Let the memories of Dean the musician, Dean the teacher, and Dean the father, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband, and friend be with us all forever
  • 85 years old
  • Born on February 12, 1929 in DeKalb, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on May 30, 2014 in Rialto, California, United States.


This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved father, Dean Dellinger, born on   February 12, 1929 and passed away at 85, on May 30, 2014. We will love and treasure him forever.

Memorial Service for DEAN MILTON DELLINGER was held on
July 12, 2014 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Rialto, CA.

In honor of Dean's numerous years of teaching music from elementary school to college level, there was a mini-concert of a brass quartet with the memorial service immediately following. A reception followed with a light lunch.

Inurnment and committal service for
BARBARA LOU & DEAN MILTON DELLINGER was held on July 13, 2014 at 
Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Lake Arrowhead, CA.

Barbara and Dean are together again for their eternal heavenly life.

The Family thanks all of the friends and family who attended the services, your presence made them both wonderful, joyous, touching and memorable events. It is so fitting that both Mom and Dad's  journey has ended where they spent so much of their love and life!


Daughter Denice joined mom & dad in paradise on 12/19/2014, after a long, valiant, and courageous fight with lung cancer.

The Family requests that you please share your special photo memories of Dean in your lives! Kindly compress the photos for "Web Page" to maximize the web sites interactive speed. Also please add your thoughts and memories for all to share and enjoy!

As you visit this site please enjoy some of the music Dean made possible all his life!

