by Charlie London
Dean grew up in New Orleans then went to Washington, D.C. to make his career. He began as a policeman walking a beat and ended his career as a Congressional staffer for Senator Bob Dole.
He was a lifelong staunch Republican. His political views won him advocates and a few adversaries along the way. But, you always knew where you stood with Dean. He was a religious man and attended mass at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary church on Bayou St. John.
After his career in Washington, D.C. he returned to his beloved New Orleans in 2008. He quickly became involved in the Faubourg St. John community. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and was eager to share should one ask. In fact, a discussion with Dean about maintenance-free options for the front of my home resulted in him not only suggesting but planting the “Vinca Major” you see in the photo to the right. Dean referred to plants by their proper name.
Dean was generous to the community.
He helped at Fortier Park. After moving to Faubourg St. John in 2008 Dean regularly mowed the grass at Fortier Park. He also mowed a path along Bayou St. John before the Orleans Levee Board resumed regular trimming of the banks of the bayou. He introduced gold fish to the ponds of Fortier Park and kept the goldfish healthy and happy. He donated the fish and the equipment that kept the water full of oxygen for the fish.
Dean also dutifully scanned N.O.P.D. police reports and regularly published those that occurred in Faubourg St. John. He would often send out emails on the neighborhood list serve with “none – tres chic” indicating that no crimes happened recently. He also patrolled the neighborhood daily with his pal “Benny” – a Jack Russell terrier.
Dean was also involved with the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association and served as its secretary for several years. He was detail oriented and produced excellent reports. He also donated money to various neighborhood causes.
Dean was a decent human being.
Dean enjoyed an annual trip to Italy. He would bring back thoughtful items for his friends. You can see some of his photos of one of the trips in the link below:
His helpfulness to many throughout the neighborhood elicited the following comments on the list serve when neighbors learned that he passed on January 25, 2016:
It is with sadness that I have to announce the passing of our neighbor Dean Burridge. Dean is the gentleman that has been diligently posting the daily neighborhood crime reports for many years on the FSJNA and Parkview List serves. He served many years on the FSJNA board and spent many hours helping maintain Fortier park before he became ill. He was often seen walking the neighborhood with his companion Benny, the Jack Russell terrier.
Dean had been suffering for some time from leukemia and died at his home yesterday.
A sad day indeed. He will be missed in the ‘hood.
Dean was a gift to many of us. He was a very humble and giving man. We’d do spur of the moment lunch or dinner with him at Neyow’s now and then. One day, he dropped off a few melatonin tablets in our mail box, to help calm our dog’s scratching. I just hope Dean’s healthy older dog Benny (due to lots of walking) is well taken care of and given many walks. Benny is surely heartbroken right now, missing his lifelong companion.
Feeling the loss,
I am saddened to hear of Dean’s passing, he was certainly a force for good in our neighborhood.
Anyone who has been subscribing to this group for a while probably knows that Dean and I had our differences with regard to politics, particularly concerning “patriotism” and war. It led to a series of email exchanges which would have been better kept private.
What was kept private was the fact that Dean and I later spoke in person regarding these matters, wherein we apologized to each other for our aggressiveness, and expressed our mutual regret for having aired our differences in public.
That conversation changed our relationship entirely and from that day forward we had nothing but good things to say to each other.
I agree with the suggestion of something in Fortier Park to memorialize Dean’s contributions to our neighborhood.
Vincent J. Booth
Dean will be sorely missed. He patrolled the neighborhood, helped folks set up their fish ponds, had good advice on any number of subjects and always had a smiling and friendly face to greet everyone. Diane and I will miss him, we always enjoyed stopping and chatting with Dean. We hope Benny finds a good home. Very sad news.
Yes, very sad news. Dean was very helpful with my gardening questions and I had intended to have him over again when my yard projects were finished.
I know he volunteered at the botanical garden, master gardener. Just a thought: plant a tree (or X) in Fortier Park with a plaque to memorialize him and his efforts in that park…or in City Park. Anyway, if y’all do something, I’d make a contribution.
I second that!
Dean clearly loved gardening and plants and as a master gardener frequently supplied me with “award winning” vegetables. I’d like to build on your suggestion with the mention of Capdeveille Park where I would see him even recently walking Benny regularly. He helped me with the beginning of re-landscaping that park, suggesting improvements and assisting with trash removal. The park needs help, perhaps more than Fortier, in the way of plantings. I think FSJNA could accept donations designated for Capdeville (corner of Esplanade and Crete) in his name and offer a tax deduction for those who’d want it. Dean’s daily walk around the park probably was part convenience for Benny, being the closest to his home, but I suspect Dean liked the oaks and ambience there as much as Fortier and City Park. If you think this would be an appropriate target for memorializing Dean, I’ll contact Steve, president of FSJNA and see if we could start this effort. Thanks
What very sad news! He just e-mailed all of us a crime report just a few short days ago.
I didn’t realize he was ill. He will be missed. RIP, Dean.
Merisa Aranas Pasternak
I’m shocked and saddened to hear of Dean’s passing. I thought he was winning his battle, but have been reminded once again that we need to show our appreciation for people while they’re with us. He will be missed. I hope we organize a planted memorial as has been suggested by Anne Marie and Robert. Does he have any other survivors besides Benny? Should we be reaching out? Anyone knowing what is happening with Benny, please let us know.
Dean will always be remembered for his devotion to our neighborhood, his work to maintain fish ponds in Fortier, his daily work to keep us advised as to police reports, and his daily patrols of the neighborhood with Benny. We and our dogs often joined up while walking. We had to work to gain Benny’s trust: a precious Jack Russell with the breed’s usual assumption that most people were fools — and those who offered their hands too quickly were swiftly advised by Dean that Benny’s trust needed some earning (in my words….). But I knew that Benny liked to visit with us — my dogs, past and present, thought highly of Benny and Dean. And I was able to side-step Dean’s precautions, and did indeed pet Benny whenever the spirit moved me which was often! I’ve asked him about Benny’s future welfare much during these last few months.
So please, if anyone has any info about Benny – please advise. Benny is elderly, has some aches, but now he must be heartbroken. We could tell that Benny knew Dean was not long for this life – dogs know these things. Maybe Dean’s tenant knows something.
Dean will be so very missed.
Eileen and Randy