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Businessman Grant Dean left imprint on Highland Lakes community

Grant Dean

Though Grant Dean didn’t aspire to an elected office, he served as a community leader in a number of ways, including organizing efforts to address the growth of quarries in the Highland Lakes, feeding residents through Mission Marble Falls, and supporting local businesses. Dean passed away Nov. 5. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Grant Dean didn’t mind stirring the pot, especially on behalf of the community. 

When rock quarries and aggregate mining operations began springing up across the Highland Lakes, Dean led the charge to curb their growth. When he saw residents going hungry or just needing a place for fellowship while having lunch, Dean helped cook up a solution. 

Dean, who died Nov. 5, might not have eyed public office, but he was a businessman, a community leader, and an organizer who left a big imprint on the community. 

Among the organizations with which he was involved was Mission Marble Falls, which provides free lunches to 35-70 people a week. Dean was the co-founder and vice president of the group.

“He’d seen the need to help people and to feed people was great, and he did everything he could to see that that happened,” said the Rev. George Perry of St. Frederick Baptist Church of Marble Falls and a board member of Mission Marble Falls. “So, he was loved by all and he helped out in any and every way that he knew, even down to fixing a plate. From top to bottom, he was fully involved.”

He also founded Highland Lakes Clean Air, which became Protect Texas, in response to the influx of aggregate mining, rock crushing operations, and quarries in the area.

“Grant was a good friend of our cause, and he shined the light on many of the (aggregate production operations’) often reckless disregard for the communities they inhabit,” Save Sandy Creek representative Fermin Ortiz said in an email Nov. 8. “His leadership, energy and vision inspired many of us to action. May God bless Grant’s family. Rest well my friend.”

Dean was also involved in the founding of the Marble Falls Main Street Association and the Marble Falls Adult Soapbox Derby. 

Born March 6, 1954, in Beaumont, he graduated from Silsbee High School in 1972 and attended Lamar University. He moved to Marble Falls 39 years ago and established Cactus Construction in 1984. The company built a score of custom homes and structures in the Hill Country, including Trinity Episcopal Church, where Dean was a member for 36 years.

A celebration of Dean’s life will be scheduled at a later date. His family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, Mission Marble Falls, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Condolences may be made online through Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home.