Dean R. Hanby, 71, of Mayville passed away on August 16, 2008 from lung cancer.
Dean was born July 2, 1937 in Butler, Pa. to the late J. Lawrence and Edith Seigworth Hanby. He graduated from Beaver Falls High School. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Geneva College where he lettered as a member of the Rifle Team. He worked for 26 years as a life insurance agent for Metropolitan Life. During those years, Dean attained his Chartered Life Underwriter professional degree and earned several top sales awards. He was an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and founding member of Chippewa United Presbyterian Church. He was also a certified lifeguard and water safety instructor and served as a board member for the Mental Health Center of Beaver County for several years.
Dean moved to Mayville in 1984. He opened The Village Inn Bed & Breakfast in 1986 and has welcomed hundreds of guests over the last 22 years. While operating his inn, Dean also worked on the Building & Grounds Crew at Chautauqua Institution. During his 12-year tenure, he often supervised teens from the Chautauqua Works summer job program and became a fixture around the grounds.
Chautauqua Institution held a special place in his heart. Dean first visited Chautauqua Institution in 1956 when his high school sweetheart, Mary Lu Ramsey, worked at the Chautauqua Bookstore. He proposed that summer at the Chautauqua Diner and they enjoyed 15 years of marriage and three children together. She died in 2001.
Dean cared deeply about the Chautauqua Lake region, its resources and beauty. He was well known for his role in Save Our Trees, a non-profit organization that he formed during a controversial highway expansion project proposed for Route 394, also known as the historic French Portage Trail. Under his leadership, the organization saved many large shade trees found in Mayville and Westfield that were slated to be destroyed. His efforts to preserve this regional asset earned him Community Service Awards from the Mayville-Chautauqua and Chautauqua County Chambers of Commerce in 2006, as well as led the Preservation League of New York State to designate the Old French Portage Road as one of the “Seven To Save” in 2001.
Many people will remember Dean’s handsome mustache and sideburns, classic black shirt and gambler-style hat, big yellow Cadillac and little white dog. But Dean will be most missed for his gentle nature, his always-open door, his sense of humor and his laid-back approach to life. Dean leaves behind many who love him, including his children and their families, Rick & Tammy Hanby, and daughter Jillian of Westfield, Matt & Renee Hanby and daughters, Leigha and Julia of Findley Lake, and the Revs. James and Jo Ramsey and children, Ben and Fiona of Tarentum, Pa. He also will be greatly missed by his siblings, John & Eleanor Gache, Wintersville, Ohio, Robert & June Hanby, LasCruces, New Mexico, Eloise Hanby, Riverton, Utah, and Harry & Elaine Bell, Beaver Falls, Pa.; many nieces and nephews; several special neighbors and friends and his dog, Puma.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Chautauqua Institution, P.O. Box 28, Chautauqua, NY 14722 (www.ciweb.org) or the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, 413 N. Main St., Jamestown, NY 14701 (www.chautauquawatershed.org). Interment will be at St. Marks Cemetery in Knox, Pa.
Arrangements are by the Freay Funeral Home in Mayville.