September 04, 2019 Obituary
Dean Breach, 92
Funeral Celebration of Life Services for Dean Breach, age 92, of Sharpsburg, who passed away Thursday, August 29, 2019 at the Lenox Care Center was held Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM at the Sharpsburg United Presbyterian Church. Visitation was held Monday at the Ritchie Funeral Home in Lenox from 3 to 7 with the family greeting friends from 5 to 7 PM. Memorials may be given in Dean’s name. Memories may be shared with the family at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com under Obituaries. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox where we ‘Celebrate Life’.
Dean Willis Breach was born April 29, 1927, the eldest son of Ray and Anna (Alff) Breach on a farm near Walnut, IA. Their family of seven lived in the new chicken house while a new house was built on the farm they rented. Like many young boys, he liked fishing and went as often as possible with his friend Marion Edy.
Elementary schooling for Dean started in Henderson, IA, but then moved to Emerson, IA, for his 9th and 10th and a half grades when the family moved to a farm two miles south of Sharpsburg in 1942. He would continue high school at Conway, IA, where he enjoyed playing basketball, graduating in 1944.
Being no different than any other teenager growing up on a farm, he had responsibilities and work to be done to help his parents on the farm while also wanting to earn money and mobility of his own. So he fixed up a 1929 four door Chevy car that had wooden doors for his transportation. He even hand painted the body green and the tires red using only a paint brush. He picked up odd jobs where he could, one of which was working construction to earn money. In 1944-45 he worked road construction creating Highway 148.
Uncle Sam came calling and on June 16, 1945, Dean was inducted into Active Service in the Army of the United States at the Bedford, IA, Court House and sent to the Reception Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS, where he was assessed with his Military Occupation Skill (MOS) of Surgical Technician. From June 1945 – December 1946 he received the following training; Basic Training – Fort Lewis, Washington, MOS Specialty Training – Fitzsimons General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, Follow-on Internship – General Hospital, Clinton, Iowa. His last duty station was Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Dean attained the rank of Surgical Technician Fifth Grade during his time on Active Duty, receiving an Honorable Discharge from The Army of The United States. He earned the World War II Victory Medal.
After military service Dean returned to SW Iowa and began a family, marrying Phyllis Ann Hargin from Conway, IA, July 1947. They had four children, Linda, Carol, Roger and Susan. They lived west of Bedford, IA, west of Clearfield, IA, south of and in Sharpsburg, IA. They farmed, milked cows and gardened together and each child became involved in the farm/milking as they became old enough to do so safely. Dean and Phyllis milked cows by hand when they began but Dean dreamed of having an automated Grade A milking system. Due to their hard work and planning that dream came true in 1958 on the farm south of Sharpsburg, IA, when they built a modern milking barn with a top rate electric milking operation that could milk four cows at once.
Live old time country/bluegrass music was popular in Dean’s family. His brother Kenny along with several of their uncles played instruments at family gatherings, so it’s no surprise Dean would instantly get hooked on calling square dances, singing and dancing. Dean started square dancing in 1960 and in 1961 he started calling dances. He taught thousands of people how to square dance and has proudly said he didn’t have a student he couldn’t teach to dance.
Dean dealt with health challenges during his life. Farming was hard on his health and contributed to him making occupational and residential changes. During 1967/1968 he stopped large scale farming, gave up milking and began working full time as Postmaster at the Sharpsburg Post Office and moved his family into Sharpsburg, IA. Family history of heart problems would deal him not one but two blows of heart disease requiring him to undergo a multiple bypass surgery in 1981 and again in 2002.
Dean loved traveling so he purchased a pickup mounted camper and began taking the family on camping vacations to the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Colorado, Iowa State Fair and Lake Of Three Fires. Later in Life he’d let someone else do the driving and take bus tours often to Branson, MO.
Dean and Phyllis divorced in 1986 after which Dean married Flossie Belle Strough of Gravity, IA, and began a new chapter in life together. Step children joining this union are James, Robert, David and Donald.
He retired from the Sharpsburg Post Office in 1988 which gave him more time for hobby farming, gardening, and restoring antique tractors. Dean would spend hours tinkering with the old tractors breathing life back into them, alongside his son teaching the grandchildren and some great grandchildren the right way to do it. He eventually acquired and restored nine antique tractors. He loved taking as many of his tractors as possible to parades and tractor rides with all of them driven by his children or grandchildren.
Music, dancing and traveling played a big role in Dean and Flossie’s life together. They met through square dancing and continued to enjoy it for years. Dean formed a singing/entertaining group named “Highway 49 plus 2”. They were a small volunteer group of family members who performed/entertained around the area care centers, hospitals, churches, etc.
In his golden years Dean took great pleasure in gardening and spending time with his young great grandchildren. Caring for the little ones and watching them grow so fast.
Left to cherish Dean’s memory are his wife, Flossie Breach, sister, Norma Culver, sister, Eleanor (William) Witt, sisters-in-law Ruthie Breach and Janice Nook, children, Linda (Harold) Spring, Carol (Dennis) Brown, Roger (Jill) Breach, Susan Breach (Curtis Bolinger), step-children, James (Judy) Strough, David (Susan) Strough, Donald (Christine) Strough, Cheryl Strough. Plus a blessed bounty of grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren and close friends.
Preceding Dean in death are his parents, Ray and Anna Breach, brothers Delmar Breach and Kenneth Breach, brother-in-law, William Culver, stepson, Robert Strough and infant nephew.
Dean served his country and his community.
He loved and cared for his family.
He was a life well lived.