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Obituary of James Carroll Dean, 92


James Carroll Dean, 92, of State College, died on January 1, 2019, at Juniper Village at Brookline. The eldest son of Lonnie James Dean and Lillian Fussell, Carroll was born on January 10, 1926, in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida. His parents and younger brothers, Thomas Howard and Melvin Brian, predeceased him.

A 1943 graduate of High Springs High School (FL), he joined the US Navy that September and ended the war as an AETM 1st Class, working on F4Us and PBYs. In May 1946, he joined the Naval Reserves, and on September 3, 1950, was commissioned an Ensign. He was a member of the Organized Reserves Division VA659 in Akron, Ohio, and was appointed First Platoon Commander of Company One while attending ROCS. For most of his reserve time, Carroll was assigned to Research Company 4-4, located in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where he specialized in EOD and eventually became the unit's Commanding Officer. Carroll was promoted to Commander in 1968 and retired in 1986 after forty-three years of service to his country.

In 1950, Carroll received his BA in Mathematics from The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio, and his B.E.E. from The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, in 1952. In February 1951, he married his college sweetheart, Barbara Caler from Canton, Ohio.

Both Carroll and Barbara worked at Sperry-Gyroscope on Long Island, New York, before moving to Centre County in 1955, where he worked first at HRB for 17 years and then in the Office of Physical Plant at Penn State for 18 years. Carroll was always active in civic affairs, primarily in College Township, serving on several committees during his 17 years tenure on the township Council. He was active in Chapter 618 of SCORE and other township and county government organizations, as well as a member of the University Baptist and Brethren Church, where he served as a Trustee.

Coming from railroading families, Carroll was passionate about HO scale model trains and was active in the Nittany Valley Model Rail Road Club for many years. He created a model rail road layout of the Atlantic Coast Line [ACL] station at Burnett's Lake, Florida, in the basement of his home. He was also a Conductor and an Engineer on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad. Carroll often carried his father's, Lonnie's, rail road watch as the fourth generation to "ride the rails."

During the winter of 1966-67, Carroll built a 12-foot, gaff-rigged Mirror dingy, “First Step," perfect for catching the breeze at Colyer’s Dam and Stone Valley for many years. Barbara and he went on Windjammer cruises in the Gulf of Maine and through the British West Indies. They also sailed the Intercoastal Waterway with Navy friends. A devoted fan of Blue and White, Carroll attended several Penn State bowl games, including the 27-23 win over Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl, when PSU became #1. For over thirty years he had one of the best seats in Beaver Stadium as he ushered in the Press Box during home games. Carroll was a long-time member of the Laurel Run Tigers Hunting Club.

Carroll is survived by his wife of nearly 68 years, Barbara Lou Caler, his daughter Jennifer Lou of State College, his daughter Susan Amanda and wife Kendra Quirk of Sudbury, Massachusetts, his son Timothy Carroll and wife Leslie of Cranberry Township, and two nieces and two nephews in Florida.

A Remembrance Service for Carroll will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at 11:00 am at the Mark D. Heintzelman Funeral and Cremation Services, 1034 Benner Pike, State College, military honors in accord. All friends of Carroll's are welcome to come reminisce with the family. Interment in Spring Creek Cemetery will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Name of Deceased

James Carroll Dean



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Mark D. Heintzelman Funeral and Cremation Service

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