Posted by Kawai Kaelberer on 6th July 2014
When our family first arrived to the Inland Empire, we knew we were in for some blessings... but we had no idea how deeply our hearts would be touched and how our family would expand. Dean, you became a part of our family. When we were first invited to watch you at San Jacinto Community College, we knew we were in for a treat... what we didn't know until now is that you welcomed us into a part of your passion and heart. You came to life on that stage and you inspired others to do the same. Our experiences with you and this love for music continued, as you would often play with Allan at church. What a blessing you were to our entire church family. I will never forget "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and the other triumphant Easter hymns that you would bring to life. My oldest daughter is in education and we often talk about time with students as being a "faith walk" because you never really know how you affect your students. As I think about you, I can't help me know that you impacted so many people through your teaching and passion. Although we weren't your formal students, you certainly did impact our lives. Thank you for being a father to all, teacher to all, and friend to all. Although you will be missed, we will always take a part of you with us-- whether it is in Big Band Music or the Easter Services that we are fortunate to experience each year... Dean, you will always be with us. Love always- Kawaipiolani Kaelberer (and Pastor Eric, too!)
Posted by Joanne Varino on 6th July 2014
I remember Dean because my mother, Jean Varino played bass with him for years along with piano player Jack Rodgers and drummer Glenn Waller in the mountain communities. When I was 18 years old I was able to see them play live at the Monte Carlo in the mountains. We got to stay for one set because we were underage. I remember meeting Deans daughter Becky when I was 13 because I went with mom and stayed with Becky that night while they worked. Their music was so great and I am sure they will be making beautiful music in heaven. To the family, I am so sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you. Sincerely, Joanne
Posted by Eric Kaelberer on 6th July 2014
Dean left so many different gifts for so many. As one who was privileged first to know him as a friend and the father of one of my dear church members, and then, in his last days, to serve him as his pastor it is the incredible gift of Christ in Dean that I want to lift up. In those later days, Dean knew what he wanted to say, but had a growing difficulty in getting the words to come out. What quieted his heart is that he knew the Lord knew what he meant, and that was enough. This contentment in the Lord was not learned at this later date, only expressed in a tender new way. Dean was a man of deep faith in his Savior, Jesus. He loved other as he was first loved. He gave to others so freely and fully because he knew the Lord was his all sufficiency and his joy. This is what allowed Dean the peace and contentment to face those later days with grace and honor. He went home to his Savior in peace. God bless you, and thank you for reflecting His great love. We know you are resting in His peace.
Posted by Cathy Kelly on 5th July 2014
Uncle Dean was one of the bestest...He always cared about our family and whatever we were doing. He even played his trumpet with my son who had just started to play. We listened to them jam all night. It was such fun and such great memories of him and aunt Barb. We would visit in the mountains and they always made us feel so welcomed.....you will be missed...Cathy Kelly
Posted by Adrea Nairne-Barrera on 4th July 2014
Dean always had such a bright smile and was happy to see you! When Mike and I would visit and Dean & Barbara were at Denice & Kenny's house, he and Mike would say "So glad you got to see me" in chorus and they would let out a big laugh. So many are gone now and I sure hope they're getting to see each other again. We miss you all.
Posted by Amanda Downing on 4th July 2014
Dean was a great man.I love to see him at church. He is an angel with a big heart . May Dean rest in peace in the arms our lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Posted by Katherine Slusser on 3rd July 2014
Mr. Dellinger was a precious gift of a teacher and a Godly man of integrity in my life. His care and joy was wonderfully reassuring and encouraging, from my first time picking up a flute in 6th grade at MPH, to managing my first IRA when I began to teach English at Rim High. What a treat to see all the pictures of that wonderful smile I remember so well! May God's peace comfort the hearts of all who loved him, and I can't wait to hear him making music in Heaven!
Posted by Joseph Lewis on 3rd July 2014
I was never going to be a musician but I loved music and do still. Mr. Dillinger taught me to play the drums. I don't play today but I remember almost everything he taught me. He made me feel like I was good and it made an impression on me. We only get so many great people people in our life and Mr.Dillinger is one of those for me.
Posted by Dolores Smith on 3rd July 2014
What a joy to remember Dean especially with his music. Sharing with us at Grace his talent for the trumpet and to have Allan at his side - father and son - playing together. What a blessing! I'll miss your wonderful smile and your friendliness. But you are home and with loved ones that have gone before. You are at peace. Say "hi" to Gary for me.
Posted by Sterling & Cleola Sterlin... on 3rd July 2014
43 years ago when Cleola and I purchased a mountain cabin in Twin Peaks, CA, Dean and Barbara became our next door neighbors. During the ensuring years, we enjoyed their friendship as we played bridge and Dean's "Big Band' music.
Posted by Carrie Kirk on 3rd July 2014
