Bruce E. Dean

Bruce E. Dean, age 69, of Dubuque, IA, completed his earthly journey on May 24, 2023, at 8:50 p.m.  To honor Bruce’s life, a private family service is being held, where full military honors will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Bruce’s family.


Bruce was born on June 18, 1953, in Dubuque, IA, a son to Ralph and Evelyn (Sarazin) Dean.  He grew up with a love for life, family, and his country.  Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1971 and went on to honorably serve our nation with the Seabees until his tour was completed in 1976.  He has continued to be a proud and longtime member of the Dubuque V.F.W. Post #9663.  Upon returning stateside, Bruce spent his first few years working in the construction trades, but eventually started his own food truck business, Dean’s Deli Express, which he operated for 28 years before starting the final years of his working career as the Maintenance Coordinator at Luther Manor until his retirement in 2022.  Bruce enjoyed countless activities in his free time as well.  Woodworking and carpentry were among his favorite uses of time and talents, but getting into the great outdoors was where Bruce truly enjoyed spending his quality time.  He was always up for a new adventure and if a little hiking, camping, kayaking, a classic rock concert, or simply an impromptu road trip was on the agenda, Bruce was surely in his happy place.  He and Jody have enjoyed countless trips and adventures together over the years with an abundance of memories left behind to help ease some of the sorrow to be found within the more difficult days ahead.  We will miss Bruce more than he could possibly know and are forever grateful for the years the Lord was gracious enough to share him with us.  Thank you Bruce, for being the man among men when needed most, for being so generous with those around you, and for simply taking one day at a time and reminding us that life only has to be as complicated as we choose to make it.  May the Lord now keep you safe in His loving arms until we all meet again.         


Those left behind to cherish the memory of Bruce include,


his loving wife and soul-mate of 26 years,

Jody (Ehlers) Dean, Dubuque, IA;


his step-daughter,

Nicole (Kody Klein) Reding, Dubuque, IA;


his siblings,

Roger Dean, Apple River, IL,

Beverly (Chuck) Steffen, Dubuque, IA,

 and Ross Hunter, Tucson, AZ;


along with numerous extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister-in-law, Kay Dean.


Bruce’s family would like to thank Hospice of Dubuque, University of Iowa Healthcare, Finley Hospital and Dr. Mark Liaboe.  Along with a very special thanks to Tim Ede for your friendship, love and endless support.


Online condolences may be shared with Bruce’s family at

To honor Bruce’s life, a private family service is being held.

8 comments on “Bruce E. Dean
  1. Ross Hunter says:

    I will miss Bruce for the rest of life here on earth. Being so close as brothers we both had cancer to deal with. Mine being in remission and his that hit him hard. When we meet again it will be as if we didn’t miss a beat. Special love goes to Jody for her wonderful caring for Bruce.

  2. Robin Breiner says:

    Bruce always had a smile on his face. When my mom was in Luther Manor he always made sure he took the time to talk to her and her family. Prayers to his family.

  3. Debra Brehm says:

    Our hearts goes out to Jody and family. Bruce was a great guy. We love him and he will be missed. He’s an angel now watching over his loved ones. God bless and take care.

  4. Ray and Pat Thul says:

    Bruce will be truly missed by all who knew him. He was the best neighbor and friend anyone could have. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Jody and family.

  5. Barbara (Barker) Granahan says:

    My deepest condolences on your loss. I was the nursing home administrator when Bruce worked at Luther Manor. He always was willing to jump in and do those extras around the facility and had a quick wit and a joke to share. I remember when my car was buried in snow, he came out and cleaned it up so I could drive home. Very thoughtful. He will be missed.

    • Arlene S. Laaker says:

      Jody; I have not met you, but I want to relay to you how sorry I am to hear about Bruce’s passing! I was the front desk receptionist at Luther Manor for 6 1/2 yrs., from 2014 – 2020. I got to know Bruce well, as he was always so willing to help with anything I needed regarding maintenance, and so fun to deal with. Always joking around, but serious when he knew there was a real situation we needed help with. I remember one winter day it started sleeting by the end of the day, and the parking lot was a sheet of ice. It was time for me to leave, and I asked Bruce if he could put a little more salt down, so I could make it to my vehicle because I was afraid of falling. He said ” Don’t worry, I will take you to your vehicle. Just hang onto me”. He did, and I will never forget that!
      I pray that God will protect you as you deal with Bruce’s passing
      Take care, Jody!

      Arlene Laaker


  6. Stacy Miles says:

    My deepest sympathy goes out to Jodi and family. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers today and for days to come.I loved Bruce’s unending energy and love for life . He will be missed .

  7. Eileen Switzer says:

    Jody , I’m so sorry to hear about Bruce. You have my sympathy. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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