Dean K. Wampler M.D.
October 11, 1954 ~ August 3, 2022
Dean was raised in Lincoln by his parents Joe and Doris Wampler along with his older brother, David. Dean met the love of his life, Vicki L Belz, in junior high school. They started dating in high school and never stopped. They graduated together from Lincoln Northeast high school in 1972. Dean graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He received early acceptance to the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha and started in July 1975.
Dean and Vicki were married on December 20, 1975, at First United Methodist Church in Lincoln. They lived in Omaha where Dean attended medical school. He received his Doctor of Medicine in May 1978 at the age of 23.
Dean served his 3-year Internal Medicine Residency at University of Nebraska Hospitals in Omaha. Dean and Vicki’s son, Travis L., was born on August 18, 1978, and their daughter, Ashley N., was born on October 4, 1980.
Dean worked at Physicians Clinic, in the department of Internal Medicine, from 1981-1993. He then changed his focus to Occupational Medicine in 1991 and help developed programs at Methodist, Clarkson, and University Hospitals. He served as Physician and Medical Director at each.
In 2000 Dean started CompChoice Occupational Health Services. With much dedication and time he built CompChoice into a well-respected practice. Dean also consulted with many companies including Union Pacific, Kiewit and Sons, and Applied Underwriters. Dean worked full time until his death.
Dean was a wonderful physician but even more important to him was his family!
Dean and Vicki loved to travel. They went on amazing trips to some of most beautiful places in our country. With Travis and Ashley they hiked the Rocky Mountains, went to Disneyland and Disneyworld, enjoyed historical Boston, Plymouth Rock, Martha’s Vineyard, and New Orleans to name a few. Closer to home they loved the Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, and Kansas City. Las Vegas became a favorite. Many trips to Vegas with extended family were wonderful. They celebrated Travis’ 21st birthday there, as well as several nieces and nephews. Dean and Vicki renewed their wedding vows to celebrate their 40th anniversary in Vegas officiated by an Elvis Tribute Artist in a pink Cadillac!
Dean became an expert on Elvis Presley. He and Vicki enjoyed many trips to Memphis and Graceland. He planned parties for his staff at CompChoice on Elvis’s birthday. He made a large lighted Elvis sign that was used for parties and even a themed Christmas. Dean and Vicki loved all Elvis’s songs and most of his movies.
Dean learned how to draw architecture blueprints in high school. He used his skill to design many family homes. Although their final home was designed by Vicki, Dean designed the kitchen of his dreams.
Dean’s love for cooking was known by all. He and Vicki threw great parties where he would make delicious food. When they hosted family celebrations, Dean cooked, Vicki decorated. Dean had an amazing sense of taste and could figure out the ingredients of a favorite restaurant meal and recreate it. Dean loved to make huge pots of soups to freeze for easy meals throughout the winter. He created original recipes; Scallops Victoria for Vicki was one of his first.
Photography was another love of Dean’s. He had a darkroom in high school and college. Many, many cameras, and lenses were purchased over the years. Scenery was his favorite thing to photograph until his first grandchildren were born. Dean set up a studio in the basement with different backdrops and photos were taken of all his grandchildren all the time. Friends enjoyed Dean’s pictures of their children’s weddings, family photos were taken at every holiday and Dean became the unofficial photographer at many fundraisers.
Dean loved his Ford Mustang convertible. He could be seen and heard with the top down and his music playing loud! “Sleigh” rides with Vicki and grandkids were great fun. Dean would put on his Santa hat and Christmas lights necklace, pile blankets into the Mustang and enjoy all the Christmas lights, then home for hot chocolate and admiring the beautiful Christmas tree covered with a thousand ornaments collected over the years with Vicki.
2020 was hard on everyone with the Covid pandemic but Dean’s clinic remained open throughout and was there to help his corporate associates navigate testing and figuring out workspaces. He cooked even more and perfected Tiki cocktails for Vicki. Together they had wonderful staycations. Their big family vacation to Hawaii to celebrate their 45th Anniversary had to be postponed so they decorated their patio and pool area and had a fabulous luau with children and grandkids. Dean always made each day special!
Dean and Vicki finally got to take their family to Hawaii in June for their postponed anniversary trip. Seven days of fun with all his children and grandkids. Watching them surfing in the ocean and building sandcastles, great meals and Mai Tais and quiet reading time ended on June 23 when Dean was admitted to a Hawaiian hospital for emergency surgery. We finally got Dean back home on July 24 and he died August 3, 2022, surrounded by the love of his family.
Most people didn’t know how much pain Dean worked through daily. He had suffered through Rheumatoid Arthritis for years. Through it all Dean lived his life full of love, family, and hard work. We all felt loved and safe when he was around.
Life will never be the same, but we are all better for the time he was with us.
Survived by Vicki, Dean’s wife for almost 47 years, son Travis (Kate), daughter, Ashley Gloystein (Jesse)and grandchildren Ben Wampler, Reese, Reagan, and Paige Gloystein all from Omaha and brother, David B Wampler (Tracy Wilson). He was loved and will be missed by sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, numerous nieces and nephews and great friends.
Visitation Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 5:00-7:00 pm, West Chapel Chapel.
Memorials are suggested to: Rheumatoid Arthritis Research in care of: Arthritis Foundation Nebraska, 16614 Vinton Circle, Omaha, NE 68130; Nebraska Children’s Home Society, 4939 South 118th Street, Omaha, NE 68137; Saint Vincent de Paul School, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha, NE 68164.