Boeing Whistleblower Joshua Dean Succumbs To Sudden Illness At Age 45

Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems who raised concerns about defects in the 737 MAX fuselage, died at the age of 45. Dean passed away on Tuesday morning following a rapid decline in health due to a bacterial infection.

According to his family, Dean was diagnosed with Influenza B and MRSA, which quickly developed into pneumonia. He was airlifted from a hospital in Wichita, Kansas, to another facility in Oklahoma City, but despite medical intervention, he could not be saved.

Dean’s aunt, Carol Dean Parsons, announced his passing on Facebook, stating, “He passed away yesterday morning, and his absence will be deeply felt. We will always love you Josh.”
Prior to his sudden illness, Dean was known to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. His stepfather Winn Weir described him as “amazing” with a prodigious memory and attention to detail that aided his career.

Dean’s death comes amid ongoing scrutiny of Boeing’s safety practices. In January, he went public with claims that Spirit AeroSystems leadership ignored manufacturing defects in the 737 MAX. He was fired from the company in April 2023 and filed a retaliation complaint alleging he was terminated for speaking out.

Dean is the second Boeing whistleblower to die unexpectedly in recent months. In March, John Barnett was found dead in his truck in a hotel parking lot in South Carolina.