjoyed music, traveling and frequent family reunions with the “Kells Cousins,” who included former Powell residents Dolores Bovee Bleekman, Janet Bovee Burgess and Carol Mathews Bever.
Besides wife Mary and sister Shirley Halleen of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, other surviving family members include son Ross and wife Michelle of Edgewood, New Mexico, and daughter Deanne of Black Mountain, North Carolina; five grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.
A private memorial service will be conducted at a later date in North Carolina.