His scientific interests brought him to the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, which later became SRI International, where he worked as a pharmaceutical organic chemist.
It was there that he met his wife of 52 years, Fran Dehn (McGroary), now president of Menlo Park's Chamber of Commerce.
He eventually moved into marketing and business development for SRI's Life Sciences Division, where he worked until his retirement in 2007.
Dehn served on the Menlo Park Library Commission for 11 years. He played a key role in advocating for and seeing through the completion of a $5 million expansion and remodel of the Menlo Park Main Library in 1992.
According to his wife, Dehn was a scientist at heart who brought his analytical mind to everything he did.
"He was extremely private, he didn't share his feelings with others, he only shared goals," she said. "He was a very focused individual, he was a very analytical person, he was a scientist. He would figure out what needed to be done then bring other people along with him, and he wouldn't give up until the project came to fruition."
In his retirement, Dehn brought that focus and tenacity to his volunteer work at St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room, which provides free meals to the hungry in the church on Middlefield Road.
According to Padua Dining Room Operations Manager Max Torres, Dehn volunteered extensively at the dining room, often putting in extra hours to make sure all business was taken care of. "The way he conducted himself was always very formal," Torres said of Dehn's style. "He was a very respectful person."
Dehn is survived by his wife Fran; daughter Elizabeth Dehn; son Peter Dehn; grandsons Oliver, Byron and Zac; and sister Marlene Dehn.
The family prefers that memorial donations be made to St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room at 3500 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
This story contains 372 words.
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