BANGOR - Dean Charles Ridlon, 66, died June 2, 2016, at a Bangor hospital due to lung cancer. He was born on August 27, 1949, in Portland, Maine, the son of David G. Ridlon and Carol M. (Black) Coolbrith.
Dean graduated from high school in South Portland, Maine, in June 1967. He served in the U.S. Army from June 1967 to June 1970. He received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham in 1974 and a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Maine at Orono in 1977.
Dean retired after 30 years as a public school teacher in Milford, Maine. His love for educating children was apparent even in his post-retirement years, when he returned to Lewis S. Libby School to work nine more years as an educational technician.
Dean was a supreme caregiver. He was respectful to all, nurturing to the young, and selfless almost to a fault. While he had no children of his own, he was devoted to his grandchildren from his second marriage and would spend hours with them playing board games in his basement, or basketball and baseball in his driveway. When his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he quit his work as an ed tech and devoted the remainder of his life to caring for her full-time.
Dean is survived by his wife, Karen H. Belleau, of Bangor; two brothers, Stephen Ridlon of Albuquerque, NM, and Barry Coolbrith and his wife Debra Coolbrith of North Yarmouth, ME; Dean's wife's children and their spouses, Peter Belleau of Colorado Springs, CO, Michael Belleau and Molly Sneden of Portland, ME, Alan and Lupe Belleau of Tucson, AZ, and Susannah and Jeff Owen of Orono, ME; and his grandchildren, Max, Milo, Katie, Alex and Tommy.
Dean was predeceased by his parents and his brother Charles Ridlon.