Evangelist Viola May Walker Dean went home to be with the Lord peacefully July 21, 2019, with her husband and children by her side.
Viola May Walker Dean was born the youngest of two children to Clyde Walker and Alma Gerard Walker, November 5, 1939 in Folkston. Viola and her sister, Mrs. Maxine Walker Lynch, were both taught the virtues of hard work. Both began their working careers as dishwashers at a local restaurant when they were both only 14 and 15 years of age. From 1953 to 1956, while attending high school at the Charlton County School System, Viola was the starting point guard on the girls’ basketball team and wore Number 12. Viola was coached by none other than Mrs. Estelle German. Viola often said the mentoring of Estelle German was one of the most life-enhancing changes in her life. In addition to coaching and mentoring, Mrs. German taught Viola Home Economics at the local high school.
In 1953, Charlie Robert Dean came to town from Grantville, GA to work with a construction crew, who would be credited for building the Mary McCloud Bethune School at Charlton County. Viola and Charlie met and fell in love. They married January 13, 1956.
In 1958, Viola graduated high school, via the State of Georgia’s General Education Development Program, and worked several years as a restaurant cook. While working at Bud’s Café, Speck’s Drive-Inn, and Richcliff Restaurant (now the current site of the Okefenokee Restaurant), she received a great introduction to the culinary arts by Mrs. Cora Elmore.
In August of 1965, Viola began her teaching career as a substitute teacher within the Charlton County School System. From 1965 to 1969, she worked as a substitute teacher and devised a plan to advance her education and career. In 1969, she was selected as the first Teacher’s Aide for the Charlton County School System. She would proudly serve as a full time teacher’s aide until 1978.
In 1973, Viola was awarded an Associate Degree in Educational Studies from Florida Community College, in Jacksonville, and in 1978, Valdosta State University awarded her a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Special Education.
In August of 1978, the Charlton County Board of Education hired Viola as a full time Special Education Teacher, with Related Vocation Instruction. As a special education teacher, she would go on to educate and inspire the minds of some of our communities’ most productive citizens.
In March of 1995, Viola was awarded a Master’s Degree in Education from Valdosta State University, majoring in Special Education Studies.
In addition to teaching, Viola also found time to study and become an ordained minister. On March 12, 2001, the Baptist Church awarded her a high honor of ordination. Over the years, she served as Sunday School Teacher, Choir member, and Associate Minister at St. Matthews Baptist Church in Folkston. In addition, she was recognized as Deaconess at Mount Carmel Baptist Church and St. Matthews Baptist Church for over 40 years. Between the years of 1989 to 2008, she worked as Vice President and Chief Administrator for C&D Concrete, Inc., a construction firm operating with the States of Georgia and Florida.
On May, 10, 2000, Viola would be awarded a sixth year Specialist Degree in Secondary Education from Valdosta State University, a crowning achievement. This would be her final degree before finally retiring as an educator in 2003. Her service to the Charlton County community spanned 34 years.
In April 2016, the Charlton County Retired Teachers Association recognized Viola for her career achievements as a dedicated educational professional within the State of Georgia.
Viola Dean is survived by her husband, Charlie Robert Dean, Sr.; a sister, Maxine Lynch; her children, Cassandra Walker, of Conyers, GA, Carolyn (Michael) Hall, of Douglasville, Charlie R. (Nadajalah) Dean, Jr., of Frisco, TX, Michael J. (Jeanette) Dean, of Conyers, Kevin L. (Carolina) Dean, of Washington, D.C., and Darryl D. (Sandra) Dean, of Alpharetta; grandchildren, Christopher Walker, Alisha Walker, Gerald Walker, Justine Hall, Taneshala Hall, Erica Dean, Mehgan Dean, Melanie Dean, Mallory Dean, Michael Jarrett Dean, Marrissa Dean, Ayshah Dean, Darryl D. Dean, II, Tiffanni A. B. Dean, Dr. Kimberlye E. Dean, and Victoria A. Dean; Great-grandchildren, Cameron, Kennedy, Samara, and Kordell. In addition, her many loving nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and extended family members.
The viewing was Friday, July 26, at Fluker Funeral Home in Waycross. Funeral services were held Saturday, July 27, at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Folkston. Fluker Funeral Home in Waycross was in charge of arrangements.