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Obituary: R. Dean Church Sr. – Men’s Basketball 1960-65 – May 27, 2014

R. Dean Church Sr., Obituary

R. Dean Church Sr. passed away peacefully on May 27, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sally Evans Church; his 3 children, R. Dean Church Jr. (Amy), David Church (Leah) and Anne Church Graffagnini (Mark); and grandsons Andrew, Peter, Mark, Matthew, Miles, Jacob, Julian and Joseph. He is also survived by his brother, Don Church (Cynthia); sister, Dollwinna Stewart (Jim); sisters-in-law, Corby Church, Diane Evans and Nancy Evans; and brothers-in-law, Frank Evans (Maurine) and Michael Evans (Rachel). Preceded in death by his father, Homer Church; mother, Susan Church; his brother, Roger Church; and in-laws, Frank and Lonnie Evans.

Born in Ashland, KY, on September 23, 1942, Dean was a two-time All-America basketball player at USL under Coach Beryl Shipley, where he played from 1961 to 1965. He was elected to the USL Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974, the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981, and had his No. 12 jersey retired by USL in 2012.

Dean enjoyed a 33-year career at Avondale Shipyards, where he retired as an Executive Vice President in 1999. He spent his retirement enjoying his family, playing golf with the "Krewe of 8:32" at Willowdale/Grand Ridge, working out at Elmwood Fitness Center and cruising on "The Second Collection."

Dean was a faithful parishioner of the Holy Family Catholic Church, 155 Holy Family Lane, Luling, where Mass will be held in his honor on Monday, June 2, 2014, with visitation starting at 8:30 a.m. and Mass at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be in St. Charles Cemetery, Paul Maillard Road, Luling, LA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dean’s name to the Beryl Shipley Mended Hearts Scholarship, checks made out to the UL Foundation, and mailed to the UL Development Office, P.O. Box 43410, Lafayette, LA 70504.

MOTHE FUNERAL HOME, 2100 Westbank Expressway, Harvey, LA, in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may view and sign the online guestbook at www.mothefunerals.com

Published in The New Orleans Advocate from May 29 to May 31, 2014

Athletic Network Footnote:
Click here for Dean’s Athletic Network profile.

Click here for video of "Dean Church: An Extraordinary Life"

Click here for the Dean Church photo gallery.

Our condolences to Sally and Dean’s family. May the Peace of the Lord be with them and strengthen them during this time of sorrow.

Peace, Ed Dugas