Dean McAtee, loving husband of 62 years, proud father, business owner and community leader passed away peacefully on November 25, 2018. Dean was dearly loved by his family, relatives, friends and all who met him. There was never a stranger in Dean’s life as he always smiled and engaged in conversation with everyone he met.
Dean was born April 2, 1932, to Maggie and Glenn Dewey McAtee. He was born on a farm in the Waukee area and was one of seven children. Dean graduated with the Adel High School Class of 1949. During that time, Dean met the love of his life, Lois Knigge, and started his first job with Goodyear. He went on to attend San Diego Junior College while serving in the U.S. Navy and Drake University when he returned from service.
On September 1, 1956, Dean and Lois were united in marriage that was steadfast for the next 62 years. To their union were born four beautiful, devoted daughters, 12 grandchildren and 5 ¾ great-grandchildren.
It was a ‘Goodyear’ for Dean year after year. From his start in 1949 in Adel, he went on to serve in leadership roles in Goodyear stores located in Burlington, Sterling, Davenport and Spencer, Iowa. On March 1, 1966, Dean and Lois took a leap of faith and moved to Jefferson, Iowa to open McAtee Tire, Inc. The business expanded to eight other locations over time to include Perry, Rockwell City, Atlantic, Indianola, Ames, Marshalltown, Cedar Falls, and Hampton. He incorporated a successful retreading business for many years. One of Dean’s career highlights was the Goodyear Blimp arriving in Jefferson in 2006 for a week long celebration for his 40 years in business. Dean was a founding member of the Iowa Tire Dealers Association and served as president. He served on the National Tire and Retread Association Board including the executive board. Dean was elated to have the tradition of tire store ownership stay in the family which is now carried on by daughter Laurie and her husband John and their son Mike and his wife Miranda.
Community involvement was paramount to Dean. He was a founding member of the Jefferson Kiwanis Club and served for 50 years. He served his church in various capacities, served on the Jefferson City Council, achieved Jester status through the Masonic Temple and served on the Greene County Medical Center Board. Dean campaigned for numerous community fundraisers and has served on many committees. In recognition of his work and leadership, Dean received the Bell Tower Hall of Fame Award, the Chamber of Commerce ABC Award, Employer of the Year Award nominated by his employees and the Kiwanis Hixson Award .
He loved his Iowa State Cyclones and their last surprise victory the night before he passed. He loved playing golf, meeting with his coffee groups, playing cards with the guys, trips to the Mississippi Stud table and encouraged the growth of Greene County. He was blessed to travel the world with Lois and loved attending his grandchildren’s events regardless of the miles to get there. He believed that Jefferson was the best place in the world to live.
Dean was a man of deep faith, a devoted family man and a community leader. His life was focused around helping others asking for nothing in return except to pay it forward. Dean had a profound influence on his family and his community through his words, his leadership and action, and his welcoming smile. He will be missed by all and encouraged us to live our lives with faith, love, kindness, and generosity.
Dean is survived by his beloved wife, Lois; four daughters: Laurie Ann (John) Wahl of Rockwell City, Sue Ann Kenkel of Metamora, Mich., Jean Ann (Don) Feldmann of Jefferson and Dee Ann (Jeff) Valles of Woodridge, Ill.; twelve grandchildren: Zachary (Lindsey) Wahl, Michael (Miranda) Wahl; Kyle, Cameron, and Conner Kenkel; Benjamin, Maggie Feldmann; Alex, Elyse Wagley, Miles, Robert and Kody Valles; and five great grandchildren: Makenzie, Maxton, Kailer, Elliana and Madalynn Wahl; other special relatives and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Maggie and Dewey McAtee; six siblings: Dick, Vern, Barb, Chuck, Hazel and Larry; mother and father in law, Henry and Gwen Knigge; and brother in law, Jim Knigge.
A Masonic Service was held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 28 at Central Christian Church in Jefferson with Curt Eason presiding. Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 29 at Central Christian Church with Rev. Sheldon Henderson officiating. Honorary bearers were the Kiwanis Club Members of Jefferson. His grandchildren served as casket bearers. Congregational hymns sung were “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” and “How Great Thou Art.” Military Rites were by U.S. Navy Funeral Honors. Burial at the Jefferson Cemetery will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Central Christian Church, Greene County Medical Center or Greene County Community Center, all in Jefferson.
Services were arranged by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson.