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Dean Rich Vaterlaus

03/25/1930 - 07/03/2020
Service Time: 07/08/2020 AT 9:30 AM
Interment: City of Mesa

Dean Rich Vaterlaus, 90, passed away Friday, July 3, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona.

Dean was born on March 25, 1930 in Montpelier, Idaho to Ernest and Virginia Vaterlaus and grew up in Montpelier, Idaho.  He married Barbara Olsen on September 21, 1953.  Together they raised three sons and three daughters.  Dean spent his life in service to his family, community and church.

Dean graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Business Administration and, after serving in the military, he was hired by Schering-Plough where he worked for forty-two years as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.

He served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of his life.  As a young man, Dean served a mission for the Church in the Central States Mission.  He served as a counselor in the Tucson Stake Presidency.  He worked in the Stake Young Men’s presidency and was an active leader in the Boy Scouts of America for many years.  Dean served as Bishop of the Tucson Fifth Ward.  He also served as Stake Patriarch.  Dean and Barbara served a mission for the Church in the Bolivia, Cochabamba Mission.

Dean is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara Olsen Vaterlaus; Children Richard (Gaye) Vaterlaus of Gilbert Arizona, Stanford (Susan) Vaterlaus of Tucson Arizona, Ann (Steve) Clark of Mesa Arizona, Paul (Betsy) Vaterlaus of Mesa Arizona, Rebeccah (Keith) Cannon of Cave Creek Arizona, Patricia (Kenneth) Haynie of Vail Arizona, 34 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and two foster daughters.

Dean Rich Vaterlaus will be interred at the Mesa Cemetery in Mesa Arizona.  Due to current social distancing requirements, funeral services and viewing will be limited to family.


  • Brian J Maxwell

    I’m so sorry to hear this, though it’s not unexpected. What a great man and a great bishop. And with Sister Vaterlaus, he raised an amazingly great family. We need more like him.

  • Alan and Denise Croft

    Aunt Barbara, please accept our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family at this difficult time.

  • Garold Butler

    One of the great brothers I saw almost every Sunday when 1st and 5th wards held their meetings in the Binghampton chapel back in the 60’s. Even though I was a little kid, I felt the Spirit this great man emanated. I agree with what Brother Maxwell wrote.

  • Alexandra (Tina) Moran Shimabukuro

    My deepest condolences to all the Vaterlaus family, especially Becky & Keith Cannon! He was a great man with a big heart!! Till we meet again!!

  • When we moved to Tucson in 1962 we lived next door to Barbara and Dean. It turned out to be a real blessing as now we share the same grandchildren. We have always admired Dean. He was a really good man. So glad he is free from his suffering.

  • Scott and Janece Larson

    This noble man has served his family and faith so very well. His legacy lives on in the lives of his goodly posterity. Love you❤️ Scott & Janece

  • I’m so sorry to hear of Dean’s passing, but I know he lived a full and happy life. I’m sorry his life can’t be celebrated by more of those who knew and loved him. He was a great example of what it means to be a disciple of Christ, and I’m confident he’s already been put to work in the service of others where he is now. I also know he will be missed for a brief time by his family who survived him but the promise of an eternal reunion is certain. Please accept our sincerest condolences.

    -Paul & LuAnn Mooney

  • Debbie and Dan Jarvis

    So very sorry to hear of Dean’s passing. He was such a great example to us in his Christlike love towards others. Please know that we love you Barbara and your family and will pray that you will be comforted during this difficult time!

  • Regina Benally

    Hello Vaterlause family. I know it’s been a long time but was sadden to hear my he left this world. Ii remember he was always there for me when I needed help and just someone to talk to.. I wel always remember him and respect him. and mom Barbara am so sorry for your loss. Your guys were always great to to me and taught me alot while I was in your care. THANK YOU. Gina.

  • Delwin and Sheila Bond

    It is always hard to loose a parent. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • David Nicholls

    My first Bishop as a Youth convert to the Church. He is a cherished memory. His family has been blessed by his example. We have been blessed as well.

  • Stephen Coltrin

    Dean was a great mentor to me. It seemed I practically lived at the Vaterlaus home when I was young, and I was taught by his example and by the amount of time and patience he had for me. I am so happy that he is free now to be the man he really is.

  • Mary Ann (Ralph) Baker

    Dear Friends, How joyous to remember all the good a family member and friend has accomplished and the example give that will be with us for Eternity. Our family is blessed to have you all in our friendship circles.
    Be of Good Cheer and know all is well. Elbow, elbow for now. (Hugs are not politically correct.)

  • We remember Uncle Dean with fond memories. What a great man! We love you and look forward to seeing him again.

  • Julie (Timmons) Kramer

    Dear Vaterlaus family:
    Brother Dean remains in my mind as a gentle, do the right thing, ambassador of the Lord. He is found among us in the way his children emulate him. He has quite the wonderful family!

  • Karen Timmons

    Our family was blessed to grow up in Tucson, Arizona among so many salt of the earth type of people, your family being one of them! Your family is a great example to our family, and led by such a good mother and father! It was great for us (my father and I) to visit Susan, Stan, Dean and Barbara during our visit to Tucson three years ago at the time of the Tucson Temple dedication. It was so nice to visit a place that we love and be around people that we love! Karen and Jerry Timmons

  • Fond memories of Dean and family when we lived the omw neighborhood. All the best to the family, above all peace at your loss,

  • Brad & Dantzelle Allen

    We send our love and sympathy from the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. We cherish our memories in Tucson with Dean and Barbara. Thank you for enriching our lives. We love YOU!!!! and your granddaughter, Eve. She is the BEST!!!!!

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