Cover photo for James Grable Dean's Obituary
James Grable Dean Profile Photo

James Grable Dean

February 16, 1938 — August 14, 2023

Ukiah

James Grable Dean

James Grable Dean passed away peacefully at his home in Ukiah, California on August 13, 2023. 

James is now reunited with his beloved wife, Vivian. He is survived by his grandsons, Ryan and Jared, who are the children of his late son James Bruce and daughter-in-law Colleen. He is also survived by his daughter Deborah Hart and son-in-law Michael, his daughter Laura Cannon and son-in-law Edward, and his son Eric and daughter-in-law Luisa. James is loved and remembered by 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Grable and Juanita Hill Dean. He was born in Pickens, Oklahoma, and his family later moved to Grants, New Mexico, and then to Modesto, California, during his childhood.

James and Vivian first met in 1952 while attending junior high school in Modesto. Their friendship blossomed into love, and they became high school sweethearts. On June 30th, 1960, they married and lived in Modesto, where they both worked as teachers. 

In the fall of 1966, James and Vivian moved to Anderson Valley, where he became the principal at Anderson Valley Elementary School. He and Vivian went on to develop and operate a private school and group home, which continued until 2015. They raised and educated more than 500 adolescent boys over the 49 years they ran the program. 

James studied Education at Modesto Junior College and at University of the Pacific, graduating in 1960. He later earned a Master’s in counseling from Sonoma State University in 1977 and an accounting certificate from UC Berkeley Extension. He became an enrolled agent with the IRS in 1987 and continued to run Unicorn Business Services, even after relocating from Philo to Ukiah in 2015. James was a lifelong learner and even in his latest years continued to take classes such as piano and Spanish. 

An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, James participated in the leadership of a branch of the church in the Valley in the 1970’s and later as a member of the Ukiah 1st Ward. He used his gift of teaching to serve in Sunday school, youth seminary, and his high priests group. He ministered to and fellowshipped many, particularly in the Valley. He has an enduring testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and lived life following His example.

James was always generous, loyal, thoughtful, hard working, welcoming and kind. He saw the greatest potential in each person. His care for others was sincere. He touched the lives of many and they count themselves better for it.  

Family and friends are invited to a visitation at 10 am Saturday, August 26th, 2023, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1337 S. Dora St. in Ukiah, followed by a memorial service held at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. 

Interment will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery at 12501 Anderson Valley Way in Boonville, California. A gathering at Airport Road Park, 13501 Airport Rd, Boonville will follow. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Grable Dean, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 26, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Pacific time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1337 S Dora St, Ukiah, CA 95482

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1337 S Dora St, Ukiah, CA 95482

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Pacific time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 361

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree