Obituary for Dr. Richard Dean Tester

Dr. Richard Dean Tester, 88, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 19, 2021 at Pennybyrn. Dean was born in Pulaski, VA on December 17, 1932 to the late Coy Nelson Tester and Verna Sisk Tester.   In addition to his parents, Dean was preceded in death by his wife, Gaynelle “Gay” Davidson Tester; sister, Clara Nell Campbell; brothers, Ralph, Carlton, Bob Tester.

Dean meet his sweetheart Gaynelle Davidson and they were married August 20, 1955. Dean adored his wife and mother of their children for the 60 years they were blessed to be together.  Dean was a devoted caregiver to his wife and High School sweetheart.  He has now been reunited with her.  During their time together, they were faithful and active members of First United Methodist Church in High Point.

Dean attended Pulaski High School and graduated college from Hampden-Sydney College in 1954 and Medical School of Virginia in 1958.  He then went on to work his Medical Fellowship and Residency at Duke University in 1963-1964.

Dean was active in High School and College sports.  During High School, he lettered in Baseball, Football and Basketball.  During his time at Hampden-Sydney College, he lettered in baseball, where he was Captain of the team, 3rd baseman and had a .300 batting average.  In football, he was the starting Quarterback and led the team to Mason-Dixon Conference Championship.  He was named All Mason-Dixon Conference.  Dean went on to sign with the Pulaski Phillies, the Philadelphia Phillies minor league team.  He was an expert snow skier, loved sailing and enjoyed golfing.   He was an original member of the Willow Creek Country Club. He was the winner of WCCC Senior Club Champion, Campbell Cup team Champion and along with his wife, Gay they won multiple WCCC Couples Club Championships.  He had several hole-in-ones during his time of golfing.  He also enjoyed woodworking and cabinetmaking.

Dean practiced his medical career in High Point, where in 1964 he co-founded, High Point Radiological Service and remained until 1997.  He was instrumental in bringing nuclear medicine and the first CT scanner to High Point.  He opened the Imaging Center to serve the High Point Community.  Dean was a member of the Eastern Radiology Society, co-founded American Bank and served on the Board of Directors for BB&T Bank in High Point.

Dean is survived by his children, Brian Dean Tester of Atlanta, GA, Christopher Alan Tester of Fleetwood, NC, Julie Tester Faria and husband, Richard of High Point; grandchildren, Olivia Faria, Isabel Faria and Natalie Faria.

The family will greet friends from 1:00 until 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at Cumby Family Funeral Service at 1015 Eastchester Drive in High Point.  A graveside service will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Deep River Friends Meeting Cemetery with Rev. Debra Swing officiating.

The family wishes to express their appreciation to Dr. Nelson Pollock and his staff, Home Instead and the staff at Pennybyrn for all their care and support.

For those who prefer, memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 512 N. Main Street, High Point, NC  27262; Pennybyrn at Maryfield, 1310 Greensboro Road, High Point, NC  27262; or to United Way of Greater High Point, 201 Church Avenue, High Point, NC  27262.

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Note: According to Tom Hufford, Tester was the son of Coy Tester, who operated Virginia Oak Flooring Company in Pulaski in the 1950s, and still has relatives in Pulaski. Dean Tester was a star athlete at Pulaski High School, and after graduating from Hampden-Sydney he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1954, and assigned to their Pulaski farm club. After playing with the Phillies for about a month, he suffered a severe injury when struck in the head by a pitched ball in a game at Johnson City. That ended his pro career, but he entered med school at the Medical College of Virginia.