I don’t know how many of you have heard of Tony Dean – he’s a conservationist (in the South Dakota sense of the word), columnist, radio show host and a proud Democrat and Obama supporter. He died yesterday from complications suffered after an appendectomy last month.
Dean was always a proud Democrat, in a state where it’s not always welcomed. He was recording several ads for Obama right before he fell ill.

From the Argus Leader:

Dean earned a reputation for standing up for conservation, no matter the financial consequences. He was criticized for supporting Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson and then again for backing Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

DeChandt said her husband’s final work before he fell ill last month was recording commercials for Obama’s campaign. If Obama were to win, she said, Dean was going to be on his transition team.

“He was absolutely thrilled. He felt strongly that Obama was the one with enough insight and was young enough” to appreciate land conservation, DeChandt said.

I listened to him on the radio every morning on my way in to work – our local station played small vignettes from his radio show every morning, and as a SoDak transplant, I learned much about the conservation culture in this state (unfamiliar to me because I am not a hunter, nor do I believe in hunting for sport). In any case, I appreciated his work and was glad to know he worked hard for Democratic and conservationist causes.

I am sad to hear of his untimely passing.