Dean Charles Wyatt was born April 24, 1951, to Burl and Harriet (Gouge) Wyatt in Ames, Ia. He grew up in Ruthven, Ia where his father had a veterinary practice and he enjoyed going on farm calls with his dad. He was a member of the Methodist Church there. After graduation from Ruthven High School in 1969, he attended Westmar College in LeMars, Ia. for one year. He then transferred to Iowa State University in Ames, Ia. where he went on to receive his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1976. Upon graduation, he moved to the Seattle, Washington area where he practiced for several years. He met Sally Hamilton, his soon to be wife, while attending Calvary Chapel in Seattle. They were married on Oct. 13, 1979 at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Sally's hometown of Longview, Wash. Their union was blessed with five children and 31 years of life together. After their marriage, Dean continued to practice in Seattle, Longview, and then in Eugene, Ore. In 1983, Dean and Sally moved to Wheaton, Minn., where Dean took a job in the Food Safety Inspection Service, a department of the USDA. Since that time he has worked both for the USDA and at times in private practice in Minnesota and Iowa. In 1998, the family moved to Tyler, Minn., which has been the family's home since then.
Throughout his career, Dean was a passionate and vocal campaigner for the safe and humane slaughter of food animals. His advocacy included testimony before a Senatorial committee, national media coverage, and consultation with the Humane Society of the United States. Most recently, he learned that his fight for what was right despite extreme resistance has resulted in the permanent shutdown of a slaughter plant in Vermont that was an egregious violator of federal food safety and humane slaughter laws. He was glad to learn that his hard work and personal sacrifices had not been in vain.
In September, Dean was diagnosed with a brain tumor and received initial radiation and chemo treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. On Thursday, Nov. 4 he was admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. for emergency treatment. He died surrounded by family and friends at sunset on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, at the age of 59 years, 6 months, and 14 days.
Dean was a member of the Alliance Church in Tyler, where he served on the church board and as a worship and music leader, playing the guitar. He was baptized as a believer at Calvary Chapel while in Seattle. From the time he was 12 he became active in ham radio and used this skill in his adult years working with and supporting missionaries. In 2001 he traveled to Uganda to help set up a satellite ham radio station for two fellow veterinarians serving as missionaries there. He enjoyed his family and his dogs, Charlie and Toby, watching old TV series (Andy Griffith, Little House on the Prairie, and The Three Stooges), lounging in warm places (such as hot tubs, near corn stoves, and basking in the sun),playing guitar, reading mystery novels, and spending time with his family at his sister's cabin in Sand Point, Idaho on Lake Pend O' Reille.
Dean is lovingly remembered by his wife, Sally of Tyler, Minn.; his children: Darcy Wyatt of Detroit, Mich., Gerald Rouillard of Minneapolis, Minn., Julie Wyatt of Chicago, Ill., Trista Wyatt of Tyler, Minn., and Sheila Wyatt of Tyler, Minn.; his granddaughter, Dominique Rouillard; his siblings, David (Cathy) Wyatt of Ruthven, Ia., Carolyn Wyatt (Tim Loughney) of Pullman, Wash., twin brother, Duane (Sheri) Wyatt of Tyler, Minn., and Richard Wyatt of Sacramento, Calif.; as well as many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Jean Wyatt; and niece, Sarah Wyatt.
Memorials may be directed to the Humane Society of the United States or the charity of your choice.
Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel of Tyler is providing the arrangements. Online registry, tributes and condolences may be found at www.hartquistfuneral.com.