Dean Thomas Robinson, formerly of Milbank, won his battle with Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy surrounded by his family on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at Sanford Health Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD, at the age of 63.
Dean was born on March 7, 1954, in Des Moines, Iowa, to William and Margaret (Bunten) Robinson. He attended school at Des Moines Lincoln High School where he was active in theatre, swimming, water polo, track, and football. Upon graduation, he attended college at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brown Institute in Minneapolis, MN, where he obtained a degree in broadcasting.
In 1978, Dean moved to Milbank and began his radio career at KMSD Radio Station. Two years later, Dean produced and starred in the first community theatre play in Milbank, Music Man . During this production, he met the love of his life, Barbara, and her three children, Ginny, Chris and Gregg. Three months later, on October 10, 1981,
Dean and Barb were married in Milbank.
Dean had an amazing theatrical talent that many people were unaware of. He was most celebrated for his lead role as Snoopy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown while at Graceland. In addition to countless productions, he was featured as the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz , Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple , Jonah in The Sign of Jonah and many more. Once he moved to Milbank, he took the lead role in four productions, as well as directed, with the Milbank Community Theatre. The four plays included The Music Man , The Sound of Music , Fiddler On The Roof and Brigadoon . Barb and the kids were also cast members in three of the four productions alongside Dean.
Dean continued his career at KMSD and eventually became the lead disc jockey at KCGN Christian Radio in Milbank. In 2001, when KCGN closed in Milbank, Dean began in the master’s program in counseling with the University of Sioux Falls. He obtained his master’s degree in 2003. His battle with Muscular Dystrophy prevented him from pursuing a career in counseling after graduation. However, he was grateful to work for a period of time at KSFY Television before spending his final years at home.
Dean was a born-again Christian and his faith in Jesus carried him through his life. He had a calm, quiet demeanor, and he never complained about anything. His dry, witty sense of humor confounded those in the room, but made everyone laugh once they figured out what he was saying. Dean accepted and raised Barb’s three children and loved them as his own unconditionally.
Dean is survived by his wife, Barbara (Dravland) Robinson of Sioux Falls; daughter Ginny (Jeremy) Tostenson of Milbank; son Chris (Barb) Dohrer of Aberdeen, and son Gregg Dohrer of Sioux Falls; seven grandchildren, Tayla (and fiance Levi Waddell) Schulte, Madison Schulte, Hallie Schulte, Jonah Dohrer, Micah Dohrer, Emma Dohrer, Mickale Dohrer; and one future great-grandson, Kailur Waddell; his mother, Margaret Hines; his three brothers and one sister, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, William Robinson, and step-father, Richard Hines.
A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday, July 6, at 10 a.m. at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, from 9 a.m. to the time of the service. A luncheon will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, Dean would want memorials to be sent to the Muscular
Dystrophy Association in your area.