Dean is a 1976 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His sophomore year he entered the ROTC program and was active duty Army for 20 years.
His military service sparked a concern for veterans, especially those returning from the recent conflicts in the Middle East. He has testified before the Indiana State Legislature on behalf of veterans concerning PTSD treatment. He is involved in working with the legislature to help get more funds to assist veterans in job searches and health care.
Dean has always enjoyed the outdoors and hunting. This interest has led him to work on projects that will help to maintain habitat for all wildlife. He testified before the state legislature to fight canned deer hunting (a trophy hunt in which an animal is kept in a confined area, such as in a fenced-in area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill).
He wrote a state resolution commending INDOT for no mow areas along state highways to maintain habitat for animals and pollinators. It was passed by the legislature.
Dean works tirelessly with his volunteer work as legislative representative for Pheasants Forever, working with the Isaak Walton League on environmental issues, and the Military Officers Association of America.
Dean has been married to Kathy Reese Farr for 38 years. They have two children and two granddaughters. He is a statistician at the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS).