Wycliffe mourns former director Jim Dean

Jim Dean

Dr. Jim Dean, director of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada from 1976 to 1986, died Dec. 24 after an extended illness. He was 96.

Jim is survived by his five children—Sheri Stewart in greater Toronto, Timothy in Arizona, Roseann McCool in BC, David Dean and Jonathan Dean, in Edmonton—and nine grandchildren. Jim’s wife, Gladys, died in 2003.

Jim was born Jan. 12, 1922. After the Second World War, the Canadian Chiropractic College was founded in Toronto and Jim was a member of the first graduating class in 1949. Soon thereafter, he and Gladys were called to Wycliffe. They studied with SIL in North Dakota, attended jungle camp in Mexico and soon were invited to the Philippines, where they did Bible translation work with a people group on the island of Mindanao. They were reassigned in the mid-1950s, first to Australia and then to start a base for SIL and Wycliffe in what is now Papua New Guinea. Jim founded the Ukarumpa centre on 500 acres in 1956. He was director there until the mid-1960s when Wycliffe asked him to start a similar base in India.

Eventually, the Deans also pioneered operations in Indonesia before they returned to North America so Jim could lead Wycliffe Canada for 10 years. He was Wycliffe Canada’s longest-serving director.

“Jim is highly esteemed among our organizations—in PNG, in India, in Indonesia and Canada,” said current Wycliffe Canada President Roy Eyre. “We are grateful for his many years of service and pray that those good memories will encourage his family during this time of loss.”

Jim also always maintained his chiropractic license. After his retirement from Wycliffe Canada, he returned to chiropractic in Ontario and practiced for more than 20 years, finally retiring at age 88. He often prayed over his patients at their request.

Jim’s funeral will be private. Instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a special Wycliffe Canada fund for retired missionaries. Details will be announced soon.