Dean A. Troyer (77), a retired Topeka Endodontist, expert sporting dog trainer, and decorated Vietnam War veteran, died on March 22, 2021 in the blessed comfort of his home.
Born in Aurora, on July 30, 1943, the son of Glen and Dorothy (Oswald) Troyer, He graduated from Aurora High School in 1961. An accomplished high school athlete, Dean furthered his athletic career on the football field at Wheaton College where he graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor’s in Zoology.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps promptly becoming a highly decorated helicopter pilot flying rescue missions during the Vietnam War. Over his USMC career, Dean earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 5 stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal with device, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Medal Strike / Flight #35, Meritorious Unit Citation, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Frame. Dean fittingly filled the role of a true American Hero, a man dedicated to promoting patriotism while fighting for the freedom of his country.
Upon completing his service to his country, he attended the Nebraska School of Dentistry, earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1975. Following graduation, he opened his first practice in Sutton. In 1982, he then moved to Topeka, KS opening a highly successful and longstanding dental practice, specializing in endodontics, which he maintained until his retirement in January of 2020.
Simultaneous to his dental career, Dean began training bird dogs and much like his measurable successes in athletics, education, dentistry, and service to his country, he achieved the pinnacle – training a U.S. National Champion. His genuine love for the outdoors and his four-legged friends manifested itself in multiple field trial awards throughout his amateur field trial career. His love of the outdoors further revealed itself through Dean’s love of trees and their grand beauty. He annually planted trees on the property surrounding his home.
Throughout his life, notwithstanding his commitment to the dental profession, service to his country, and love for his dogs and the great outdoors, Dean always found time to listen, to mentor, and to share the vast knowledge and lessons learned through the whole of his life experiences with students, young professionals, and his employees. A loyal, strong, and opinionated man, he saw the best in people and possessed an eagerness and ardent interest in sharing time with those he thought most of. He was a man who truly treasured his family and friends.
Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Christina and John Ball and granddaughters Taylor and Katherine Ball, of Lincoln, Nebraska; brother Gary (Leslie) Troyer; sisters Betty (Richard) Cunningham and Jane Terrell; his special friends Cheryl Whitman and Carolyn Hedrick; nieces and nephews Juliann Streeter, Shane Smith, Susan Stewart, Shawna Knudsen, Daniel Cunningham, and Katie Meger; and grand nieces and nephews Celie, Truman, Cedric and Mason Knudsen, James, Jackson and Joella Streeter, Anna and Connor Stewart, Ellie, Becca and Christie Meger, and Ella Smith. Dean was preceded in death by his parents.
A funeral ceremony, with military honors, will be held at 1 p.m., Monday March 29, 2021 at the Mount Hope Cemetery Funeral Chapel, 4700 SW 17th Street, Topeka, KS. The family will greet friends an hour prior to service time.
Inurnment will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 5, 2021 at the Aurora Cemetery, with a reception to follow at the Pleasant View Bible Church, Aurora.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation, 211 N. 12th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, or the United States Marine Corp / Combat Helicopter Association, 2394 West Oak Bridge Way NE, Leland, NC 28451.
To leave a message for the family online, please visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com or www.HigbyMortuary.com.