Kindrich-McHugh Steinbauer Funeral Home

Dean Svec

WWII Veteran Dean Svec dies at 95.
In 1924, Dean Svec was born. Summers at his grandparents’ farm in Solon, helping on the
farm with his older brother “Chuck” and roaming the woods and fields, characterized Dean’s
early life. At 19, the Cleveland native left his college forestry major to go to Germany to fight in
WWII. At the end of the war, just when he was scheduled to be shipped to Japan, Dean learned
he’d go home instead, thanks to the atomic bombs. He later wrote an account of the
experience, based on the journal he kept, titled “The Combat Months of Dean Svec.”
In 1953, Dean Svec was married. Quiet Dean met his wife, Merle Morris, at a dance class, but
the perfect life was not to be, when six years later Merle died of kidney disease, leaving Dean a
three-year-old daughter, Patricia, and a one-year-old son, Michael.
New expeditions unfolded for Dean. He eventually won the 1965 National Soaring Competition.
He went on to own and fly his own helicopter, a two-seat 1965 Brantley B-2, housing it on his
property in Walton Hills. He told stories of many excursions with the black and yellow
“chopper,” flying it as far as Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. Once, the chopper bore a sign
heralding his business as “Chas. Svec, Inc. — World’s Greatest Concrete Blocks.”
The successful fourth-generation concrete block business in Maple Heights, now run by his
son, Mike Svec, busied Dean throughout his life. His grandfather started the over 100-year-old
business in 1906. In Dean’s last months, he’d still “go to work,” which consisted of him putting
on his blue cap, hunching over his walker and shuffling into “the shop” to read the paper with
his son in the office and drink coffee garnished with a heavy helping of cocoa mix.
Until he was 94, Dean cut wood with his chainsaw. Trees interested him, and many of the dead
ones on his 66-acre home in Walton Hills he cut down for firewood.
On August 24, 2019, Dean’s much-worn silver Lincoln sat with two flat tires in the garage.
Parked next to it, the old, red tractor still started. The same sign that proclaimed “Dean’s
Place” hung on the garage door. Inside, the “Dean’s” brand of ice cream filled the freezer. And
in a chair near the big windows that overlooked his concrete block swimming pool and tall
trees, a little old man, clad in a red and green plaid shirt, died.

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