Mr. D was such an amazing teacher. Going to choir at MPH was my favorite part of the day. I still think of him whenever I hear "I'll be you candle on the water." He made every single one of his students feel as if they were his favorite. May God bless his family and bring them peace.
Posted by John Scharlemann on 3rd July 2014
Sandra and I add our thoughts and prayers to the many which have been lifted to God in thanksgiving for the life of your father, Allan. I know the difficulties of caring for the aged, but I also know what a privilege it was for you to give back some of the love and care shown over the years to you by your father. I will always remember your father's musical talent, and the time the three of us golfed together. Most of all, I thank the Lord that your father raised such a wonderful son who was blessed with a remarkable family whose friendship we will always cherish. God grant you peace, Allan and Barb. Christ is risen, and we too will rise to be with Him.
Posted by Jill Holliday on 3rd July 2014
As a student that came to Mr. Dellinger band class as a Freshman, I had already had the early training. Mr. Dellinger was the "icing on the cake" He supported me in my music and I think all band members enjoyed the time we spent in the classroom, the sporting events and our senior recitals and solos. I will always remember the days in band class! As I still do, when speaking to friends and family and remembering what music gave me and continues to give me. Thank you for everything you generously gave!
Posted by Sharon Brush on 3rd July 2014
I have such great and fond memories of Mr Dellinger. From the day I arrived at Rim in 1963 to the day I graduated in 1969. He was so very kind to me and always had a smile to greet everyone. Thank you for touching so many lives and leaving behind so much music and knowledge of the arts! With fondness and love.. Sharon Pretzinger Brush
Posted by Kim Pickinpaugh on 2nd July 2014
Thank you Dean for sharing your musical talents with so many! It was a gift to be able to watch you and Allan play your trumpets together at the many concerts and church services. What a wonderful thing to share with your son! We miss your smile and the twinkle in your eye! Dear Lord, thank you for letting Dean's light shine!
Posted by Ron Pickinpaugh on 2nd July 2014
Dean's love of his family was evident to all. I thoroughly enjoyed his music and will be missed.
Posted by Marilyn Windham on 28th June 2014
I have so many fond memories of Dean and Barbara, I don't know where to start. Some of the best years started when Chuck met Dean in the Golden Eagles Big Band at Mt. San Jacinto College, Our friend ship grew, they played together in other Bands in the area. I took my first Tole painting classes with Barb and we became fast friends. We had so many wonderful visits from them in Ocean Park, Wa. in the Summers.at our place. Watched their Grand kids grow into adults, together. We shared a mutual love of God and family.
Posted by Nancy Telizyn on 27th June 2014
Dean you were such a joy and treasure to have around in your latter years. We so enjoyed your visits to Grace to play trumpet with your son for special services and share some laughs. I also feel honored to have gone to one of your concerts to 'hear and see you blow that trumpet'. You will be missed by your Grace Family!
Posted by Kim Franzen on 27th June 2014
WE DIDN'T KNOW DEAN WELL. BUT WE KNEW HIS SMILE! HE ALWAYS SEEMED HAPPY AND LOVED PEOPLE. EVERYONE WANTED TO BE NEAR HIM. I GET THE FEELING HE WAS A LOT LIKE ALLAN, AND THAT'S A VERY GOOD THING.
Posted by Carl Strand on 26th June 2014
Dean or Dad has I call him after to talking Allan. I met Mom and Dad a along time ago. Whenever they would to Grace I be happy both. Dad you took the place of my Dad and Mom death. I love going to the College to hear Dad blow his horn. Sometime we go for dinner that very special to me, just to be around Barbara and Dean, or Mom and Dad for short. Thank You Allan for my for my friendship with Dellinger or Mom or Dad. They will never leave my heart, In His Peace and Love Carl
Posted by JoAnne & Roger Miller on 26th June 2014
We knew Dean for such a short time. We found Dean to be a humble and loving person. We especially admired his testimony before church services each Sunday. He was also a great personage to add to our choir in the very short time he was around. We love you Dean, and we miss you very very much. It might be that the good Lord loves some sweet sounds. Sing out Dean!
Posted by Donna POP Hemet on 26th June 2014
Such fond memories of Dean. One of my favorites was when I took my 5 year old granddaughter to one of his concerts. At the end Dean would pay tribute to the Armed Forces by playing their "song", he always ask the audience to stand when their "song" was played..well my granddaughter stood each time! The older man behind us said. "She is so young to have been in all those military services." Such a good memory as she is 17 now! Allan our sympathy to you and your family.
Posted by Joanie Klopfenstein McGil... on 26th June 2014
Mr. D was a wonderful man! I always enjoyed being in his band classes, from early elementary school through Jr. High. I remember how proud he was of our Jr. High Band winning a Superior rating! Always personable, approachable, and kind! My condolences to the entire Dellinger Family at the loss of your patriarch! Blessings to you all!
Posted by Alma Rich on 26th June 2014
I'm grateful for the happy memories you mined through your music. Vi Pope, June Beach and I had a wonderful time sharing our memories after listening to you and your band. What a wonderful gift. Thank you.
Posted by Susan Asaro on 26th June 2014
