Cover photo for William Dean Brook's Obituary
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1959 William 2023

William Dean Brook

May 25, 1959 — January 25, 2023

Referred to affectionately by his neighbors as the Mayor of Ponce Manor, William Dean Brook departed this earth on January 25, 2023. The beloved second son and third child of Jane Speir Brook and Arthur Dean Brook, he was born on May 25, 1959, at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta.

Dean was raised in Macon, Georgia, where he was a member of Ingleside Baptist Church, achieved Eagle Scout as a member of Troup 5, and was certified as a Water Safety Instructor by the American Red Cross. From an early age, he loved buying, repairing, riding, and racing bicycles. A graduate of Stratford Academy in Macon, Dean earned a bachelor of science in mathematics from Georgia State University in 1986, and worked for his alma mater for the better part of four decades. During that time, he served as an advisor to the university's cycling club, taught spin classes, and established a cycling scholarship to encourage students to participate in the sport. Fittingly, he met his future bride, Joanna Buffington, while both were participating in BRAG (Bike Ride Across Georgia) in 1995 and they married the following year on Cape Cod. Dean was thrilled to be selected to carry the Olympic torch by bicycle at the start of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Inspired by Joanna's extensive travel as an epidemiologist at the CDC, Dean obtained his first passport.  Together, they traveled to weddings in South Africa and Costa Rica, visited friends in Singapore, toured temples in Cambodia, twice went to France to follow the Tour de France, went to Italy to see the Gyro d'Italia, and biked 1,000 miles in Vietnam as part of a World Health Organization ride to highlight the dangers of smoking. Joanna introduced him to the world of opera and he in turn introduced opera to the participants in his spin classes.

In addition to cycling, Dean ran 13 marathons and more than 20 Peachtree Road Races. He loved skiing at Big Sky, Montana, with family and at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with GSU friends.  Dean was a gifted gardener and woodworker.

Dean is survived by: his much loved wife, Joanna Buffington; father, Arthur Dean Brook; father-in-law, James Buffington III; siblings Steve Brook (Nina), Debra Brook (Mike Kemp), Laurie Douglas (Jimmy) and Freeman Brook; nieces, Graham Kemp (Kyler Rose) and Schuyler Buffington Crespo; nephews Christopher Brook (Moira Downey), Matthew Brook (Lydia), Ben Brook, Anderson Kemp (Natalie Luti), Samuel Douglas (Remi Bagwell), Joseph Brook (Laura Gregory), James Douglas, William Douglas, Robert Brook (Ellie Pobis), and his namesake, Alexander Dean Brook; great nieces Sophia and Isabelle Brook; great nephew Elias Brook; maternal aunt, Ann Speir Haga; numerous cousins; his orange winged Amazon, Poncho; and his '57 Chevy, Gloria.

Dean was preceded in death by his mother, Jane Speir Brook; his mother-in-law, Judith Hulsman Buffington; grandparents, Joe Henry Brook, Annie Denney Brook, Anderson Speir, and Louise Freeman Speir (whom he insisted upon calling "Stella!"); and his feline mistress, Zuzu.

The family would like to thank: the staff of The Phoenix at Tucker and especially Evelyn Amankwah for their loving care of Dean; Nyasha and Dr. Nancy Stewart of NMS Dentistry for their loving care of Dean; and Nancy and Greg Purves for their loving care of Poncho.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at Paran Baptist Church Cemetery in the community of Blount, Georgia (GPS address: 5691 Hwy 42, Forsyth, Georgia 31029). The family will greet family and friends after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dean's memory to the Georgia State University Foundation (GSUF), P.O. Box 2668, Atlanta, GA 30301 (please write William Dean Brook on the memo line); the Paran Cemetery Fund, 5423 N. Hwy 42, Forsyth, GA 31029; or the charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Dean Brook, please visit our flower store.


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