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Dean E. Ailie, 72

Dean Elton Ailie, age 72, of Cokato, passed away Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, at his home in Cokato, surrounded by his family, from complications of cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

He was born Aug. 31, 1941, in his parents’ home in Dassel. Dean was confirmed in Christ in 1954, at the age of 12.

He attended Dassel High School through 10th grade, when he joined the US Army at the age of 16.

He was a member of the 82nd Airborne for three years, stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. During his years in the service, he traveled to Puerto Rico, Florida, Colorado, and Alaska for training exercises.

Dean was honorably discharged at the age of 19, and returned to Dassel, where he met Betty M. Cooley. They were joined in marriage Feb. 23, 1963, at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Dassel, and just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

Dean received his GED in 1967.

He lived in Dassel all his life, until recently, when he and Betty moved to Cokato.

Dean’s hobbies included auto body and mechanical work, woodworking, gardening, fishing, snowmobiling, and the love and appreciation of nature.

He was a very loving father, giving hugs and saying “I love you” daily. Dean was also an involved grandpa, and was often on the floor, playing with the kids and the animals.

Although he knew how to play and relax, Dean also was a hard worker and a very good employee. He worked as a machinist at Storm Industries and JLCO of Dassel, and retired from Pengo Corporation of Cokato in 2010, after 25 years of dedicated service.

Dean was a man of few words. Living up to his nickname, “Smiley Ailie,” he was joking around and grinning up to his last days on earth.

Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Wyman and Ardis Ailie; a brother, Donny Ailie; a nephew, Jimmy Parks; and many dear friends.

He will be profoundly missed by his surviving wife, Betty Ailie; his daughters, Lisa Ailie-Murphy of St Cloud, and Andrea (Dominic) Verhey of Cokato; his grandchildren, Tyler (Rachel) Murphy of 29 Palms, CA, Jessa Murphy of St. Cloud, and Zoe Verhey of Cokato; his great-granddaughter, Ailie Jean Murphy of 29 Palms, CA; his sister, Lois (Dale) Nordstrom of Dassel; sister-in-law Elaine Ailie of Monticello; and other family members and friends.

There was visitation Friday, Oct. 11 at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel at 5 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 7:30 p.m.

At Dean’s request, a Life Celebration Party took place Saturday, Oct. 12, beginning at 3 p.m. at their prior home, north of Dassel.

Arrangements were handled by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.

Memorials will be divided between the Dassel and Cokato fire departments.