Donald L. Dean

Donald L. Dean, 93, of Parsons died at 8:54 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in the emergency room of Labette Health.

He was born June 17, 1926, at rural Parsons to Ruthford and Cora (Beasley) Dean. He grew up in the rural Parsons area and graduated from Parsons High School in 1944. He enlisted in the United States Navy and attended officer training school at Washburn University in Topeka. Toward the end of World War II he served in the Philippines.

On Feb. 24, 1945, he married Nola J. Copeland in Parsons. She preceded him in death on April 12, 2004.

Early in his adult life he worked four years for the Railway Express Agency and for a short time for Hallmark Cards. The family lived in Miami, Oklahoma, from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1958 to 1966 and in Cushing, Oklahoma, from 1953 to 1958. Don was district manager for Beatrice Foods and in 1966 decided to return to Parsons to farm and operate a dairy. He continued to farm until 2014. For many years he raised quail and border collies. 

On Aug. 1, 2005, he married Bertha “Bert” Sparks at Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She survives of the home.

Don was a member of the First Christian Church and had served as a deacon. While living in Oklahoma he was active in several service clubs. 

Besides his wife he is survived by two daughters, Terri Clarke (Jerry) of Carthage, Missouri, and Sherri Auvigne (Dick) of Parsons; two stepsons, Steven Sparks (Cindy) of Tampa, Florida, and Michael Sparks (Elizabeth) of San Antonio, Texas; and a stepdaughter, Patti Jarman (Ken) of Welch, Oklahoma; five grandchildren; seven stepgrandchildren; and between Don and Bert they have 17 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother, Richard Dale Dean of Parsons; and his sister, Ruth Harris of Springfield, Missouri.

The service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at First Christian Church with the Rev. Laurie Lewis officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home.

Memorials are suggested to the First Christian Church or the Proud Animal Lovers Society (PALS). They may be left at or sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, KS, 67357.

Online condolences may be left at

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