BOOK SUMMARY: Dean is only 16 years old but he is dying of cancer. But, in spite of the cancer, he remains positive, happy and confident in his eternal nature. He lifts and inspires his many friends and family - as he is dying - and for years afterwards. Dean is a book written for anyone and everyone who has challenges in life and needs inspiration to press forward and upward.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Dean Hunt was only sixteen but he put more into his 16 years than most folks do through a life of seventy or eighty years. He was the President of his school's Sophomore Class and then of his Junior Class. He was the President of the National Junior Honor Society, and a hundred other things. He lived a life of joy and happiness - even in his challenges and in his life and death he inspired countless others of all ages. Dean died a week before his seventeenth birthday more than thirty seven years ago. The Dean Hunt Award was started the year of his death and his still given annually at his high school.
Dean had the great ambition to be an author and to publish his writings. Though he did not achieve that goal in his life time, he did write some powerful thoughts in his final days before his death.
Dean was the inspiration to his entire student body at his school, his multitude of friends, his family and to a whole world of people who didn't even know him personally. Thirty five years after his death, he is still a legend. And the lessons of Dean live on for all of us.
WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN: This book was written to motivate and inspire people everywhere - young and old. It will be particularly helpful to youth who are struggling but equally beneficial to all who struggle or who need inspiration. Dean teaches of the eternal nature of the soul, the joy in families, how to set goals and achieve them and a multitude of other lessons that we all need.
WHO MIGHT BE INSPIRED BY THIS BOOK:
The target group for this book is youth - youth everywhere. It will touch and reach people of all ages, young and old. Anyone who spends an hour with Dean will come away charged, happy and grateful to be alive - even with the challenges.
By Russel Dean Hunt
And Kevin V. Hunt
D E A N !!! Dean Hunt – Leader of Youth Extraordinaire
By Russel Dean Hunt
and Kevin V. Hunt
Copyright 1993, 2007
Kevin V. Hunt
It had been twenty years since I graduated from Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona. Where had the time gone? Wow! A lot has happened in those twenty years ... I left the community soon after graduation and then subsequently lived in a variety of other places for a number of years. I finally made it back home and it was a real surprise to find myself living right across the street from my Alma Mater. This move - plus my twenty year high school reunion both came the same year. The shock of the two was almost too much! Living across the street from the high school has given me many opportunities to observe the current activities there and to reminisce about my own days there (just yesterday but yet so long ago). One such occasion came in May as the school year was drawing to a close. I happened to come home from work in the middle of the day and noticed cars everywhere surrounding the school.
The scene was rather intriguing and I couldn't help but wonder what was going on. I tried to figure out what it might be. Then it hit me ... it was probably the final awards and honors assembly. I had not been to any of those programs since my own graduation but I had heard about them through the years. I wanted to know, however, if they were still giving the "DEAN HUNT AWARD". I had a personal interest in the award and thought it would be fun to go to the assembly. I wondered if I might still see the last of the program and the presentation of the Dean Hunt Award. Having a flexible schedule I decided to go check it out. I parked at home and walked over to the auditorium. I slipped quietly into the back of the large building trying not to be too conspicuous amongst all those teenagers.
I found a printed program and was pleased to note that the DEAN HUNT AWARD was still being presented. It was exciting to note that it was yet to be presented on that days program. I had timed it just right. I could not believe my luck. I watched with interest the other award presentations. There was a stage full of folks who were all posed to make the various presentations for scholarships, special awards and recognitions. The student leaders and their advisors seemed to have the program down to a science. The whole show came off with impressive precision. Each presentation lasted only a few seconds. The award was briefly introduced, a name would be read and the surprised and excited student would rush front and center to the stage and podium. Each little march came amid cat calls from a class clown or two, ooohs and aaahhs and bored clapping from fellow classmates. Adding to the excitement was the school band. With each presentation came some quick little musical ditty. This added to the overall charm and excitement of the occasion. The second that one presentation concluded, another person was at the podium ready to begin the next. So, within twenty minutes or so I witnesses a number of similar presentations. I watched the program with enthusiasm as the most prestigious awards were saved toward the end and finally presented to deserving Westwood Warriors. As the "Natani Award" was presented to the top class of the year (the Seniors!)
I had memories of similar presentations. I remembered too, the friendly competition that proceeded them in my own high school career. It was great that the tradition still lived on.
My heart thumped a bit as time approached for the presentation of DEAN HUNT AWARD -- which I had come to witness. I marveled that Assistant Principal Mr. White was still at the school and that he would once again be making the presentation - just as he had for each of the previous nineteen years. As he rose to make the presentation the whole mood of the large group changed almost instantaneously. He had the attention of everyone who was in attendance. A hush came over the multitude of students.
Mr. White began to introduce the award. In order to introduce the award he also needed to introduce the person for whom the award was named. He talked for several minutes about Dean Hunt and said that he was one of the greatest students who had ever walked the halls of Westwood High School. I was in awe of the entire scenario. With the audience, I was moved as Mr. White choked up and had difficulty making it through his presentation. There was not a sound in the auditorium. I marveled that feelings about Dean could be so strong even after all those years.
Mr. White said many good things about Dean. He mentioned that Dean was an outstanding student, that he was very involved in numerous activities. He mentioned the debate team, the honors program, the yearbook staff. He mentioned that Dean was an Eagle Scout. He talked of his outstanding leadership abilities which were evident through his service as Sophomore and Junior Class Presidents. "Dean was the 'Gipper'," he said. Then as he concluded his presentation he said, "Dean was a light that lit up everyone's life." He then announced the newest recipient of the DEAN HUNT AWARD.
A thunder of applause sounded and then there was silence as the recipient made his way to the stage. This time there were no jazzy band notes, no rush to get off the stage and on to other things. Emotions were high. I was very pleased that I had opportunity to have witnessed this special moment. I was humbly proud as I quietly reflected upon the DEAN for whom the award was named. I felt like raising my fist and yelling, "Yeah, Dean!" I wanted to, but I restrained myself. "The Spirit of Dean lives on," I told myself. I wondered if Dean himself might have been in attendance for the presentation. I thought that I could feel his presence. What a neat experience ... Dean was one of those rare people who was liked and loved by everyone. He was indeed a friend to all. He was the epitome of the eternal optimist. He was always happy and so enthusiastic. His infectious smile made everyone feel good.
Dean had an inner drive that told him that he could accomplish ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that he wanted to do. His was a life of outstanding effort and unique achievement. Dean accomplished more in his short seventeen years than most folks do in a much longer life time. It seemed that nothing could stop him. He knew what he wanted and set out to do it all. On the official record he was Russel Dean Hunt - born March 14, 1956 at Cheyenne, Wyoming. Informally, to his multitude of friends, he was known simply as "Dean". I knew Dean intimately right from the day of his birth since I am his older brother. As his brother I was able to watch him from an interesting vantage point. Typical brothers, Dean and I had our moments. Even from the beginning we had our little differences. It was quickly evident that we had totally different personalities. It didn't take me long to learn that Dean was a threat to my own security. Once when he was just a couple of months old - and I just a toddler sixteen months or so older than he - Mom couldn't find little Dean. After looking frantically for him for a few minutes, she finally found Dean under the bed. I had somehow extracted him from his cradle and had hidden him under there. Mom realized that I felt that I had already had enough of him.
That friendly competition continued throughout our childhood. ...
To obtain a full download copy of this book, contact: Kevin V. Hunt: firstname.lastname@example.org, (480) 833-4867, or write: Kevin V. Hunt, PO Box 8795, Mesa, AZ 85214