William “Dean” McNaughton, a Balboa Island and Newport Beach resident, died peacefully June 3, 2012 with his family at his side. He was 89 years old.
Dean was born in Bicknell, Indiana, on March 6, 1923. He attended high school in Pekin, Illinois where he was captain and quarterback of the football team, captain of the basketball team and member of the track team. He was president of his class all four years. Dean attended DePauw University for one year and then transferred to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he graduated in 1945. While at West Point, he met a young coed, Alzina “Zee” Gay, at Mount Holyoke College. He met up with her again in Germany while serving as aide to General Hobart R. Gay, her father. They married within a year.
In 1950 Dean left the Army and moved back to Pekin to help run the family newspaper. He worked side by side with his father, Foye Fisk “F.F.” McNaughton. He soon took over as publisher and helped build the Pekin Daily Times into a powerful and successful newspaper. During his years at Pekin, Dean raised money for many charities, including serving four consecutive years heading up the United Way. For that work he was named Man of the Year for the Peoria-Pekin area.
In 1960 Dean flew to San Diego with the purpose of purchasing a newspaper on the West Coast. He rented a car and visited every newspaper in the state with no luck until he arrived in Fairfield where he found a willing seller. In 1965 he also purchased the Mountain Democrat in Placerville and in 1967 the Davis Enterprise.
Dean retired near his daughter, Gay Proud, on Balboa Island, where he spent his last 29 years. His competitive spirit continued to be nurtured when he took up tennis, a game he loved and shared with many good friends. He was feared for his famous “two fisted backhand”.
Dean was preceded in death by his brothers, Joe and John McNaughton and his sister, Gloria, who died of polio at age 6.
He is survived by his sister Luda Soldwedel; his children, Gay Proud (Dennis), Foy McNaughton (Barbara), Burt McNaughton (Blanche); his grandchildren, Zee Cook, Eli Wendell, Peter and Scott Proud, T. Burt McNaughton, Jennifer McNaughton, Ashley Nicholson, Kelley McNaughton, Jacquelyn Buley and Berkeley McNaughton; and his great-grandchildren, Ryder and Jude Cook, Rune McNaughton, Brandon and Dylan Nicholson, and Morgan and Maeve Proud.
Grandpa Dean will be missed terribly by all. His life will be celebrated privately with family.