Cover photo for Wilbur Ellis Dean's Obituary
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1937 Wilbur 2023

Wilbur Ellis Dean

January 26, 1937 — February 25, 2023

Atkinson- Wilbur Ellis Dean, 86 of Atkinson, passed away early Saturday morning (February 25, 2023) at his residence.

Born in Jacksonville, FL., his parents were Herman Lanier Dean and Kertis Boyd Dean. He was also preceded in death by a son, Scott Dean; two brothers, Karlton Dean, Charles Dean; a sister, Gloria Pearson; and a step grandson, Miles Crews.

Wilbur served in the United States Navy and was a member of Grace Community Church of God.

Wilbur was known as ”Wilbur Dean the preaching machine” and that he was. His first love was for Jesus, to preach, teach, and to sing to the Lord for his glory. He always witnessed no matter where he went, and if anyone said “Bro. Wilbur I need prayer; he would lay a hand on them and we would pray right then. He said he wanted to do all he could for the Kingdom of God in the time that God gave him. Many times Wilbur would say “If I’d been born in King David’s time I’d made him a good right-hand man.” Whatever he did he did to the praise and glory of God and not for his self.

Wilbur’s second love was his wife of 21 years who he loved dearly, then family, then friends and then I think it’s a toss up between his red dodge pick up truck and his ol’ Takamine Guitar. I believe the truck would win. Wilbur had an awesome change in his life, from the way he lived before he met Jesus to the man he was after that encounter. He became a man who was born to serve the Lord!; and serve he did with all his heart. Wilbur was an awesome man and I loved him deeply and truly, I thank God for bringing him to me.

Survivors include his wife, Thelma Martin Dean, of Atkinson; son and daughter-in-law, Bruce Dean (Debbie), of Raybon; 5 stepchildren, Tina, Pam, Ernie, David, and Ryan; 4 grandchildren, Jeannie Pittman (Rodney), Amy Dean, Ellis Dean, and Whitley Bowers (Brandon); 7 great grandchildren; many step grandchildren; his sister, Ernestine Bailey, Titusville, FL.; and a sister-in-law, Sherry Dean, of Atkinson. Also several nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.

A memorial service will be held Saturday (March 11, 2023) at 11AM at Smyrna Cemetery with Rev. Jason Marden and Rev. Paul Hodge officiating.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Salvation Army in Waycross; 977 Tebeau St. Waycross GA 31501.

Arrangements are with Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing our online registry at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilbur Ellis Dean, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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