Richard Dean McQueen, age 85, died peacefully on Friday, February 23, 2018 following a lengthy illness. He was at his home in Holley, Oregon surrounded by loving family and close friends.
Dean was a counselor and teacher at Sweet Home Junior High for 22 years; from 1973 until his retirement in 1995. Among the greatest joys of his life, was inspiring students around the aspects of early computer technology and math. Prior to that, he was instrumental in creating the counseling department at the first residential Job Corps in the United States, in 1965 in Astoria, Oregon.
From 1971 to 1973, he was the counselor for grades K-12, a teacher, and a coach for basketball in the Jewell School District at Jewell, Oregon. He also taught college and graduate-level classes at Clatsop Community College, and was on faculty at the University of Oregon for six years. He assisted his wife in private psychology practice in Sweet Home and Lebanon from 1984 until 2010, administering evidence-based neurofeedback therapy in the treatment of attention deficit disorders.
In his spare time, he operated the family cattle and timber ranch, which has been in the family since the original homesteading in the Holley area around 1847.
Dean was born March 25, 1932 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, the first of three children born to Hugh and Donna McQueen who had met and married while they were teachers in the Sweet Home School District in the late 1920s. After spending his early childhood years in eastern Oregon, Dean and his family returned to Sweet Home when he was twelve. That year, he began helping his father cut timber on the family land with a crosscut saw and harvest hay with pitchforks—a partnership that continued until his father’s passing in 1977.
Dean attended Holley School through eighth grade, and then Sweet Home High School where he played basketball and football. He attended Linfield College in McMinnville on a basketball scholarship and, subsequently, Weber State in Ogden, Utah, also on a basketball scholarship.
He was drafted into the army and served as a medic during the Korean War. During that time, he was in charge of a heart research ballisto-vector lab at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. After discharge from the Army, he returned to Linfield, where he met his special love, Lila Fisher, who soon became Lila McQueen when they married on October 3, 1959 in Bellingham, Washington. Dean finished his education at the University of Oregon, where he completed two master’s programs in vocational rehabilitation counseling and school psychology.
Dean and Lila had two children, Jean and Michael, and adopted a third, Douglas Borresen. All the children graduated from both Sweet Home High School and Oregon State University.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Patricia Joy Little, and his brother, Michael Lee McQueen.
Dean is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Lila; children Jean McQueen Butcher, Michael Hugh McQueen, and Douglas Mark Borresen; and grandchildren Hayley McQueen Butcher, Brennan McQueen Butcher, Brianna Elise Borresen, Kaitlyn Jane Borresen, Benjamin Dean McQueen, and Christopher Collin McQueen.
A celebration of Dean's life will take place at Holley Elementary School, 40336 Crawfordsville Dr., Sweet Home, Oregon, 97386 on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. All are invited to share a time of fellowship, food, and memories.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sweet Home Alumni Foundation, PO Box 83, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386, in Dean McQueen’s name. Donations will fund a scholarship for graduating SHHS seniors planning to enter the fields of counseling, psychology, or computer technology.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.