Burien legend Dean Parkins has passed away

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Sadly, Burien legend Dean “Dean-O” Parkins passed away on Sunday morning, Jan. 1, 2017.

Many old-timers in Burien may have known Dean, as he was a founding member of Discover Burien in 2002, as well as the city’s Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP).

In 2004, the Burien City Council named Dean the “Business Leader of the Year.”

In addition, he and his wife LaVon were very active in his church, First Church of Christ, Scientist.

“Dean was part of the active ‘greatest generation’ who grew up, learned, lived and thrived in the Seattle area. He shared many qualities with my late Dad, and actually knew of him from their days in West Seattle. I was honored to have met and talked with Dean many times. He will be missed by many!” BTB Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer said.

Here’s an animated gif of Dean – at the spry young age of 81 at the time – in a Discover Burien dunk tank in 2008:

Here’s his obit:

Dean was the younger son of the late William L. and Grace Edith Parkins. Dean was born in Seattle in 1927 and grew up in West Seattle, where he was a Boy Scout, attaining the rank of Life Scout. As an honored Boy Scout, Dean was chosen to be the first one ever to raise the American flag to fly at Lincoln Park’s Colman Pool. At age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served aboard two ships just after the end of WWII. After his service, he attended the University of Washington, where he majored in economics. After learning conversational Spanish, he hitchhiked and biked 4000 miles in Mexico. Dean was an early member of R.E.I., and he served as a Board member for the Mountaineers. He was a charter and organizing member of the Everett Mountain Rescue Council. To celebrate his 50th birthday, he organized a group, which included his daughter Amy, to climb Mt. Rainier. Many happy times were spent with his family aboard his first sailboat the Zephirus, and later aboard the Spray.

He also loved to square dance with the Belles and Buoys, to sing barbershop with the Harmony Kings, and he taught himself how to play the guitar, which he used around the campfire to sing folksongs on family sailing trips to the San Juan Islands.

As a businessman, Dean worked in the tax field. He began doing tax work for farmers and small businesses for Business Tax Services. In 1952 he established a branch office in Everett, and in 1962 he opened a branch in Olympia and supervised the opening of a branch in Tacoma. In 1968 he was promoted to Assistant General Manager and he and his family settled in Kent, Washington. In his 30-year relationship with Business Tax Services, he helped operate six branch offices and employed over 50 individuals. In 1981 Dean entered the real estate business at Pacific Coast Realty and, shortly thereafter, he opened his own real estate firm, Dean Parkins and Associates, Inc. During this time he continued his tax work and contributed articles to two trade journals. From 1993 to 2002 Dean was the editor of the Washington State Society of Enrolled Agents newsletter. In 2001 he helped found Burien’s Business and Economic Development Organization and helped get Discover Burien off the ground. In 2004 the Burien City Council named him the Business Leader of the Year. In addition, he became more active in his church, First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Burien.

Dean is survived by his devoted and lovely wife LaVon of Seattle; his son Kent Parkins of Ashland, Oregon; his daughter Holly Morris of Saint Louis, Missouri; his daughter Amy Dehnert; and his daughter Claire Wilson of Seattle. He has nine grand-children and eight great-grand-children.

A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, July 22, 2017, in West Seattle. All neighbors and friends are welcome to join his family as they remember his lifetime commitment to learning and adventure, and his helpfulness, ready smile, and love. Please email [email protected] if you would like details of the memorial sent to you once they are confirmed. His loving wife LaVon, his children, and all of his many friends, will dearly miss him.

Everyone at The B-Town Blog sends their deepest sympathies to all who knew Dean!

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3 Responses to “Burien legend Dean Parkins has passed away”
  1. Dean was a great guy. He wrote a tax column for me for the Highline Times for several years. Even turned one in on the night his first wife died. Very conscientious.

  2. Really Pat says:

    Ran for Burien City Council Also. Was a fun Great Guy.

  3. Eric says:

    Legend is right. Dean did so much for the City, and he will be truly missed.

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