Dean Stewart Lufkin, 81, of Grand Fork, ND, and a former longtime Crookston, MN resident, passed away at Valley Senior Living on Columbia in Grand Forks Saturday morning, January 21, 2023.
Dean was born in Crookston on September 22, 1941, the son of Arthur and Hilda (Vraa) Lufkin. He attended Crookston schools and as a high school athlete excelled at several sports. After graduation from Central High School with the Class of 1959 Dean went on to attend Mayville State Teachers College. While playing for the Comet basketball program he was able to say he went up against Phil Jackson during a game with the UND Fighting Sioux. After returning to Crookston Dean owned Uptown Recreation, the local pool hall, and later managed the American Legion Club. He became a dispatcher for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office during the 1970’s. On March 16, 1965, he enlisted in the MN National Guard serving until his honorable discharge on February 9, 1971. On September 16, 1967, Dean was united in marriage to Debby Stewart at the Trinity Lutheran Church. They became proud parents of son, Wade, and daughter, Wendy. Dean began working as a rural mail carrier for the Crookston Post Office in 1969, retiring in 2000 after 31 years of dedicated service making sure that neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, would keep him from his appointed rounds
Dean was a lifelong member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, and held memberships in the Eagles Aerie, American Legion Post, and VFW Post. He enjoyed going fishing with friends and playing softball in the local men’s leagues where he was known for throwing a runner out at the plate from deep center field. Most of all Dean enjoyed shooting pool and snooker. He had a reputation as being one of the best for many miles around and won or finished high in JC Coauette’s annual Crookston tournament that always drew the best players the area had to offer. For Dean, making a few bucks while hustling somebody who thought he could take him was better than a part-time job and twice the fun.
Dean is lovingly survived by his son, Wade of Mentor, MN; daughter, Wendy Chapman and her husband, Rick, of Grand Forks, ND; his former wife and very dear friend, Debby Stewart of Grand Forks; grandchildren, Jade Lufkin of Grand Forks and Emilee Lufkin of St. Cloud, MN; step-grandchildren: Shayla (Johnny) Williams of Raeford, NC, Shantel (Jason) Enfield and Shane (Kelsey) Chapman of Fargo, ND; 10 step great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Anne Lufkin of Crookston; and nieces and nephews: Jennifer Lufkin, Nicole Lufkin Siegle, Tim Lufkin, Frank Caputo, and Mark Singer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Hilda Lufkin, and sister, Judy Rocha.
Dean’s life will be celebrated at a 2:00 p.m. memorial service to be held Friday, January 27, 2023, in the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home, Crookston, with The Rev. Greg Isaacson, officiating. Visitation with the family will be for one hour prior to the service and Military Honors will be provided by the MN National Guard and Crookston Veterans Council. The funeral will be livestreamed by going to Dean’s obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com to view. Burial will take place in the Oakdale Cemetery this coming spring.