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May 8, 1929 - April 25, 2012 OKLAHOMA CITY Dean Werries was born May 8, 1929 to John William and Sophie White Werries in Tescott, KS. Mr. Werries is preceded in death by his parents, sister, Marjorie Devins, and brother, Earl Williams Werries, and niece, Barbara Kitts. Mr. Werries was survived by his wife of 50 years, Marjean Werries, Gary Storm, Greg Storm, Nicole Storm, and nieces and nephews, Don Devins and family, Bill Devins and family, Debbie Kent and family, Janet Lavin and family, Geri Chamberlain and family, and along with many other cousins. He graduated high school in Minneapolis, KS where he starred on the high school football team. He then went on to graduate from the University of Kansas in 1952 with a Bachelor's degree in Business. Dean always remembered his Alma Mater and was a major contributor to the University, especially the School of Business. Also he and Marjean established the "Dean Werries National Merit Scholarship Fund", the Majean Werries Scholarship Fund, and the Dean and Marjean Werries Scholarship to the Performing Arts Fund. After graduation, Dean also made numerous contributions to renovate the Bettenfeld Dormitory, which was his resident while at KU. Dean was most proud of being named to Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society which exemplifies scholastic achievements and citizenship. Mr. Werries served with the United States Army during the Korean War. At the young age of eight years Dean began his business career with his Uncle Will's Grocery Store in Tescott, KS. This experience was the early beginning of his business career that started in 1955 working for the Fleming Companies, Inc. in Topeka, KS. His first position for the company was in sales in Wichita, KS. Mr. Werries became president of the Fleming Companies, Inc. in 1978, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1989, CEO and Chairman of the Board in 1993, and retired in 1994. While working at Fleming he attended Harvard Advanced Executive Management School. With Dean's leadership and the hard work of the employees the Fleming Companies grew to become the nations largest food wholesaler. Upon his retirement from the Fleming Companies, Dean accepted a position to become a member of the Board of Directors of Sonic Drive-In. In 1995, he was named Chairman of the Board and he served in this position for fourteen years. After his retirement from Sonic Drive-In, Dean was named Director Emeritus. This allowed him to participate in all of the meetings of Sonic's Board of Directors. He always was quoted as saying; your dollar will go further at Sonic. Other distinctive positions held by Mr. Werries include, Chairman of Food Marketing Institute (FMI, the world's largest food marketing organization), Chairman of the National Grocers Organization, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce under Governor Frank Keating, and Member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Kansas. Dean met Marjean Sparling Storm in 1961 through a blind date in Wichita, KS. On May 18, 1962, Dean and Marjean were married. With Marjean, came two fourteen-year-old twin boys named Gary and Greg Storm and a five-year-old German Shepherd named Duke. In the beginning, Dean and Duke were leery of each other but soon became inseparable friends. In retirement, Dean and Marjean traveled throughout the world, traveling to twenty-eight countries. Even with a busy travel schedule, Dean managed to find time to mentor his family members through college and their careers. The family wishes to thank Laura Lynn's Home Care and Sooner Hospice for their care of Mr. Werries over the past few months. The funeral will be held Tuesday, May 1st, at 10 AM in the Chapel of the Crossing Community Church, 14600 North Portland, with internment to follow at Rose Hill Burial Park. In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation or a charitable donation of your choice.

Published in The Oklahoman from Apr. 28 to Apr. 30, 2012
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