Monday, November 06, 2006

A Tribute to Gibson Dean, II

Several weeks ago I wrote briefly about a fine gentleman whom I liked very much and even said I wanted to grow up to be like him. Regrettably, Gibson Dean II passed away a few days ago. I had the honor to write his obituary. In memory of the man in the fancy shoes, Fedora and suspenders, the best Caesar salad and Bloody Mary maker ever, and the beloved father of my dear friend Laura, I pay tribute to him today:

“Longtime Hall County resident Gibson Dean, II, prominent Buford attorney, known to his family and friends as “Gib,” died at home Friday, November 3, of natural causes. He was 73 years old.

A successful lawyer with the serious demeanor of Atticus Finch in his office and the courtroom but the comedic wit and timing of Jack Benny in the other walks of his life, Gib was well known and beloved by many as a snappy dresser, nimble dancer, self-deprecating humorist and all round charmer. He was the consummate southern gentlemen. Always greeting others with a firm handshake or warm hug and calling out, “Hello, darlin’” to the ladies, Gib filled the room with love and laughter. A stranger to no one, he liked everyone he met and all who encountered him quickly became another of his admiring fans.

Gib will be forever remembered by his devoted wife, Ann Newton Dean, and his loving children, Laura Burton Dean, Gibson Dean, III, Jim Newton and Rick Newton. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Eugenia and Legare Platt of Edgewater, FL, sister-in-law Sara Ann Dean of Walterboro, SC, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

As a husband Gib adored Ann and showered her with unfailing affection, and as a father, he firmly raised his children with grace and character and playfully nurtured their individual spirits.

Born in Ridgeland, South Carolina in 1933, Gib attended the University of South Carolina where he obtained a business degree in 1955, and the University of South Carolina Law School, Columbia, where he obtained a law degree in 1956. Upon completing his studies he entered the United States Air Force where he served with distinction until 1967. He practiced law in both South Carolina and Georgia, and served on the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1965.

A generous contributor to his community and profession, Gib served as President of the American Legion of Buford and the 550 Development Association, President, Gwinnett County Bar Association (1970 – 1971), Member, Georgia House of Representatives (1971 – 1975), Member, Board of Governors, State Bar Association of Georgia (1972 – 1976), Deputy Assistant Attorney General, State of Georgia (1973 – 1984), County Attorney, Gwinnett County (1983 – 1987), Chief Litigation Counsel, Gwinnett County (1987 – 1991), and most recently, President, Old Warhorse Lawyers Club.

Among many other accomplishments, Gib was the proud recipient of the Albert M. Kuhfeld Award for Outstanding Young Judge Advocate, United States Air Force (1964) and the Outstanding Service Award, Federal Bar Association (1965).

Gib liked to repeat the motto of the Old Warhorse Lawyers Club, “I aim for nothing and seldom miss,” however, his distinguished record, crisp pocket-handkerchief, robust laugh and always well placed joke, would tell you otherwise.

A memorial service for Gibson Dean, II, will be held Sunday, November 5 at 2:00, at Flanigan Funeral Home, 4400 South Lee Street, Buford. If not flowers, contributions may be made in Gib’s honor to Eagle Ranch, Chestnut Mountain, or the Boys and Girls Clubs of Gwinnett County.”

I will miss you at the parties, Gib, but I’ll see you again at the Grand Ball one day, I’m sure.

1 comment:

Jerry Butler said...

Greg,

Thanks for doing a great job with Gib's obituary. Gib would be proud of your capture of his great life in a few paragraphs.

We will all miss Gib. I just hope Mr. Churchill is up for the debate!

All the best,
Jerry