Page 38 - November 2021
P. 38

  From left, former Lodge 7 presidents Mark Donahue, Dean Angelo Sr., Bill Nolan and John Dineen.
There just isn’t enough space here to tell all the stories or share all the words of reverence for Dean Angelo Sr., the Lodge 7 president from 2014 to 2017 who passed away on Oct. 12 at 68 years old after battling COVID for nearly a month.
A man among men
Dean had a storied life, storied career as a copper and storied service as a union leader. He had an unparalleled and unending desire to help everybody who appeared to need him. Or who- ever asked. When he was FOP president, he kept a spindle on his desk where he stacked every phone message that came in. In a drawer, he had stacks and stacks, 18 inches high and rub- ber-banded, of the ones he returned. Every single one.
His first vice president, Ray Casiano, marveled at how Dean maintained an open-door policy for members that never seemed to close. According to Casiano, this is what earned Dean the "old man” moniker because so many members, representa- tives from the business community, elected officials and staff walked through that door seeking advice.
“He is somebody I called the ‘old man’ as a term of endear- ment because he was so gracious and so dedicated to police officers,” Casiano continued. “There are things I will do for the rest of my life that I learned from Dean.”
If members didn’t see him as the old man, they might have known him as the dean of the Department. After earning a mas- ter’s in criminal justice and behavior from Lewis University and a doctorate in education from Loyola, Dean taught so many Chicago Police Officers as a professor at Calumet and Lewis.
Mike Lappe, who now serves as pension board trustee, went to the academy with Dean. When Lappe was pursuing his mas- ter’s at Lewis, he walked into one of his classes to see Professor Angelo.
“Even though we were friends, I was a student and he expect- ed me and the other students to do the work. Nobody got a free pass, because he had so much integrity,” Lappe recalled. “That’s how he was. His heart was always there for the members.”
In his office, in the classroom, at a membership or board meeting and on the beat, Dean had a presence that towered above his compact frame, stacked solid like an Olympic wres- tler. Some of that presence spawned from his renowned work as a detective with the Gang Crimes North unit that took so much dope and so many guns off the street. Some of it grew from his work in the 90s as a Lodge 7 board member and field rep.
It was a presence that compelled several of his closest col-
The Angelo family, from left: Dean Jr., Dean III, Dean Sr., Claudia, Dominic, Michelle and Amanda.
leagues and friends to echo the same phrase of praise when siz- ing up Dean:
“He might have been the shortest man in the room,” Casiano commented. “But everybody looked up to him.”
A man of the people
There are many testaments to Dean’s police work. Perhaps the most illustrious is that when he retired in 2017 following 37 years of service, speculation indicated he had the most time on of any copper in the city. Or maybe he was in the top two or three. He outdid his father, Patrick, by a couple of years.
Lappe started the academy in February 1980, one month af- ter Dean. They had several classes together, and Dean’s passing presented an opportunity to wax poetic about his fellow recruit.
“Well, he didn’t grow anymore after that,” Lappe quipped. “Not in height, but in stature he did.”
Coming out of the academy, Dean and Lappe were both as- signed to the 20th District, where they worked the same watch. They would see each other on calls, where Lappe remembered Dean saying how proud he was to carry on the family tradition.
On the beat, Lappe noticed characteristics that would make Dean a humble union leader.
“Working the street as young officers, he was respected be- cause he never flew off the handle,” Lappe added. “He always had a good personality to talk with other officers and explain his point of view. He did it in such a way where officers respected it.”
As a result, Dean fit in so well at Gangs North. The unit did some of the best police work in the city taking big-time gang leaders off the street.
Dean Jr. relayed that his father would tell him how much fun he had working with the unit. That was motivation for Dean to continue the upwardly mobile arc of his career by furthering his education. He knew how much an impact that could make on the Department.
“He knew the more educated you were that it was going to make for a better department,” Dean Jr. confirmed. “And better policing, too.”
A man of his words
When Dean came off probation, Chicago Lodge 7 was just getting started. The founding fathers included Dineen and Bill Nolan, the first two presidents. One of the officers they worked with in their early years in Area 4 was Pat Angelo. He became a founding member as well, so Dean heard all about the FOP from the time it was born.
t f t
o i b

   36   37   38   39   40