Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Dean Miller Memorial
Dean Miller Memorial

Dean Miller

Dean Miller

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Dean Miller, age 69, of Sedro-Woolley, passed away May 29, 2018.  He was a longtime public servant of Skagit County; suffering cardiac arrest at Skagit Valley Hospital.  Dean and Karen’s 47th wedding anniversary was just celebrated on May 22.

Dean was born June 15, 1948 to Frank and Elsie (Line) Miller in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Dean’s father passed away when Dean was just two years old, and his sister, Shirley, and her husband, Larry Browning helped to raise Dean since he was ten.  His father is buried in Hermiston, Oregon, where his family would travel every summer to put flowers on his headstone.

He met Karen Byrd in 1970 and married the love of his life in 1971.  Karen was working at L&M Drive In, in Sedro-Woolley, at that time owned by his sister and brother in law, Shirley and Larry Browning.

He attended two years at Yakima College studying Architecture.

Dean served in the U. S. Army, serving in Seoul, Korea.

Dean’s passion for traveling took him to 30 plus states.  Every year, he would take his family to the Leavenworth Ice Festival, Oregon Coast, Lake Chelan, Harrison Hot Springs, Cabo San Lucas, or Hawaii, just to name a few.  Dean loved teaching his daughter, Ashley how to read maps and mileposts along the way.  They also took six weeks in the motorhome and traveled all the way to Washington DC.  He enjoyed camping with his family as much as he did going to Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Dean loved his sports, whether it was playing, coaching or just watching.  He excelled in all.  In 1989, Dean’s soccer team was invited to play in England, Scotland and Wales.  He also enjoyed playing Mens 40 and older flag football.  When he was not playing, he was coaching or umpiring, which he did for Ashley’s soccer and baseball teams.  If you knew Dean, then you know he was a man of many, many words and stories.  Dean never met a stranger and would talk to you, but there was always something to be learned if you listened!  Karen always said he could travel across the world and run into someone he knew.  Dean was in England in a pub and what do you know, he ran into Beverly Mower, wife of coworker, Deputy Jim Mower.  Dean was, by all accounts, a man that accomplished everything he set his mind to do.

In 1973, Dean would be hired by the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department.  He spent six years as a Jailer before becoming a Deputy Sheriff.  Dean became the first of many things for the department: he became the first K-9 Officer with his loyal partner, Mac by his side until Mac retired.  He became the department’s first composite artist along with the first poligrapher.  Before retiring, Dean was a Major Crimes Detective and Hostage Negotiator.  He was the only person to ever receive Officer of the Year award, which was presented by a former Seattle Seahawk.  Dean also sat on the Sedro-Woolley City Council for six years and was the last president for the Jaycee Chamber of Commerce.  After retiring from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department, Dean worked for the Tulalip Indian Tribal Gaming Agency, where he was promoted to the first ever in-house cop.  To say that Dean was full of accomplishments is an understatement.

Dean was never one to complain about his ailing health even when he was taking care of his semi-disabled wife, Karen and daughter.  Dean also shared a special love and many memories for his late sister in law, Judy Ann Byrd and late father in law, Charles “Buck” Byrd.  Dean lived by this motto “positive thought followed by positive action.”

Dean was an organ donor whose corneas are helping a 69 year old person.

Dean is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karen Miller, who he lovingly referred to as “Son”; daughter, Ashly Miller of Sedro-Woolley; granddaughter, Gracie Henderson of Alabama, who he loved and adored with all his heart; sister, Sharon Miller, of Port Hadlock, WA; special nephew, Scott and Lori Browning, of Port Townsend, WA; niece, Laura and James Blake, of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; nephew, Larry Lee Browning, Jr., of Port Townsend; all very special numerous nieces and nephews, Tammy and Ben Scott, of Sequim, WA, Whitney, Rosie, Michael, Melissa, Andrea and Joey Boyd, of Seattle, Nathan, Jordan, Sara, Nick, Merejnar; half-sister-in-law, Annie Dare.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Elsie Miller; sister, Shirley Browning; half-brother, Jerry Dare.

At Dean’s request, his ashes will be scattered along the Oregon Coast.  A detective case of a murdered couple that he worked on in the 1970’s, a heartfelt case, was finally solved by DNA two months prior to his death, his words were “I can finally rest in peace!”

Our everyday hero promises.  Love, Karen and Ashly.



  • Gary J Caffrey

    Sorry to hear my old friend has graduated. We spent many a night together with him having me hid so Mac could find me. Never forget the time he backed me up an we were shot at and the Burglar shot himself. We also spent some time on the council together and always appreciated his points of view. He was a great Deputy and proud to have known him.

  • Val and Gary Bisbey

    Dear Karen and Ashly…I am still waiting for Dean to pop around a corner and conversing with him for minimum, one hour. Gary and I loved Dean, still do. There are few people that are entirely genuine, and so full of fun. I met Dean my first year of playing softball; he was my coach. What a guy to put up with all of us gals! One of the funnest times of my life. Gary and I seemed to bump into Dean in many settings throughout life, so honored to have such a wonderful man as a true friend. He loved you guys, always talking about his precious family. As much as we miss Dean, I cannot imagine the gap in your lives…He was bigger than life…Peace and love to you both.

  • Lori (Tracy) Anderson

    Karen and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Dean playing softball with Dave “way back in the day” and always will have great memories of the times we all spent together!

    Thank you for your service Dean, may you forever Rest in Peace!

  • Teresia Pederson

    Karen & Ashley, My deepest sympathies to you both. I am so sorry to hear of Deans passing. He was one great guy and did so much for his community. I feel honored that I got to meet him & and his partner Mac. Every time I see a Sheriffs vehicle or a K-9, unit I think of Dean & Mac. God bless dear ones. Sending prayers of love & healing.

  • Sherry Hultgren

    Karen and Ashley,
    There isn’t enough space on this guestbook for all the wonderful and loving things that I can say about Dean. He was my rock when I lost my Deputy, standing guard over me and sometimes not saying anything, but there for me. When he was patrolling with Alan, they seemed like “two peas in a pod”! His laugh was contagious and his smile was so genuine. He was so very proud to introduce Mac to me when he got him. I was lucky enough to get to visit with him for a short time in the grocery store. Not enough time though….. I know he is watching over you and Ashley still. Prayers and Angels to all of his family. He will be in my heart forever and a day.

  • Tom R

    I met Dean in 1991. I was a reserve officer and he introduced himself to me. He was very personable and offered advice which I took not only from him but from others who had valuable experience. I saw Dean over the years and then worked with him at TGA. Dean knew everything and I mean that in a good way. What was new in our conversation was Karen and his grand daughter. it was obvious he loved Karen and his grand daughter meant the world to him. Dean also encouraged me to attend polygraph school and I would call him and give him a progress report. Dean was a good man to me and I’ll never forget that.

  • Joan Edson

    I always Loving seeing Dean we always had a great visit We ran into each other shortly prior to his death and we talked and talked kind of caught up . Loved his jest for life he had the best laugh the world misses Dean he was such. Special man Prayers to you Karen and Ashley