Dean Clyde Thurman, a 48 year resident of Torrance, CA passed away on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Fountain Valley, CA. Born in Artesia, CA, Dean was 88 when he died. Dean had served in the Army during WWII in the European campaign. Dean attended El Camino College and for a short time USC. Dean started his own business as a hardwood flooring contractor and later in his career specialized in gymnasium refinishing and line-striping. At one time Dean's handiwork could be witnessed at every high school gymnasium in the South Bay. Dean's passion was hunting and fishing and every year he spent the month of October in Utah with his best buddy hunting deer and fishing for trout. Dean and his wife, Shirley, were charter members of the Southwest Association for Retarded Children, which is now ARC. Dean is survived by his son, Larry Thurman of Torrance, CA, his daughter, Sherilyn Thurman of Huntington Beach, CA, and sister, Mae Tanksley of Moreno Valley, CA. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Shirley Thurman, in 2010, who he was married to for 65 years. A Graveside service will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 11:00 am at Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the VFW.

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  1. Dean was such a fun and loving Uncle. We always enjoyed visiting him, Shirley and our cousins. He was always smiling and joking, I never saw him in a bad mood or saying a harsh word to anyone. His older sister, Mae, is my mother. She regrets not being able to visit with him more often in the past couple of years, but comments on what a loving, protective brother he was when they were young.

  2. Uncle Dean was one of America’s greatest generation; when
    the US entered WWII he was one of the first to volunteer to serve in the United States Army. He served as an artilleryman and was assigned to the first Battle Group to actually invade Germany. He served alongside British troops and they met
    with very heavy resistance, but fought clear through to the surrender of Axis powers in Europe. Dean€™s artillery unit came under sustained artillery and small arms fire numerous times during the campaign and many of his fellow soldiers became casualties during some of the most intense fighting of the war.

    After the war, Dean went through a time of intense depression and spent a lot of time with his sister, Mae and her husband Linder (my parents) until he met the love of his life, Shirley, who became his anchor as he rebuilt his life. Dean was very slow to confront and very eager to forgive; he had an eagerness to work and an ability to solve problems that made
    him a very productive and successful businessman.

    He was very suspicious of the mechanizations of government and very conservative politically with a distinctly Libertarian flavor. Dean was very well read and knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects. We would talk for hours about politics during our many visits and I found him to be always well informed and he could defend his positions in a fair and thoughtful manner.

    Dean was a true gentleman € we will miss him.

  3. Dean was a wonderful and kind person, I always admired how much he loved his family. he pulled me into that loving circle as one of his daughters friends. I will always remember how good he and his wife were to me. Lynne Sanford

  4. Dean, I am sitting with you and having a Peppermint Schnopps listening
    to your always interesting stories, but more importantly you and
    Shirley are having a glass of champagne on the patio – rest in peace
    Dean you’re awesome!

  5. Bill Tanksley is my cousin and he officiated my dad’s funeral service on Tuesday. It was the most fitting and beautiful tribute to my father and couldn’t have been more perfect. My dad would be so proud.
    Larry, Glen and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  6. Meli, thank you so much. It meant so much to have you and Auntie Mae with us on Tuesday. You made the day very special. My dad always had a big smile and a twinkle in his eye when he spoke about his sister. He loved her very much.

  7. Lynne, thank you for your kind words. We always had so much fun with you and Fonzelle and thought of you as part of our extended family. My only regret is that it has been too long since our last get-together. We’ll have to take care of that soon. Best to you and Jack.

  8. Hi girlfriend, ahhhh, that brings back memories, so many good times just hanging out on the patio with my family and friends. My parents loved you like a daughter. Thanks for being such a wonderful friend. Love you.

  9. When my mom passed away I made a vow to myself that I would prepare and present the eulogy. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would say, how I would convey my feelings and honor her as my mother, and then staying awake at night worried about whether I would be able to get through it at her service.

    I haven’t had those same fears about my dad and I was trying to figure out why. During the last few years since my dad has been on his own without my mom, we spent a lot more time talking about his past and especially his time during WWII We even ordered all the medals he was supposed to have been given at the end of the war which for some reason he never received. Another thing that he talked about all the time was having a military honors funeral. He didn’t know exactly how to go about it so we sent applications to the Veterans Administration, he joined the American Legion, and supported the VFW. He talked to everyone he could about a military funeral and wanted to make the arrangements ahead of time so that he could be assured that it would happen. After inquiring about it myself, I found out that it is not something that is prearranged and I vowed to him that I would make it happen. This is how I am honoring my dad.

    I have never known anyone that loves our country more than my dad. And even though he admits our system is not perfect, he always says it is the “best there is.” He is the most patriotic person I know and he has instilled those beliefs in me. I know he couldn’t be more proud to know his casket is draped in an American flag and that three military veterans will honor him and his service to our country. My dad is a true patriot of the greatest generation. I love him and will miss him every day.

  10. I will miss you Dean, i have a lot of good memories of you and I hunting together as well as fishing. Your Friend always! Mark C. Cunningham. God Bless!

  11. Mark, thank you for your kind words. I know some of my dad’s happiest times were when he was hunting and fishing with his buddies – so glad you were able to share that with him. Louise told me you and she viewed the service online while it was available – sorry you weren’t able to attend, perhaps we’ll meet in person some day.

  12. Mark, thank you for your kind words. I know some of my dad’s happiest times were when he was hunting and fishing with his buddies – so glad you were able to share that with him. Louise told me you and she viewed the service online while it was available – sorry you weren’t able to attend, perhaps we’ll meet in person some day.

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