In 1932, Soror Lola Dean began attending Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, and obtained her teaching certificate within 2 years and then began teaching. In the late 1930’s, she returned to Langston University to complete her Bachelor’s degree and became a Zeta by way of Lambda Alpha Chapter. During a recent interview, Soror Dean stated that was drawn to Zeta because of the work that she saw the young women do around the campus and she appreciated what they stood for. Soror Dean began teaching at Harrison Chapel School and then moved to Porter, Oklahoma, where she served as principal at the all black Porter school. When integration began to take shape, all of the African American teachers were fired and all the black schools were closed in Muskogee county. As a result, Soror Dean filed a lawsuit, suing the district for her job. She won that lawsuit and shortly thereafter additional black teachers were hired at schools throughout the district.
Soror Dean has been quoted saying «My greatest contribution to education is that I taught my kids to study and to do what it took to get them where they wanted to go. Some of them didn’t know how to work, stay up late, and ‘burn the midnight oil’ or to do whatever it took to make it. Hard work never killed anybody; otherwise, I would have been gone a long time ago,»
In the 1970’s, Soror Lola Dean served as the Basileus of Alpha Iota Zeta in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to the local offices that Soror Dean held, she also served the sisterhood on the state and Midwestern Regional level.
Soror Dean was a longtime member and diligent work at Mount Bethel Baptist Church and within the communities of Tullahassee, Porter, and Wagoner. Soror Dean and her husband were not blessed with children, but she has stated in the past that she always had children around her and she helped to raise many children over the years. Every year, Soror Dean would personally take a group of youth from the surrounding area on a trip each summer to expose them to other areas in the US. During the summer of 2013, Soror Dean took a group of youth from the community to Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, she became ill in the spring of 2014 and was unable to take the group to Atlanta as planned that summer. She was inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame in September of 2014.
Soror Lola Parker Dean recently became a member of the Phi Beta Zeta chapter in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and had been making plans to attend the 73rd Midwestern Regional Conference. Unfortunately, Soror Dean fell ill in December and transitioned to her eternal home in January. Soror Lola Parker Dean has joined our other triumphant Sorors at the Grand Boule’ in the sky. We will forever remember the contributions that Soror Dean made to our sisterhood.