Deane Everett McMinn, born in 1916 in Nevada City, California, was the eldest of three children. His family moved to Southern California during his high school years. He graduated from the University of Kansas in marine engineering. During World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and served on PT boats in the South Pacific. Deane began skating in 1939 at age twenty-three and was a charter member of the Arctic Blades Figure Skating Club. After the war he became a regular at Iceland’s Sunday night dance sessions with partner Elvira (“Betty”) Sonnhalter. They were the 1951 Pacific Coast bronze dance champions. After competing in silver dance, Deane retired from competitive skating and began judging.
Within a few years, Deane had become an intermediate and silver dance judge. He was active in the Southern California Inter-Club Association, chairman of the 1954 Nationals in Los Angeles, and began judging at Nationals after he became a gold judge in 1957. The USFSA nominated Deane to its executive committee, and held several chairman posts. Deane recruited many young adult skaters to become judges. In 1960, Deane became a referee, a world judge, and judged at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. In October 1960, Arctic Blades club members surprised President McMinn with a reception. He had just returned from the USFSA Executive Committee meeting where he was named Team Manager. McMinn, forty-four, felt honored and excited to be named team manager.