Mr. "D" as we affectionately all knew him, was as Donald DeCuir said, not only a teacher, but a mentor to many. Our family was lucky to have known him and the family for many years. My first memory was when I was in first grade at Lake Arrowhead. He would come and teach us about the different musical instruments and the tones they made. We needed to associate the instrument with the tone. My mother, Betty Mercer, always enjoyed singing with his music combo on the mountain. Brother, Brad, who played trombone from grade school and through high school also said he was so much more than a teacher to him. Our family enjoyed the one Christmas holiday with the Dellingers in the late 60s, and were so honored when Dean and Barbara came to our father, Jim Mercer's Memorial, then continued to come and support our music efforts here in the desert. I am so honored that we had the Dellinger family apart of our growing up and adult years. Our blessings to the family.
Posted by Chuck Stringham on 26th June 2014
Dean was a part of the Stringham family's lives for a long time. We cherished the time spent with him and always enjoyed the interaction with him. His loving smile and generous heart alway left us feeling loved and cared about. We will miss him, but never forget him!!!
Posted by Jean Sorensen on 26th June 2014
Papa Dean… That’s what Scott and Renee always called you….. You made a great impression with my kiddo’s way back then. I remember my “Uncle”, my “Aunt” and my 3 very fun cousins. We might not have been related by blood, but you were our family while growing up in California. I feel blessed that I did get to see you in the past few years. I will always cherish the memories I have of you… mostly how you made most sentences into a song. How joyful that was for me. You have touched so many lives and will be sorely missed….
Posted by Patti Guerra on 26th June 2014
I was so happy to get to know Dean in his later years as he joined us at Grace Lutheran Church, Rialto. His joy and humor were infectious and he was generous with his musical gifts, singing in the choir and playing trumpet. God welcomed home an honorable and decent son.
Posted by Lindsey Jacobs on 26th June 2014
Uncle Al and Auntie Barbara- sorry to hear about Dean. Thinking of you guys. Love, Lindsey, Andy, Mason and Luke
Posted by Donald DeCuir on 26th June 2014
"Mr. D" as we affectionately knew him was loved by many Lake Arrowhead, CA students over many years. To me, he was more than a teacher, he was a mentor! During my time at Rim High and especially in the band, he was a constant source of help, encouragement and support. As an awkward teen, he gave encouragement to me as a person, a student and a musician. I knew he was always for me and helping me to learn and grow. His love for music was contagious! I went on to play music in college and played professionally for a dozen or so years. I always carried his encouragements to practice and especially to have fun. I still play music today and can't imagine my life without the joy I receive from playing with other musicians. Thanks, Mr. D. for helping me find a direction in my life that I may have missed. You made a difference in my life!
Posted by Ann&Bryan Cooper on 24th June 2014
"Uncle" Dean. My absolute favorite uncle while growing up in California. Although, just great friends with my parents, Uncle Dean and the entire Dellinger family, were always like close family to me. In fact, it took me a long time to accept that he wasn't a brother to my mom or dad :-) Uncle Dean was always so joyful and fun to be around! May you rest in peace with my Auntie Barb.
Posted by Becky Huskey on 24th June 2014
My Dearest Daddy, I'll always love you and cherish the memories we've shared together. Thank you for your love and guidance all these years. So proud to call you my Daddy. I left you a long tribute in "STORIES". I miss you so!
Posted by Sally LaVoie on 22nd June 2014
I met Dean when I was 15 years old because I was the girl trumpet player in his high school band in Tecumseh, Nebraska. I soon became a baby sitter for the Dellingers and I practically lived with them after Barb had polio. He was a great mentor to me then and later a super friend to my husband (a music teacher), my children and myself. We became like family and he was Uncle Dean to my children. We had many happy hours playing bridge, camping and having deep discussions sharing our faith. I loved to hear him laugh and play his trumpet. It makes me sad to know he is not here, but I know he is in heaven. I will miss him!
Posted by Penny Mercer on 21st June 2014
Uncle Dean is my mother's (Glendora) brother and only sibling. Kind, Personable, Caring and Loving. A good listener as well as a good talker. Great husband, father, brother and uncle who was a fantastic trumpeteer, teacher, music director and Master of Ceremony for his wonderful Concerts. And he sure loved his "Gigs" as he fondly called them. He was the happiest guy I ever knew and I and Tim will miss him so much! Uncle Dean will never be forgotten! Penny and Tim Mercer
Posted by Beth Curry on 21st June 2014
Uncle Dean was such a pleasure to be with. He always made us laugh! I will remember how loving he was, his tight hugs and big kisses! He was always happy and had the biggest smile every time we were with him! We will miss him so much!
Posted by Eric Kaelberer on 21st June 2014
Your father lived God's love to others so effortlessly and freely. We are so blessed to have known him. He received God's grace with all joy!
Posted by Allan Dellinger on 11th June 2014
As I had the privilege and honor of telling you so recently, you were the best father I could have ever asked for or even dreamed of. You were always there for me and all of our family, and it was an honor to be with you at the end. I will forever cherish so many of the times, events, and memories we shared together. Although our time together was abundant, a fact that I am and know that you were also so grateful to the Lord for, I still so wish that I had just a few more days, weeks, years. God has blessed me so much. I will never forget you Dad! Your Loving Son

Leave a Tribute