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RANGELY | Accomplished author and beloved local celebrity Lou Dean keeps turning out her works of art from her remote homestead on Blue Mountain. Lou Dean is a staple around here and many of us can’t remember a time where she wasn’t in our Northwest Colorado community. Raised in the 1950s on an Oklahoma farm in Osage County with one sister and two brothers, her mother left the home when Dean was only seven. Dean’s father raised the four children while working a full-time job on the Santa Fe Railroad and farming 160 acres. Lost in the shuffle of life, she surrounded herself with dogs, cats, chickens, cows, horses, and any other animal she could gather in. Sixty-five years later, not much has changed. She is still surrounded by her animal friends and they have acted as a muse for much of her prolific writing career.
Lou Dean has authored countless articles in major magazines, books of memoirs, and young adult novels. She has received a Colorado Blue Spruce nomination, a Top Hand Award from the Colorado Author’s League, and a prestigious Wrangler Award from The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for her work. Her first published article in 1974, “The Decision”, was about saying goodbye to her childhood dog, Shorty. Her first memoir, “Angels in Disguise”, was inspired when a dog named Jake saved her from a life-threatening accident. “Angels in Disguise” was part of the cover story of the December 1996 issue of People Magazine, won first place in Writer’s Digest Life Stories, was a Literary Guild Book Club Selection, nominee for the Colorado Blue Spruce Award, and an excerpt article from the book won the aforementioned Western Heritage Award. Lou Dean has since added “The Boys from the Bushes” in 2013 and “On My Ass” in 2014 to her growing list of published work. She has countless articles in print as well, among these are Family Circle, Guideposts, McCals, Ladies’ Home Journal, Angels on Earth, Highlights for Children, Scouting, and Dog World Magazine.
Lou Dean’s upcoming memoir (available September 2021) titled “The Amazing Grace of Dogs” is about her special connection to decades of canine companions; how their love and interaction in her life helped her survive family tragedy and assisted her in becoming a writer. If your interest is piqued about this local author and all-around great gal, you can find her latest article in the May/June 2021 issue of Angels on Earth/Guideposts Magazine or on the Guideposts Facebook page (posted May 3, 2021), or the March/April 2021 issue of “All Creatures Magazine”. Book copies can be ordered directly from Lou Dean via LouDeanwrites@akvwallergmail-com
By ROXIE FROMANG | Special to the Herald Times