Dean Ronald “Bear” Pilbeam

Dean Ronald “Bear” Pilbeam, age 89 of Tecumseh passed away on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 at ProMedica Skilled Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor. He was born June 16, 1933 in Adrian, a son of the late Ronald J. and Wilma E. (Schoolmaster) Pilbeam. On January 12, 1963 he married Judith Ann Kempf, and they shared 55 years together until her passing on May 15, 2018.

Dean proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was a member of the Tecumseh American Legion and a life member of the Lenawee County 40 & 8. He retired from Hoyt E. Whelan Company in Tecumseh as a mechanic. Dean loved restoring antique tractors and gas engines with his son and was a life member of the Tri-State Gas Engine Society of Portland, Ind. He loved camping with his family. Dean was the past owner of the Pilbeam Centennial Farm.

Dean is survived by his son, Jeffrey Dean (Cathy) Pilbeam of Tecumseh; two granddaughters, Wynter (Patrick) Young and Catherine (Billy Waugh) Pilbeam; and three great-grandchildren, Riley and Hunter Kniffen and Morgan Waugh. 

Visitation for Dean will be from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at the funeral home with Rev. Cathi King officiating, with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial will follow in Macon Cemetery with military honors under the auspices of the Tecumseh American Legion Post #34 and VFW Post #4187. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lenawee County Disabled Veterans. Condolences may be offered to the family at


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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