Known as "Dixie" after the famous Everton footballer.
Assistant bursar and catering manager. At KHS for 21 years.
William Dean was born in 1904 in Pontlottyn, South Wales, the second son of a Master Baker. He left school at the age of 16 and joined the Royal Navy in 1920, initially becoming a Telegrapher.
He served on the following ships: Impregnable, Ganges, Nelson, Champion, Effingham, Revenge, Ramillies and Ark Royal. As supply Chief Petty Officer, he joined the newly commissioned aircraft carrier Ark Royal in 1939 shortly before the beginning of World War II.
He served on Ark Royal through many battles with the German Navy and Luftwaffe until this great ship was finally sunk by a U-boat torpedo in the Mediterranean in November 1941.
After a short period of time in 1942 at HMS Dolphin, the submarine base in Gosport, he went to Ceylon as Warrant Supply Officer until after the end of the war with the Japanese in late 1945. He retired from the Royal Navy in 1946.
In 1926 he had married Doreen May Corden and together they had two sons, John in 1928 and Brian in 1936. After Doreen had died in 1947, Dixie came to Kingham Hill School as Assistant Bursar with responsibility for maintenance and the boys' clothing. In these capacities he seemed to do anything and everything that needed doing.
In 1953 he married Marjorie (who was later to take over the boys' clothing requirements).
When the catering manager left in the late 50's, the school had difficulty in recruiting a replacement. True to form, he volunteered to take this on in addition to his other duties on a temporary basis, but this became a permanent arrangement until he retired in 1969. He lived in Bledington and continued to help actively in the local community until he died in 1980.
Address given by the Reverend Harry Wilkinson in Bledington Church 26th July 1980
"We have gathered in this church to bid farewell to William George Dean, known affectionately by all of us as Dixie, and to express to Margorie and the family our very real sorrow at his passing, and to pray that God in his infinite mercy, will surround them with his and peace and give them the extra strength we need at such times as these.
Dixie was a man with a wonderful kind heart. He liked people both young and old, and was never happier than when he was helping someone and doing it with a lot of fun and a cheerful smile.
He was immensely proud of the Royal Navy and the part he was able to play within it, in which he served with distinction for twenty-six years. Like all sailors, he loved to turn back the pages of time and speak of the ships in which he had sailed and the men he had served with, in peace and war, and especially those who had been with him in the aircraft carrier Ark Royal.
Some while after retiring from the navy, he came to Kingham Hill to join the Bursar's staff, and it was soon made very plain that here was a man with an infinite capacity for hard work and a man who could turn his hand to almost anything. This was the beginning of years of invaluable, willing and loyal service to Kingham Hill School when staff and boys bombarded him with their needs. And those of us who worked with him on the Hill, will always remember with thanksgiving what he was able to do for the school, and with gratitude, what he did on our behalf.
Caring for others is what our Lord requires of each one of us. Jesus made this clear in so much of his teaching, and never more beautifully than in St. Luke's Gospel, when speaking to a crowd of people about looking after others, he said: "Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure pressed down and running over shall men give into thy bosom, for whatever measure you deal out to others, will be dealt to you in return."
And now Almighty God in his wisdom, has called his servant William George Dean back to his heavenly home, and sad as we are, we must be glad that his suffering is over, and that he is now at rest."