CHARLESTON – A 49-year-old lieutenant serving at the Northern Regional Jail and Correctional Facility died Saturday while hospitalized for COVID-19.
Lt. Delmar Dean had been with the W.Va. Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation for more than two decades. He had been battling COVID-19 for several months.
“The State of West Virginia and the entire DCR family are grieving this tragic loss,” DCR Commissioner Betsy Jividen said.
Gov. Jim Justice announced the death during Monday’s COVID-19 media briefing, pausing to ask his fellow West Virginians to join him in mourning Dean’s passing.
“Think about his family. Please, please, please keep all of them in your prayers,” Justice said. “I am so sorry. God bless them in every way.”
Notifying DCR staff of the death, Jividen asked them to “take time to remember Lt. Dean and to keep him, his wife Marcie, their children, family, and other loved ones in your prayers.”
“Special prayers and condolences also to Lt. Dean’s long-time friends and co-workers at NRJCF, and to all those who have been touched by his life and service, as we continue to navigate through these challenging times and heartbreaking losses,” Jividen said. “May his memory be a blessing.”
Dean, of Weirton, served with DCR for 26 years. A 1990 graduate of Hampshire High School in Romney, he is survived by his wife of 15 years and their two daughters, ages 13 and 10. Funeral services are planned for Wednesday in Weirton.
“Lt. Dean was a dedicated and loyal DCR employee who would do anything he could to help out a fellow employee,” NRJCF Superintendent Shawn Straughn said. “He loved spending time with his family and especially his two daughters who played softball. There are no words to express how deeply he will be missed by his DCR family.”
Dean’s death follows that of Cpl. Mark Rustemeyer, 58, who had served at the Saint Marys Correctional Center in Pleasants County since 1998. Rustemeyer died Jan. 2, also while receiving treatment for COVID-19. DCR has had 725 positive tests results among staff, including contract employees, with 14 active cases as of Sunday.