Lawrence Dean

In Loving Memory
Lawrence Dean
November 2, 1951 – July 23, 2020
Beloved Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, and Friend


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

43 Condolences

  1. Wesley Harris, MI on July 31, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Friendship with strength. Peace be with you with God’s blessings.

  2. Gerald M Ben-Ami on July 31, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Uncle Larry was a serious funny. He had this edge that was funny and serious all at the same time. Amongst the car competition he and my father had and his unwavering love for donuts I will always remember that about him.

    And our girls – absolutely loved him.

    He will be missed.

  3. Lourene Scott on July 31, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    My prayer is for continued strength to the Dean Family. Especially Michelle Dean…

  4. James Williams on July 31, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    My cousin, my soul brother, my good friend. Always kept it real and uplifting. Will miss our talks and remember the smiles we brought when spoken. Love you man.

  5. Jennifer Jordan on July 31, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    I met Larry more than a decade ago when I went to his home with our sister Michelle. I remember he was funny, but no nonsense; and loved his sister, which is why he had mercy on us and let us be there! I never forgot that time. My prayers and thoughts and that of my family are with yours.

    May God’s strength be with you.

  6. Audrey Everett Harvey on July 31, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    My sincere condolences to Larry’s family and close friends. I first met him over 40 years ago when we were both college students. Even back then, I knew there was something exceptional about him. He was both funny and social but also very serious about his studies. May the peace of God comfort and sustain your family. I know he will be greatly missed.

  7. D. Yehonathan Ben-Ami("Naphtali Michel Ben-Ami") on July 31, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    My Brother Larry was “proof-positive” that none of us are accidents, there’s no “chance encounters”, & that we all have the capacity to play a vital role in each other’s life. Larry used to laugh & say, “It ain’t easy being greasy!”(Even his laugh was purposeful). I THANK EVERYONE that loved him.

  8. Janice Ware on July 31, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Larry stayed at my Houston home twice in order to minister his brand of love to our mutual friend during the lost of loved ones . My husband and I fell in love with this brilliant gentle soul. He represented my interest, years later in a development deal in Texas. I’m sure my husband looked down from heaven pleased that I had the best advisor possible. Larry brought a kind of vibrancy to a room that lifted everyone in it, in his own special way. To us, he was easy as Sunday morning. Rest In Peace my friend and may your family and friends be comforted as we all adjust to life without Larry.

  9. rev. samuel nixon jr., A Black Alum of MIT (BAMIT) on July 31, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    To the Dean Family,

    May the peace of God continue to be your strength, guide and comfort during this challenging time of Larry’s passing away from among us. Although my knowing of Larry was from a distance, his story was distinctive within our BAMIT Family. My prayer is that his life left many blessings of good remembrances that will linger well among us. May his life be an encouragement to us, as we each complete our journey, to be a light of hope and love to others in the fulness of God’s will! Blessings to you!

  10. Naphtali Michel Ben-Ami on July 31, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    My Brother Larry was indelible. His very existence is “proof-positive” that none of us are accidents, that the are no chance encounters, & that each of us have the capacity to play a vital role in each other’s life. He used to laugh & joke, “It aint easy being greasy”(Even his laugh was purposeful.)I THANK EVERYONE who loved my Brother.

  11. Ahmad salih on August 1, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Hours long conversations
    Sometimes in the middle of the night or on long 15 hour drives from Boston to Milwaukee; sometimes after 10 years with no communication, we would discuss such varied topics as Kids, women/ sex, differential equations, or spirituality and its effects on politics. Like how the spirit of God is in all people – even in racists and that is why non-violence as advocated by SCLC can be effective. This was contrasted with the natural tendency for self defense as advocated by Malcolm X, the Panther Party and the RNA. We would occasionally go far afield philosophically and discuss ideas like the Bhuddist illusions of self and time (and he wasn’t high although I might have been )!

  12. Pastör Shirley Nelson Davis on August 1, 2020 at 12:49 am

    Blessings and continued comfort for the Dean Family; We rejoice in knowing that Larry was a Born Again Believe; an Ambassador for the Kingdom of Our God, called back home because his work was done, Now he sits among those that’s a Great Cloud of Witnesses rooting us on; Larry made it over now he is pushing us to stay connected to the vine, so We can all meet again, let it be a Smiling Savior and not a frowning judge, let’s make sure we’re on that ark, and not left behind in the storm.

  13. Liz on August 1, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Michelle you and your family have my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your brother. May your many wonderful memories of him help comfort you during this difficult time.
    May God rest his soul.
    Love Liz

  14. Ahmad salih on August 1, 2020 at 2:35 am

    Was Larry’s achilles heel. He was meticulous in cooking and food preparation. It drove him crazy that I would cook an egg in the same skillet and in the same grease that I had just cooked the bacon. He advocated eggs fried slowly in butter, not oil of any type.

