Dean Mathews, the former president of firms Shedd-Brown and Brown & Bigelow (asi/148500), as well as a longtime board member at the Vernon Company (asi/351700), died on June 7 at his home in Eden Prairie, MN. He was 93.
“He was a close friend, a thoughtful guy and a remarkable executive,” said Bill Vernon, chairman of the Vernon Company. “Dean was a great help to me and would always provide such great insight. He stood out for his integrity and was beloved in the industry.”
A World War II veteran and a graduate of Case Institute of Technology, Mathews was an engineer by trade who became one of the most influential ad specialty industry leaders of his time. Following stints at Quality Park Box Company, Century Envelope Company and Standard Packaging, Mathews was named president at Brown & Bigelow. He later assumed leadership at Shedd Brown, before retiring from the company in 1980, and joining Vernon’s board. Mathews was noted, as well, for his time at PPAI – then called Specialty Advertising Association International – where he once led the organization as chairman.
Apart from his professional career, Mathews worked diligently in his community. As various points, Mathews devoted time to the Boy Scouts of America, the Edina Little League and Hockey League, and the Rotary Club of St. Paul, among many other groups. He also served as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Commission to the Department of Economic Development during the term of Wendell Anderson, and a director of the Rio Verde Community Association.
Mathews was preceded in death by his wife Betty, and is survived by his son Dean, daughters Elizabeth, Deborah and Ann, along with eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to University of MN Arboretum and the Greater Minneapolis Animal Humane Society.