El Paso has been Dee’s home for 40 years, and he is committed to the roots he has established in the community. Dee and Adair raised their sons in El Paso, and their granddaughters are fifth-generation El Pasoans. They are the reason Dee wants to be Mayor, to assure the education and career opportunities of future generations right here in El Paso.
Like many in the borderland, Dee’s family roots originated in Texas in the mid-1800s. His great-great-grandfather came up the Rio Grande River from New Orleans, and settled in Rio Grande City in 1850. Both his great grandfather Ruperto and grandfather Elias were born and raised in Rio Grande City.
Despite the financial obstacles faced by his family, Dee was determined to succeed. In 1970, he accepted a football scholarship to Vanderbilt University, and he graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Economics. His goal of attending law school was unaffordable at the time, so Dee took a job as a salesman for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, earning $700 a month.
Adair and Dee married on August 21, 1976 and moved to El Paso in March of 1977. In February of 1981, 6 days after his 29th birthday, his father-in-law suffered a fatal heart attack. Dee secured a note to purchase JDW from his mother-in-law and the estate. He was determined to make JDW a success for his employees, their families, and our community. They expanded from 6 to 70 employees within 30 years.