Tony Dean Outdoors - South Dakota Fishing and Hunting Information
Tony Dean with Lake Sakakawea pike

On October 19, 2008, conservation lost one of its foremost leaders with the death of Tony Dean, at the age of 67.

He left a legacy as an outspoken communicator, a champion for fish and wildlife resources, an accomplished sportsman, and a warm and caring family man.

Tony was born with a million dollar voice and a love of the outdoors. He melded the two into a career that took him to countless fields and lakes and prairie potholes. Along the way, he became committed to preserving those areas, so that future generations would have access to the great hunting and fishing opportunities he enjoyed.

For over two decades, Tony reached more than 200,000 people each week with his award-winning Tony Dean Outdoors TV Show and Dakota Backroads Radio. He wrote many articles for regional magazines and newspapers. He educated his audience about threats to the environment and wildlife, as he wove stories about the outdoors into his shows and articles.

Tony was also active on the political front, lending his voice to environmental issues: efforts related to protecting wetlands, soil and water conservation; and climate change. Tony served on many boards which shared his goals. He also testified on environmental issues in Washington, DC, and attended programs on how climate change will impact our land and wildlife. He planned to teach others the importance of this issue.

Tony Dean left a giant footprint, and spoke for many of us.

Tony Dean's obituary:

Anthony Eastman DeChandt II ("Tony Dean") was born Nov. 26, 1940, in Mandan, N.D., to Anthony and Marion (Smith) DeChandt. He grew up in Mandan and graduated from Mandan High School. After high school, he attended Bismarck Junior College.

Tony lived in Bismarck, N.D., until 1962, when he moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he managed several racetracks and performed play-by-play and commentary duties for radio broadcast.

Establishing his home in Pierre for the last 40 years, Tony started doing radio broadcasting at KCCR and also managed the State Fair Speedway racing operations. From 1970 to 1972, he served as Governor Frank Farrar's press secretary. Tony then started his daily radio show at KCCR, "Tony Dean Outdoors," which was broadcast in Pierre and the surrounding media markets. He later started "Tony Dean Outdoors," a weekly hunting and fishing television series which aired for more than 18 years and reached an audience of more than 100,000 people each week. During that time, he produced another daily radio broadcast, "Dakota Backroads," which aired throughout the Midwest along with an interactive Web site, "Tony Dean Outdoors."

Tony received numerous regional and national awards for both his television and radio broadcasts.

Tony spent his career as an outdoors broadcaster, media personality and environmental conservationist. In the last 15 years, Tony became increasingly active in political affairs as they related to land conservation, wetlands preservation and climate change, serving on the boards of the Izaak Walton League and Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Tony is survived by his wife, Darlene; four children: Cameron Matthew Dean DeChandt, Melissa Teresa Marion DeChandt, Alexia Anastasia Dominique DeChandt and Anthony Andre Christian DeChandt III; two grandchildren: Celine Noel DeChandt and Tinsley Valentina DeChandt Arizmendez; one brother, Thomas Zaccheus DeChandt and one sister, Francis Sophia McGregor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Marion, and one brother, Robert John DeChandt.

Per Tony's request for no formal funeral services, there will be a casual celebration in his honor Nov. 1, 2008, starting at 5 p.m. and running through the evening at the AmericInn Conference Center in Fort Pierre.

Isburg Funeral Chapel of Pierre has been placed in care of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tony Dean's Acres Project. They can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD, 57501.

Tony Dean Outdoors - South Dakota Fishing and Hunting Information

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