WINSTED – He was a friend. He was family. He was one of the biggest supporters of Holy Trinity athletics and activities.
He was the man in overalls with a smile, and he will be missed.
Winsted and Lester Prairie residents heard the terrible news late last Wednesday night that Dean Schermann had passed away. Schermann was a huge presence in the communities of both towns, especially in athletics and activities for students at Lester Prairie and Holy Trinity.
“Uncle Dean wasn’t just at every sporting game, he was also a huge benefactor of Holy Trinity,” HT student John Mendiola said. “He would bring oranges and candy after every band concert. He would occasionally bake apple crisp for the entire school. Everybody knew his name. He will forever be missed.”
Whether it was a Holy Trinity or Lester Prairie event, you can bet Dean was there. Even on the frigid cold Friday nights under the lights, Dean would be sporting his signature purple cutoff and white overalls.
“There are not enough words to describe the love and generosity of ‘Uncle Dean’,” HT graduate Lauren Kahle said. “He was everyone’s biggest fan and was at any event you could think of. At Holy Trinity, there would always be a cake waiting for us at lunch after our band concerts or balloons sitting on the concession stand at the end of our sports season. Uncle Dean was known by everyone in Winsted and even the surrounding area and was truly considered a family member. It will be impossible to replace such a generous and supportive man in our Winsted community.”
Being at nearly every school event, Schermann developed special relationships with students and athletes.
“Dean was a very good family friend of my family,” Lester Prairie’s Marissa Radtke said. “He was never afraid to reach out to us for a ride to an away game so he could come support. He made sure to stay the extra 30 minutes to talk to all of us players. After every win or loss, he would give us each a hug and say how proud he was of us. Dean made sure that his support was known.”
Often called “Uncle Dean,” Schermann went above and beyond to show his support for area athletes even after games or seasons ended.
“After every playoff loss or just end of the season in general, the next day there was always a balloon with flowers or candy and a card attached to it,” Radtke said. “He truly loved each one of us.”
The name “Uncle Dean” goes way back. In Holy Trinity’s 1990 yearbook, “Uncle Dean” was thanked by the Class of 1990 for his support and dedication to them all. Alongside a photo of him in the yearbook was the caption “Genetically, he is only Michelle’s uncle, but in thought, word, and deed, he is our Uncle Dean. A blessing to the whole school family.”
Uncle Dean’s actions and words never went unnoticed. In 2019, Schermann was awarded the Winsted Aquatennial Commodore’s Award, an award given out by The Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) that recognizes an outstanding volunteer from each community.
Schermann, a 1971 graduate of Holy Trinity, will always be remembered for his service, his smile, and his willingness to go out of the way for anyone.
“He attended just about every event the school had, be it sports, plays, and concerts,” Holy Trinity School posted on social media. “If he could make it, he was there cheering on the kids. He would always acknowledge their success at the end of each season. Dean would send a couple of balloons with candy or fruit basket congratulating them on a job well done. He would drop off apple crisp and sheet cakes for the students on Marathon and Catholic Schools week. Dean was just as generous in our community as well, helping out wherever needed and always thinking of others. Dean was a good, kind-hearted, gentle, humble man. Dean never wanted any recognition for his good works, but we want to recognize Dean for all he did.”