Nurse, educator Dean dies at age 78

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat

Patricia Dean, a longtime figure in the healthcare and educational fields in Tuolumne County, died of cancer on Sunday. She was 78.

Dean was a former head of nursing at both Tuolumne General and Sonora Community hospitals before teaching nursing at Sonora High School and Columbia College.

She was born in Merced and grew up on a family farm.

"From the time she was a little kid, she always said she was going to be a nurse, and that's all she could talk about," said her sister, Kathleen Cookham, who also said she and her sister remained close friends their entire lives.

Dean worked at a few city hospitals before moving to Sonora with her husband, Bob Dean, in 1979. She quickly took over as head of nursing at Tuolumne General Hospital and later Sonora Community Hospital.

She was among the first to become involved in Sonora High School's certified nurse's assistant program, teaching and serving on an advisory board.

"I think that was her passion, helping people find the best in themselves," said her daughter, Susan Munsel, who has also led a career in healthcare, now at Sonora Regional Medical Center's Cancer Center. "Some of the best nurses I work with now … took the CNA program," Munsel said.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 11 at the church with a reception to follow at St. Patrick's Parish Hall. A private graveside service will be held at Plainsburg Cemetery in Le Grand, Merced County.

The family requests that donations be made in her honor to the Pat Dean Medical Scholarship Fund at the Sonora Union High School District Office, 100 School St., Sonora, CA 95370, Attn: Susan Pittman.

For the complete story, see the Sept. 4, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

11923841
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Thursday August 25, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Nursed back to health, hawk flies free

08/19/2016

Sonora resident Laura Reid was driving on Tuolumne Road when she saw ... more

Sheriff’s Office responds to critical report

08/22/2016

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a grand jury report ... more

Three rescued from wreck near Yosemite

08/23/2016

Three German tourists were rescued Tuesday from the scene of a crash ... more

Woman dies of injuries in Highway 120 accident

08/24/2016

The woman who spent Monday night pinned in an SUV after an ... more

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt to remain in prison

08/23/2016

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt won’t be getting out of prison anytime soon. ... more