Obituary: Francis P. Dean / Businessman who owned several Pittsburgh-area auto dealerships

Dec. 15, 1928 - Jan. 9, 2013

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When Francis P. Dean was in town to check on his business here, he used to stay at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association where he was not just kind to his fellow members, but he was also known to be very generous to the staff with both tips and advice.

Mr. Dean died Jan. 9, 2013, at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, Calif., from complications from a fractured hip. He was 84.

He was born in Wellsville, N.Y., was a graduate of the Wellsville High School Class of 1948 and attended St. Bonaventure University.

He served in the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany.

After his discharge from the Army he started his automotive career in Wellsville with General Motors. He later bought a dealership in San Leandro, Calif., where his wife, Virginia, and five daughters lived. In the mid-1970s he purchased a Mercedes-Benz dealership on Saw Mill Run Boulevard in Pittsburgh, which he later sold. In the meantime he acquired a Honda franchise and opened Francis P. Dean Honda, which is now on Lebanon-Church Road in West Mifflin, that he sold in the 1990s but still bears his name.

Virginia Dean said during the years that he owned car dealerships in Pittsburgh, his family remained in California, where his daughters were in school, while he flew back and forth.

The family owned a house in Shadyside for a time, and a condo. When he didn't have a permanent home here, he stayed at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, where he was a member of the board of directors.

Mr. and Mrs. Dean were also members of the South Hills Country Club, where he competed for many years in the Froggy's Golf Classic.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Francie Kunaniec of Richmond, Calif., Carol Kekos of Tracy, Calif., Cathy Cramer of Dublin, Calif., Mary Dean of Phoenix, Calif., and Teresa Fynes of Chevy Chase, Md.; and eight grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the J.W. Embser and Sons Funeral Home, Wellsville, N.Y.

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