  15. Pastor Shirley Nelson Davis on August 1, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Many Blessings to the Dean Family, it it so great to read the life stories of Larry from everyone as a Father,Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and Friend; how Larry made such an impact on All of our lives, but the Greatest Blessings for Larry was the day he became a Born Again Believer, where the old things passed away and all things became new; not of blood ( natural conception) nor of will of flesh ( physical impulse) nor the will of man ( by a natural father ) but of the will God ( that is a divine supernatural birth. To God Be all the Glory!

  16. Harriet Holder on August 1, 2020 at 11:22 am

    I met Larry when he came to my house to see where his sister and niece will live when Michelle and Ashley were going to live with me and my daughter in Dorchester. He did a walk through like an inspector making sure they was going to be safe. He was very protective of Michelle and Ashley. It was good that Michelle was able to take care of him. RIP big brother Larry.

  17. Mae White Wesson on August 1, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    “Have I got a movie for you!!!” Often when Larry would call me, those were the first words out of his mouth. We both loved movies and one could not go by without Larry and I discussing it, along with his detailed critique and ratings.

    Larry was my friend. A best friend, a brother. We spent long hours talking on the phone (usually after 11pm), and we talked about everything. No topic was taboo. As we shared stories of our personal lives and experiences, I could always count on Larry to give me his true thoughts and feelings – even when they were uncomplimentary to me. He was supportive – listened to me complain, cry, and laugh. He was always there- though we lived miles apart, he tried his best to attend in person all those memorable occasions – weddings, funerals, divorce court (yes, that too!), a surprise birthday party, and graduations of my two youngest children ( he was their godfather).

    To Michelle and the rest of Larry’s family, my deepest sympathy and prayers for you during this time of loss. Larry was my friend. I loved him, and I will miss him.

  18. Elsie Allen, MD on August 1, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Larry was a highly valued friend for me. We knew each other since college when we were both tutors at the Afro Institute. Well read and highly intelligent, Larry was a fascinating conversationalist with very strong opinions. While he could seem harsh, he was really kind a gentle. He was passionate about teaching and cared much for our Black youth.

    One of my fondest memories of Larry was his flying to Chicago to drive me, my infant son (now 38) and our furnishings back to Boston. I was distressed. Larry was helpful and supportive – but, did coddle me. He brought out my best. I am sure he did the same for many.

    Michelle and family, you have my deepest sympathies.

  19. Leah Ben-Ami on August 1, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    My uncle Larry is a significant reason why I moved to Boston, and why I stayed in Boston long after school. He never went “easy” on me and we got into several heated debates – and that is how we learned more about one another. Riding around Boston listening to his music (excellent tastes in jazz, etc.), eating out way too much at Atlantic Fish, and shopping/watching movies with him are all things I’m going to desperately miss doing with my uncle. He worked with at risk youth and community college students, and always encouraged me to “wake up and pay attention” to what it really means to be a black female in this country. We still have much work to do and I plan on continuing to work hard – he wouldn’t have it any other way. Rest In Peace Uncle – thank you for respecting me for who I am, and always listening to me.

  20. Nell Russell on August 1, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Larry was our friend. He was with us during our college days. He was truly a 100% at all times. I’m so sorry to hear of his making his transition and remain blessed to have had the privilege of knowing him.

  21. Sekazi Mtingwa and Estella Johnson on August 1, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Genius, talented, kind, loving, and handsome. That was you, Larry, and Estella and I loved you for it. Always a Dear Friend. May you rest in peace with God and the Angels.

  22. Sekazi K. Mtingwa on August 1, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Genius, Talented, Kind, Loving and Handsome. Larry, you were all of those, and Estella and I deeply loved you for it. Rest in peace with God and the Angels, My Brother.

  23. Ahmad Salih on August 1, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Dean was a chess champ. At least around MIT and Northeastern and even in some local and regional tournaments. He would sometimes play backgammon with me but that was my game not his. He was more into games of skill than games of chance. The exception was bid whist. He loved the game. I must admit that he preferred Barron as a partner, mainly because he made fewer mistakes. I didn’t find out that he played pinochle until after his death.

  24. Scott Bacon on August 1, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Cheryl and I are both thinking of you and yours… all positive energy.

  25. Thompson Family on August 1, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    From the Thompson family….

    LaRoy & wife, Love: Praying for all

    Joseph (Joey): My prayers and condolences are with you!!!

    Brian: I as well wish his family support. I was always amazed at how much he and his sister Sandy looked alike…I pray for the best for the Dean family loss and it was nice to see them at our mom’s passing…

    Michael & wife, Mary: We send our condolences.

    Betty: My prayers are with you.

