homepage logo

Gayle “Dean” Newlon

Sep 24, 2020

AMES — Gayle “Dean” Newlon, age 76, of Ames, and formerly of Emmetsburg, passed away Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Friends may call from 10 until 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, on the patio at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 1517 Northwestern Avenue, in Ames.

Memorial Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, on the patio at Bethesda Lutheran Church, with Pastor Bryan Simmons officiating. Due to COVID restric- tions, everyone is required to wear a mask and social distancing will be enforced.

Private graveside services will be held at a later date at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Sumner.

Dean was born on Feb. 13, 1944 in Geneseo, IL, to Howard and Helen (Oberle) Newlon. Dean grew up on a farm in the Hooppole area and attended school in Annawan, IL graduating in 1962. He was involved with sports his whole life and while in high school participated in football, basketball, track and baseball. He earned 1st Conference honors in football, basketball and track (shot put) and was 2nd Team All Western Illinois in basketball.

Dean went on to Wartburg College in Waverly, earning his BA in education in 1966. While there he lettered for four years in football, was football co-captain his senior year and threw the shot put in track.

He met his future wife, Kathy Platte, in freshman history class where they were seated next to each other. (Thanks to alphabetical order). They graduated from Wartburg on May 27 and were married the next day, May 28, 1966 in Sumner. During their marriage they became the proud parents of three daughters: Kristine, Jennifer, and Nicole.

Dean began his teaching career in 1966 in Humboldt as a social studies teacher and assistant varsity coach in football and basketball. The next three summers were spent in Colorado where Dean earned his Master’s degree in school administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. In 1970, Dean, Kathy and Kris moved to the Meservey-Thornton school district where Dean was principal and athletic director. He earned his specialist degree from ISU while there.

In 1973, the family moved to Emmetsburg and for the next 29 years Dean was middle school principal there. During those years, Dean was committed to the growth of knowledge, confidence, character, accountability and sportsmanship in each middle school student. He was also well known among his teachers for his “See me….Dean” notes.

Retirement from his principalship came after the 2002 school year. Dean then began supervising student teachers for Buena Vista University and driving activity buses for the Emmetsburg sports teams. Driving the big yellow school bus was the job that impressed his grandchildren the most!

In 2011, Dean and Kathy retired to Ames and enjoyed following Ames high school sports, Pocahontas sporting activities as well as ISU football and basketball. Dean loved watching his grandkids participate in their sporting activities and he attended as many events as he could. He freely volunteered his time at church, in the community, at the golf course and at school events. He loved to golf, fish and putter around his yard and garden.

Dean is survived by his wife Kathy; and their daughters, Kris (Darren) Henrickson and their boys, Cade and Cavin of Pocahontas, Jenny (Tom) Goeders and their boys, Max, Tyler, and Jack of Ames, and Nicole (Joe) O’Brien and their daughters, Olivia and Mallory of Ames. He is also survived by his brother, Gary (Sherry) of Prophetstown, IL and sister, Glenda Newswander of Moline, IL; as well as his brothers-in-law, Roland (Mary) Platte of Omaha, NE and Steven (Susan) Platte of Scottsdale, AZ; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; and his mother and father-in-law.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Adams Funeral Home and online condolences may be left to Dean’s family at www.adamssoderstrum.com