Robert (Robin) Dean, Veteran and Commercial Real Estate Professional, died of an unexpected illness January 2nd, 2014 in San Diego. He was 76 years old.
Robert arrived in Coronado shortly before the United States’ entry into World War II and he was heavily influenced by being raised in one of the world’s largest military installations in the household of a Yale-educated Naval Architect. His nickname, Robin, was in honor of a distinguished military pilot and he had a desire to serve at a young age. In addition to their careers, his parents, Bette Comstock Dean and Louis A. Dean, were active in the community and, among other things, were co-founders in 1947 of the Annual Fourth of July Parade.
An accomplished athlete and student, Robin competed in basketball, volleyball and tennis growing-up in Coronado and ultimately achieved All-Southern California C.I.F. Second Team in basketball while playing for the Coronado High School Islanders. Perhaps most notably, he was the 1955 recipient of the Jike Wong Award which is presented to the boy who best exemplifies the ideals of scholarship, athleticism, leadership and friendship. The award has been presented since 1949 in memory of a fellow alum.
Robin attended Stanford University where he studied History, one of his lifelong passions, and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta (“Delts”) fraternity, which produced a number of prominent real estate professionals. Shortly after completing his studies, he attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and within two years had obtained the rank of Lieutenant JG in the U.S. Naval Reserve. During much of his Naval career he was assigned to the guided missile test ship, USS Norton Sound. Among other missions, Robin was one of the brave Americans heading toward Cuba at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in late 1962 as Staff of Amphibious Group Three.
Upon leaving the service in 1963, he followed his parents into the field of real estate and spent almost twenty years with one of the largest commercial brokerages, now known as CBRE. After learning the trade, Robin met with considerable success as an agent and was informally known for a time within the industry as the “Mayor of Mission Valley” due to his significant presence in the market. He ventured out on his own in the early 1980’s and established ownership interests in several commercial properties.
Robin had an ongoing interest in issues involving Children and Veterans, but his two most significant personal commitments of time reflected his love of sports and the San Diego region: In the mid-1970’s he helped organize and run a regional tennis tournament that emphasized San Diego’s prominence in the sport and in the early 1980’s he put considerable effort into supporting the San Diego-based Men’s National Volleyball Team leading up to the 1984 Olympics (Gold Medalists). In his later years, he enjoyed volunteering at the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
Robin was laid to rest beside his parents in the Arlington West section of El Camino Memorial Park during a private family service with Military Honors. He is survived by his sister, Carol, and his three adult children, Robert Louis, Raymond Gregory and Elizabeth Ashley.
Donations to St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, non-profits associated with the Coronado Fourth of July Parade or the YMCA of San Diego County would be appreciated.