“An unexpected icon: The life and times of Billie Dean”
Apopka Commissioner Billie Dean is an icon of the community. He served on the City Council for 24 years and retired in 2018 as the vice mayor of Apopka – the city he loves.
Prior to his political career, Mr. Dean was a teacher in the Orange County school system, including terms at Phillis Wheatley and Apopka High School. He was beloved by his students, many of whom are community leaders today.
Mr. Dean also served in the military during the Korean War, earning the Bronze Star for his heroism on the battlefield while a member of the US Army.
Mr. Dean lived through a tumultuous time in American history that saw his family flee their home in northern Florida to avoid the threat of a lynching. His story is an unlikely tale of hard work, determination, perseverance and ultimately success in an era that did not see many blacks prosper.
It would be a shame to see this story of a true Apopka hero fade away.
With that in mind Reggie Connell, Managing Editor and Publisher of The Apopka Voice, has been given permission by Mr. and Mrs. Dean to write his biography, which is in the beginning stages and entitled:
“An unlikely icon: The life and times of Apopka Commissioner Billie Dean”
This is the first in a series of biographies to honor the men that shaped Apopka by remembering the amazing lives they led, their success, and service to their community.
As with anything, there are expenses in writing a book, and the project is offering Apopka businesses as well as the community who know and love Mr. Dean the opportunity to sponsor this project.
In return, you or your business will be featured in excerpts of the book, published on The Apopka Voice news site, and thanked personally in the acknowledgments section of a book that will be in the homes of Apopka readers for generations to come.
Connell, who has written and published a successful novel previously, estimates a 12-month process to research, write, and publish Mr. Dean’s life story – projecting a publishing date of January of 2020.
If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact The Apopka Voice at 407/437-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Monique Morris, who is in charge of fundraising for the project, at 407/702-4223. If you prefer to donate online, go here.