Former Apopka City Commissioner Billie Dean, an iconic figure in the Apopka community, has died at the age of 89. Mr. Dean served on the City Council for 24 years and retired in 2018 as the vice mayor.
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.
Mr. Dean also served as a member of the Florida League of Cities, as a board member of the Lake Apopka Natural Gas Board, and as a Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET) representative for Land Grant Colleges and Universities on behalf of Florida A&M University, his alma mater.