To the Editor:
This morning I woke shocked to see the passing of Warren Dean of Knapp station. For those of you that knew Warren or had the opportunity to listen to him we all share in this loss.
My first encounter with Warren was in 1984 after being injured in the military. Warren was working for St. Lawrence County Veteran’s services.
I really did not know what to expect. I was a 19-year-old reckless, hell raiser.
It became immediately apparent that he had spent a significant amount of time in the military and was going to go to bat for me to make sure I got everything I was entitled to. I left his office feeling confident everything would be ok, and actually had a smile on my face. (Maybe it was the colorful language and enthusiasm that he exuded or maybe it was his story telling about some pesky raccoons that had gotten into his garden and how they had become trained to run like hell when they heard the action on his 12 gauge shotgun close or the door open).
Regardless he left a positive impression on me. I continued to visit Warren at least a few years professionally to discuss my case. Then after things were settled I still would stop in from time to time to “catch up” and possibly hear another one of his funny stories.
As time passed Warren retired and I moved, our paths drifted apart. The only time I would see him was when my travels would bring me by his house and he would be outside puttering around in the garden or talking with who knows who. (Every time I would say “I really need to stop in and see Warren one of these days.”) I never did. My last correspondence with him was electronically about how much I enjoyed his writing.
I always looked forward to reading his column in the Watertown Times or his “Edge of the World Blog.”
Now as I look back, I know that without his help I would not be the person I am today. I wonder how many other veterans’ lives he impacted. He will surely be missed by all that knew him. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Scott W. Lalonde