Benjamin Gary Dean, 35, of Valentine, Neb., passed away on Feb. 19, 2018.
He was born in Spearfish, on Jan. 29, 1983, to Dennis and Sandra Dean. Growing up in Spearfish, he was very active in sports. He played soccer, baseball, and lettered in golf during high school. He enjoyed playing pool with his friends, hanging out and riding motorcycles.
After graduating high school in 2001, Ben enlisted in the United States Army and completed Infantry Basic Training at Fort Benning, Ga. From there, he went on to Airborne School and was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. He served proudly with the scout teams during the spearhead of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. When he returned, he went back to Fort Benning and graduated from the U.S. Army’s elite Ranger School earning the coveted Ranger Tab. Shortly thereafter, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ben was much more than an American soldier. He was a beloved son, brother, and friend. He was very intelligent, graduating from Black Hills State University in December of 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and went on to attend the SD School of Mines and Technology where he excelled in mathematics. He loved to be active and could often be found hiking and spelunking in the Black Hills, rock climbing in the Needles, or ice climbing and rappelling in Spearfish Canyon.
In 2015, he moved to Valentine, Neb., with his girlfriend Daleri whom he loved dearly. Ben left us much too early, but he’ll lovingly be remembered as humble, funny and kind to everyone he met.
He is survived by his girlfriend, Daleri Moller; his mother, Sandra Dean of Spearfish; sister, Beth (Glen) Fisher of San Antonio, Texas; brothers, Brian (Kellie) Dean and Boyd (Melissa) Dean of Spearfish as well as many nieces and nephews.
Private family services will be held with burial at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Crematory Service of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.
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