    Brenda: Larry was a soul born ahead of his time. I believe heaven will get louder with his arrival. He was the uncle to my children (Gerald and Leah Ben-Ami) who visited him in Boston for @ 3 weeks. I would always remind Larry this visit was the reason why my daughter lives there now!
    Please remember our earthly visit is brief. Love one another and allow the memories to comfort you all, bring peace, and unity.

    1 Corinthians 1:10…..I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

  26. Clarence G. Williams on August 1, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Larry was a super intelligent brother, ” the oldest of seven children, raised by his mother who had a couple of years of college. My father only went to the second or third grade. I was one of the brightest students, if not the brightest, in my high school. I achieved that status by not having to work very hard, which hurt me in my college days. For example, I never learned how to study. I mean, it just came naturally.” CGW: Who were your role models and mentors during that period, would you say? LD: I had nearly none. There was one guy I knew, maybe for the last six months that I was in Milwaukee, who was a computer operator at the time. I was seventeen, he was thirty-eight or thirty-nine. He was very, very nice to me. I now realize that one on the formative factors in my life was that I knew very few black men whom I looked up to. Certainly, you could discuss Martin Luther Kings and Malcolm X’s and national figures. But in terms of people whom I could talk to and who were close to me, there were none, with the exception of this guy I met and couple of uncles whom I saw two or three time a year. But this guy was the only black adult male I saw daily whom I looked up to. And I was seventeen years old when I met him….”. CGW: ” How did you find out about MIT and how did you happen to come to MIT? One of the first young black men I met, whom I really admired and am still friends with to this day, was Johm Mims, who was a recruiter here. He came of my high school. My guidance counselor was this old white woman who really for whatever reason, saw potential in me and thought that I should go to one of these Ivy League schools. It was a ghetto high school, so it was a father in her cap too. But she and John Mims got together and put together an application. I don’t know if I should say this, but I literally never even wrote the application. They got together, they wrote the application, and that’s how I got into MIT.” I have quoted above a portion of my interview with this outstanding Brother who did beat the odds. It is a great true story for our new super bright youth who too often never get to ” the Court Yard”. He was a great one. If you want to reflect on his successful life, I encourage you and others who may feel really down in spirit these days, read his thoughts regarding his life and how he made it in this racist society noted in TECHNOLOGY AND THE DREAM. The Good Lord has said, well
    done Larry. CGW

  27. John A Mims on August 1, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Larry…… met you so long ago in Milwaukee. Been with you through the ages. Respect to you family. Rest In Peace and Love……..

  28. Linda Sharpe on August 1, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    May Larry have serious fun on the other side. Peace and condolences to Michelle, Duane and the Dean family, whom Larry loved first and foremost.

  29. Beverly L. Herbert on August 1, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Larry Dean was one dependable, loving, opinionated, intelligent, chess-loving, math genius, real estate developer, who loved being the oldest sibling in his family. We were at MIT together. But we became better acquainted post-graduation, being drawn together because of our love for real estate and community development. He was the first person I knew who love staying up late; I was an early person. I can remember our phone calls at 1am and 2am in the morning. I loved him very much as a good friend and an older brother. He introduced me to movies – and no movie experience was complete until we had dissected it from all angles. And he did not expect you to agree with him. But he could let you know that you might not be Right. (smile).

  30. Beverly L. Herbert on August 1, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Larry was willing to always go the extra mile with those for whom he cared about, and that circle was very large because his arms were always open and his heart expansive. He loved math and loved teaching it– teaching students of diverse ages and determining new ways for them to learn because everyone can learn. He had impatience for ineptitude and for school administrators who did not expect nor help all their children to learn and learn properly.

    Larry was with me during my two breast cancer diagnoses. The first time, when the surgeon told me to bring a friend because I would be in shock and not be able to focus on all I was being told, I asked Larry. Wow! The strong arms and big heart and love brought me through that meeting. 20+ years later after a major surgery to treat the cancer and unable to drive myself the 90 miles home from Boston, he graciously and lovingly was my driver. I remember one of my last conversations when he told me he was going to begin playing chess again. He was teaching, practicing tai chi to stay health, and he was admitting back into his life, his other love chess.

    Larry, you are missed and very loved. We are all changed because of you.

  31. Maya Valentine on August 1, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Mr. Dean taught me to see the beauty in things, to challenge what didn’t make sense, and to be an honest person. He was my biggest mentor and even though I sometimes too stubborn to like or agree with what he had to say (even though he was right), I’m so honored God put him in my life to be a source of wisdom and guidance. He was so strong, kind, and had an incorruptible heart. That’s how he loved so much and so dearly. I will miss him, and he will always have a place in my heart. Rest in Peace Mr. Dean!

