Assisted Living Story
The Story of our Senior Resident 'Dean Krause'
Frontline Stories from Assisted Living at Stellar Care

Dean Krause is one of those rare renaissance men who appear every few generations with an interest in anything and everything, and the drive and intellect to both pursue and excel in them. Born in Illinois, Dean often spent his summers at the resort his family owned in Wisconsin, fixing everything from leaky pipes to electrical wiring and broken equipment. By the time he was ready for college, he had turned himself into quite the handyman, with a deep understanding of how buildings are put together from the inside out.

Upon graduating high school, Dean attended the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in nuclear physics. When he wasn’t busy being groomed as a future assistant for his professor, he was busy practicing with the university’s cheerleading squad, and even got to travel to the Rose Bowl and cheer in front of the nation. After college Dean joined the Navy, where he was quickly scouted out for his sharp intelligence and put into Naval Flight School.

After a few years, Dean decided to focus on being a helicopter pilot. With the Vietnam War raging, he was offered a choice between serving in Vietnam, and conducting research in Alaska. He chose Alaska, and conducted his “research” which involved patrolling the Alaskan/Soviet border and taking pictures of the Soviet fleet. The Russians did the same, giving Dean an idea. While stationed in Alaska, he studied Russian on the side, and learned enough to create a massive tarp which he and his friends rolled out on the flight deck of their ship. On that tarp, he had written in Russian, “Next time, bring the mail!” The Soviet pilots would see the tarp and tip their wings in acknowledgement. During his deployment, Dean also shot and bagged a polar bear from the deck of his ship, which he had stuffed and brought home. Now, that prized polar bear is fought over by his grandchildren, and his wife Maxine has had to make a timeshare arrangement with the kids (the bear is currently making its rounds in a scheduled 1 year rotation).

After Alaska, Dean came to San Diego and retired from the Navy after 9 years of service. He began building homes with his friend, and was soon noticed for his experience and recruited into becoming a stagehand at the San Diego Civic Theatre. It was there that he met his wife Maxine, (Director of the California Ballet Company), and swept her off her feet shortly thereafter. He helped raise her daughter, Clarissa, as one of his own and helped Maxine with her ballet company for 20 years, handling all the technical aspects of the stage for her. Dean became so well known within the San Diego community, that he was called upon to help out with nearly every major performance event (such as U2 concerts) at Qualcomm Stadium and the Sports Arena. He always took the job of the man way up high manipulating the follow-spot lighting.

Amidst all of his duties with the ballet company, Dean was also a highly regarded member of two unions (stagehands and conventions), a pianist, a gifted singer, and a talented cook. In the 1970’s, he began tinkering with computers in his garage after he heard about a man named “Jobs” who had made headlines as a computer savvy entrepreneur. From then on, Dean rarely slept because he spent most of his nights coding and tinkering, and was eventually recruited by a venture capital group with whom he helped invent the touchscreen. Always the doting grandfather, Dean used to bounce his 2 year old grandson on his knee while teaching him how to program computers. Now grown up, his grandchildren are off to pursue careers following their grandparents’ footsteps, with one in love with art and coding, and the other interested in singing and acting.

With all of Dean’s great accomplishments, this Renaissance man is happiest when his family, especially his wife Maxine, is around him. You can see it in his smile as he lights up whenever she is here to visit him, almost on a daily basis. We are lucky to have these bright stars in our building at Stellar Care.

 

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Our Services

Memory Care

Our experienced staff provides a structured environment where residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can thrive with set routines.

Club Stellar

Residents who are early on in the progression of their dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may be eligible for our Club Stellar program and special rate.

Dining

Our staff prepares nutritious meals three times a day, featuring in-season fruits and vegetables, homemade soups, and diabetic options.

Activities

The Stellar Care activities staff curates tailored activities, field trips, and programs for all residents at various levels in the progression of their dementia.