Dean Anderson Donley was born June of 1966 in Los Angeles, California to Rich and Jan Donley. He was raised in Garland, Texas attending North Garland High School. Dean was 54 years old when he passed away peacefully at his Albuquerque home.
Dean welcomed his son, Brandon Donley in 1984. Soon after, he joined the United States Air Force which allowed him to travel the world. While in Italy he welcomed his daughter, Alicia Donley in 1986. After serving 20 years in the Air Force, Dean retired in 2006 at Holloman AFB in Alamogordo, NM where he followed his love for Hot Air Ballooning. After retirement, he moved to Albuquerque, NM where he met his wife, Debbie and became a full-time commercial balloon pilot.
Dean had a zest for life that was unmatched. He had enough hobbies and friends to last more than one lifetime. He always had to be first, and his time was never wasted. He was "busy, busy" with the exception of his mandatory afternoon nap. Just a few of his passions included hot air ballooning, country dancing, scuba diving, and bowling; and spent most of his time on anything that went fast or off-road. He was known for always having the newest and coolest technology and "toys" as he called them. He loved all things Texas--The Dallas Cowboys, the Mavericks, sweet tea, Pepsi, and Texas BBQ.
Dean was warm and inviting, his charm and charisma were undeniable. He was calm, collected, and reserved, but outgoing at the same time. He made sure to keep in contact with old friends and new and was a constant in their lives. He never met a stranger and made friends that lasted a lifetime. "I wouldn't be where I am today without Dean" is heard by many in his life. He was a truly loyal friend, a nurturer at heart, and was known for helping others find/capture/live their passions while also not shy about giving you a hard time.
Dean is survived by his wife, Debbie Donley; father, Richard Donley; brother, Scott Donley; children, Brandon Donley, Alicia Donley, and Amber Griffith; and grandkids, Kylie Donley, Tristan Saucedo, Nolan Young, Beaux Donley, and Karson Griffith. Dean was preceded in death by his mother, Jan and brother, Richard.
A tentative memorial flight to be held at Balloon Fiesta Park at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 15th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Weather permitting.
"The winds have welcomed you with softness, the sun has blessed you with its warm hands. You have flown so high and so well that God has joined you in your laughter and set you gently back again into the arms of Mother Earth."
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