  32. Paula J. Waters on August 1, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    I knew that you were a man of faith long before you did. You used to ask my opinion about which card to play at bid whist. Little did you know that I had no idea how to play. But I learned from watching you.

    Now all your questions are answered for you know even as you are fully known.

  33. Beverly Herbert on August 2, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Michelle, Duane, Ashley, and the Dean family,
    My condolences to you. During this time of grief and remembrance, may God’s peace be with you. May God wrap Her arms around you and hold you close. May He give you strength until the pain transforms to cherished memories that warm your heart and your spirit.
    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

  34. Rev. Charmayne Cooke on August 2, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    “When a man dies a library burns to the ground,” an African proverb

    We speak and write your name “Lawrence Dean” that your “wisdom and lasting contributions” might continue … “Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?” … Take your rightful place my friend and rest in God’s power, Rev. Charmayne Cooke

  35. Antonio Gellineau on August 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    I have known Larry since I stepped on campus. Great friend, confidant, chess buddy, and very kind and caring man. He will be missed. We loved cars. I enjoyed talking politics with him over the years (he may of hated it.) Rest in peace Brother Dean!

  36. romello valentine on August 3, 2020 at 3:57 am

    Professor Dean was like a father to me. He taught me chess, math but most importantly life lessons. His intense and authentic aura is a rare gem that not many people ever meet in life. I’m thankful for the time I spent with him and the knowledge he parted. May his spirit rest in everlasting harmony and serenity, may he be at peace knowing he has brought peace to so many others. God bless his family and all he touched throughout his inspired life.

  37. Bp. John M Borders iii on August 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    On behalf of Larry’s sister Michelle and Morning Star Baptist Church Boston, we send our condolences.

    Larry was a bright mind, a determined personality and an advocate for young men and women. Michele has told me many stories about him. I wish I had known him better. However, I know one day I shall see him on the other shore.

  38. Antonio Gellineau on August 5, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    So many memories. My Dad was a boxer and fought under the name: Kid Cortes. (Which is my middle Name.) Larry also loved boxing. We watch many fights together. I once drove up from Washington DC so we go go to see a fight together. We loved going to Cabbots (ice cream); Legal Sea food and many other places to “feed our faces”. We once met and spent a few days in Maine to enjoy seafood. We love clothes. We would fly down to New York to shop in Soho and the village. We used to shop in Alan Bilzarian’s and many other boutiques in Boston. We would often shoot hoops together. So many memories. My deepest sympathy to the Dean family.

  39. Thea Stovell on August 15, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Larry Dean was the epitome of wit and wisdom. I’ve never laughed so hard and learned so much from an individual. God truly has called home an angel. May Larry forever rest in heavenly peace. Until we meet again my friend. Gone, bit never forgotten.

  40. Barron (Barry) Cox on August 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    It is so hard to say goodbye to the person who was genuinely My Brother from another Mother.

    I am blessed to have had a great friend, confidant, advisor and buddy as Larry. Our long partnership will forever be cherished. Larry’s loss is only physical as he will forever live in my heart.

    Rest in Peace my Brother as you dance with the Angels.

  41. Rosalind Knox, Grosse Pointe MI on August 30, 2020 at 3:57 am

    My Homie, my classmate, my brother by another mother, though his mother was my mother too. But most of all he was a dear friend. One who you knew love and cared about you.
    We were not that close in high school but as the years passed and I became apart of the family, we became tight. He would call and want to meet up when he was making a trip to Brewtown. He was super intellectual, super sarcastic, super caring, super comical, and super Real. With him, or as I knew him, you were not getting away with no fake crap or he would bust you out and let you know about. We wouldn’t communicate for months, sometimes a year would pass, but you always knew he cared. He wanted the best for me and wanted my marriage to his friend and my ex Herman Cockcroft to work so badly. I will miss my buddy, I miss his mama. So rest easy Beloved, I know you are having a ball with your parents and loved ones. Say hi to Douglass. PEACE ✌ , TILL WE MEET AGAIN ❤️

  42. Jo Ann Gray-Murray on September 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I just found this page today. Very difficult to receive and process the sad news at a distance. I feel a profound sense of celebration of you and your life. We met as “ride or die’ comrades back in the day. My girls (Kim and Stacey) remember you as well. How could they forget? I was listening to James Brown this morning and thought about you. So many memories…You are with us always. See you on the other side.


    Jo Ann Brown Gray-Murray and the Girls

  43. Troy Stephens on December 16, 2020 at 2:14 am

    Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh……

    Mysterious health concerns shared in our last conversations, set the stage for this moment; as I’ve feared a turn for the worst for months and months after Lar became unresponsive to periodic check ins. I never gave up.

    This hurts!

    A true friend…

    God Bless Michelle; and the entire Dean (extended) family.

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