Dean DeKok

by Randy Olson, Bonanza Valley Voice

Dean DeKok was a Brooten farm boy and a star three-sport athlete for the Brooten Buccaneers who loved every minute of his childhood.

A BHS graduate of 1962, DeKok went from helping wreak havoc on West Lake Conference opposition to competing in the tough Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) at Concordia College-Moorhead. As a Cobber, DeKok was an offensive tackle and a member of the college’s 1964 national championship team.

From college, DeKok and his wife Karen (also a Cobber) started a family and raised their three sons in New Jersey. He taught physical education and drivers education at Hopewell Valley Regional high school in Pennington while also coaching track and field for 30 years and cross country for 20 years.

“I’ll always remember all the good relationships we had with one another as teammates and classmates at BHS,” said DeKok. “We had such good harmony that existed between students and also with the teachers and other school staff. I taught in public school for 35 years, and today you see people who just don’t know how to get along. That wasn’t the case in Brooten. I honestly can’t think of any negative experiences from high school or even at Concordia.”

The BHS Class of 1962 had 44 graduates, and two of them were DeKok twins, Dean and his brother Dennis. The children of the late Tony and Janette DeKok, they have one brother, Norman, of Brooten, and one sister, Twyla, of Minneapolis.