Dean Burton Edson, 80, died peacefully on December 1, 2019 at Midland Hospice House. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 30, 2019 at Mount Hope Cemetery Funeral Chapel. Interment will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral chapel.
Dean was born on February 13, 1939 in Topeka and spent the majority of his life in Topeka. The second born of Burton and Elmarene (Price) Edson, he grew up on the family farm in southwest Topeka. He was a proud to be a "farm boy" and some of his fondest memories were of working with his family on the farm and as a member of 4H and FFA.
As Dean would say, he “out-kicked his coverage” when he married Betty (Sloop) Edson in 1962 and throughout their marriage delighted in introducing her as his “current” or “first” wife. She survives. He is also survived by their two children, Greg (Tammy) Edson of Austin, Texas and Gail (Troy) Halterman of St. Charles, Missouri and three grandsons, Will and Nick Halterman and Ryan Edson. Being their Papa was his proudest and most fulfilling achievement. Also surviving are two sisters and their spouses, Jan (Gene) Haun of Lenexa, Kansas and Karen (Niki) Edson of Denver, Colorado, two sisters-in-law and their spouses, and many nieces and nephews who adored him. He was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Donald P. Edson.
Dean graduated in 1957 from Washburn Rural High School, played one year of college football at Emporia State Teacher’s College and graduated from Emporia State with a B.S. in Education. He obtained his Master's Degree from Emporia State in 1964. He spent four years teaching at Seaman High School while coaching football and driving school buses. Then after success at both Proctor & Gamble and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, he found his true calling as a long-term care administrator. He worked as the Administrator at The Manor of Topeka from 1972 until 1982 when he became Executive Director of Kansas Association of Homes for the Aging (now Leading Age Kansas). In 1984 Dean was hired as Executive Director of United Methodist Homes, Inc. and remained in that role until his retirement in 2002. Dean was a founding member of KPNHAA, now KACE, in which he was active during his long term care career. He cherished the many friendships he developed in his 30 years in the business and was proud to be a champion for long-term care reforms.
Dean will be remembered for his many “Dean-isms”, his sense of humor and orneriness, his love of K-State athletics and his baby-whispering abilities. He was a mentor to many: from coaching Greg’s Ken Berry and American Legion baseball teams, developing a generation of Kansas long-term care administrators and being an example of how respect and kindness are the most important leadership qualities. He leaves a legacy of goodness and integrity. You never had to guess where you stood with him, and if you were a friend, nothing was too much to ask. As one of his close friends recently said, “If we all tried to be more like Dean, the world wouldn’t be such a mess.”
The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers at Midland Hospice who made Dean’s last days as comfortable as possible and provided incredible, loving support to his family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to Midland Hospice or Central Congregational Church UCC.
Dove Southwest Chapel is assisting with arrangements.
To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.DoveTopeka.com