Diane Marie (Hetherington) Dean, 82, passed away peacefully at Cadia Healthcare Renaissance in Millsboro Thursday, March 25, 2021. She had fought a long battle with multiple sclerosis, diabetes and dementia, complicated by COVID-19, and joins her beloved David, who died March 11 at his home with Pam and Jack McCarthy in Vermont. Born Nov. 17, 1938, in Norfolk, Va., to Erna Ingeborg (Jorgensen) and Roland Christopher Hetherington, Diane was the youngest of four.
Her brother Cyril Hetherington and her sister Rose (Myers) predeceased her; her brother Dane resides in Lewes. She graduated high school in 1956, and studied briefly at the University of Washington, hoping to pursue a career in journalism. Diane married David Sterling Dean in Monterey, Calif., March 15, 1958. Diane and David Dean had two daughters, Pam McCarthy and April Abel. April predeceased her parents Sept. 8, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer.
In her younger years, Diane was a dynamic and creative woman, writing, painting, sewing, refinishing furniture, gardening and antiquing. She instilled the joy of learning, exploring and creating in Pam and April, who both inherited their mother’s passion for photography. Building on her Danish and British heritage, Diane was an amazing hostess, creating elaborate and delicious meals, especially at Christmastime. In her years as an Air Force officer’s wife, she loved teaching her girls about the art and cuisine of the many places they traveled, especially Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
After the Deans settled down in Delaware in 1978, Diane and her family launched Cosmic Bakers in Rehoboth Beach, delighting locals and tourists alike for over 25 years with exceptional made-from-scratch goodies like Cosmic Pecan Sticky Buns and Cinnamon Rolls, Rum Chocolate Mousse Cake, Back Porch Café Carrot Cake and Key Lime Pie, and more. Diane loved being a grandparent to Brian McCarthy and his wife Kristin (Pilon), Laura Griffith and her husband Ryan, Mike McCarthy and his wife Stephanie (Robtoy), and Chris McCarthy, and enjoyed keeping up with the many activities of her five great-grandchildren Ryan Marshall Griffith, and Elie, Duncan, Molly, and Tilly McCarthy. “Mumson,” as she was known to her grandchildren, was one of a kind, and we miss her more than words can express.
Our family is indebted to all of the people at Cadia Renaissance, especially Tracy Smith, who made Diane’s last years the best that they could be. The care and kindness shown to her and our family, right up to the end meant the world to us. If you wish to make a donation in Diane Dean’s memory, we encourage contributions to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, or the Delaware Nature Society.
Services for Diane and David Dean will be held at a later date in Vermont, when the pandemic threat has lessened.