Funeral Home Site

Dean William Mell

Born in Medford, Oregon on June 21, 1928
Passed away on Fri. January 13, 2017 and resided in Mount Vernon, Washington

Services will be held at Kern Funeral Home on Fri. January 20, 2017 at 01:00 pm

Dean William Mell died peacefully on January 13, 2017 at Mira Vista Care Center in Mt. Vernon, WA. He was 88 years old.

Born June 21, 1928 in Medford, OR to Carman and Cassie Mell, Dean was raised primarily in Northern California. He is survived by his sons Wayne, Randy, Loren and Adam; his daughter Karen; twelve grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. His wife of 64 years, Bonnie Mell, died in 2012.

Dean had a long and varied career as a broadcast journalist. A consummate professional whose integrity and managerial skills were admired by all who worked for him, he began his professional life in 1948 at KICA radio in Clovis, NM. He then proceeded to positions in Lubbock, TX; Chico, CA; and Fresno, CA, where he became the first TV news anchor in the San Joaquin Valley. In 1962, Dean began a lengthy stint with the NBC network, and delivered the news on KNBR radio in San Francisco.

Dean and his family moved to the East Coast in 1967 where he served as a correspondent for WNBC radio in New York. During this period, he covered many of the key events of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including four of the Apollo space missions.

In 1973, Dean accepted a position as the news director and anchorman at KHQ-TV, the local NBC affiliate in Spokane, WA. He also served as president of the Radio and Television News Directors Association in 1983. After 17 years at KHQ, Dean and Bonnie retired to Mt. Vernon, though they spent much of their time on the road, visiting friends and family all over the country.

Dean was known for his dynamic personality and enthusiasm for life. A natural storyteller and a lover of vigorous debate, his many passionate interests included politics, sports, food and drink, American history, travel, music (especially classical and country & western), racquetball, and backpacking. His humor and high spirits will be remembered fondly.

Memorial services will be held at Kern Funeral Home on January 20, 2017 at 1:00pm.