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Dean's Story

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Dean Gantt, 80, of Greenville passed away Aug. 31, 2017.
Born Dec. 13, 1936, in Greenville, Texas, to Patt and Mavourneen Gantt, he graduated from Greenville High School in 1954 and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree and Primary and Secondary Teaching Certificate at East Texas State University in 1959. He began as a clerk at Safeway Stores when he was 15; and after his 40-year career with them, he retired as senior vice president. He was the president and CEO of AppleTree Markets in Houston for two years before retiring and then joined Great Western Publishing as vice chairman and president before finally, truly retiring. He was a Christian.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Mary Sue Gantt of Greenville; son Michael Gantt and wife Melissa of Greenville; daughter Christi Kramer and husband Ken of Jacksonville, Fla.; grandchildren Sarah Gantt Norris and husband Eric, Jason Kramer, and Stephanie Kramer Smith and husband Chris; great-grandchildren Emma and Ellie Norris and Hazel Smith; sister-in-law Betty Haggard of Gun Barrel; brother-in-law Charles Mize and wife Mary of Greenville; sister-in-law Margie Mize of Greenville; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Dean was a man of integrity and heart. He mentored numerous people throughout his career who have gone on to have fulfilling careers of their own, many saying they modeled their management styles after his. While his career was successful, his greatest accomplishment and pride was his family. He was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and father-in-law. Affectionately known as Poppy Dean or PD, he extended his grandfatherly love to many outside his family as well. One of Dean's greatest joys was seeing those he loved happy. He loved being in Galveston where he and Mary Sue owned a home for years. They shared it with family and friends and many happy memories were made there. The beach remained a favorite place. He took the family traveling and made summers at Club Lake extra fun. He was also known as Cookie Man because he could be counted on to have lots of yummy treats for the kids
When asked what they wanted people to know about their PD, his grandchildren said, he taught us to love unconditionally, how to be a generous giver, to be selfless, to give without expecting anything in return, the importance of having a strong work ethic, the importance of keeping a healthy body and staying active, and to find a good balance between being serious and having fun. He had a great respect for education and learning and supported his family in their educational pursuits. As long as he was mentally able, he continually searched for the truth. In addition to all that, he could also filet a fish faster than it seemed humanly possible!
Dean was physically active all his life. In his teens, he was a boxer and was the Golden Gloves Welter-Weight Champion. He loved being outdoors. He was an avid runner, hunter, fisherman; and one of the things he most enjoyed was helping Michael with farm work.
He will be missed by so many, but the love and lessons he taught us live on.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Carolynn Taylor and husband Carl; brother-in-law Joe Mize; brother-in-law Burr Haggard; brother-in-law John Henry Mize and wife Allene; and his grandson, Joshua Michael Dean Gantt.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Josh Gantt Memorial Fund, c/o Michael Gantt, 3438 FM 1564 East, Greenville, TX 75402; or Remember For Me (Alzheimer's Caregivers' Group), c/o Sandra Stroope; 6913 Jacquiline Boulevard; Greenville, TX 75402.
There will be no visitation.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Lynch Funeral Service chapel; 4238 Hwy. 34 South, Greenville, TX 75402.
Visit www.lynchfuneralservice.com to leave online condolences.
Published on September 6, 2017
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