Kenwood Press

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Obituaries: 05/01/2020

Sharon Cecile Dean

Long time valley resident

Long time Sonoma Valley resident

Sharon Cecile Dean (née Powers) passed away from complications of Parkinson’s Disease on April 18, 2020. She was 78 years old.

Sharon was born and raised in San Francisco and lived her entire life in her beloved California. Sharon resided for the last 38 years in Sonoma County (Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Sonoma) and felt that The Valley of the Moon was her true home. She never tired of the beautiful landscape and its gorgeous light.

Sharon attended Mercy High School in San Francisco and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Studies. A talented artist herself, she worked for a time in an advertising agency prior to marrying and starting a family. Sharon met her future husband, Ronald E. Dean, when she pulled her Karmann Ghia into a gas station and Ron pumped her gas. After six months of courtship, they were married. The marriage lasted 22 years.

Sharon was always an avid animal lover going back to childhood when she would try to convince her mother, with varying degrees of success, to allow her to keep any number of stray animals. As a result, she never refused to accept a stray when one was presented by her own children. Animals were always welcome and included as part of the family.

Sharon was accomplished in animal husbandry. She and her husband raised Arabian horses on their small ranch on Lawndale Road in Kenwood for many years. Sharon was instrumental in all aspects of the small family business and worked harder than anyone day in and day out. Despite her petite stature, she was surprisingly strong and could lift much more than anyone might think.

After her divorce, Sharon worked for many years at Macy’s Santa Rosa Plaza. Sharon enjoyed her work there, largely because she adored her coworkers and so many of the regular customers she was privileged to serve. The most common observation by Sharon’s coworkers and friends was about her sense of humor. She liked to keep everyone smiling.

Sharon was also a wonderful chef and kept her family “fat and happy” with her thoughtfully prepared meals and baking. Food was definitely a love language for Sharon and to know her was to know her cookies, which she gave away generously. Sharon also worked part time at a local Kenwood restaurant, Marco Dana’s.

Sharon is survived by her children John Dean and Heather Dean (Brett Fisher); her sister Patricia Bilafer (Bob Bilafer); brother John (Jack) Powers (Eileen Powers); brother in-law Ken Lucas; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her ex-husband of 22 years, Ronald Dean; her sister, Joan Lucas; and her parents, Florence and Edmond Powers.

The family wishes to acknowledge the kindness of the caregivers at Sonoma Greens: Hannah Njeri, Esther Mbugua, Gloria Dominguez, Lucy Kinuthia, Felicity Villalobos and the owners, Mercedes and Julius Vegvary.

A memorial is postponed due to the current shelter in place order. If you wish to make a donation in Sharon’s memory, please choose an organization in the spirit of Sharon’s interests, such as the local food bank, arts institution, humane and animal rescue organizations, environmental protection, or KQED Radio & TV.

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