Friends, family mourn 'Dickie'

Published 10:51 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
L.E. "Dickie" Dickinson, a well-known and loved citizen of Atmore, passed away in his sleep Monday morning.
Dickinson was the friend of many, the husband of one, the father of three, the grandfather of five and the great-grandfather of two.
Robert Maxwell, one of Dickinson's closest friends for 75 years, said there are too many great things to say about his dear friend.
"There is no end to the good things a person could say about him," Maxwell said. "He was easy to be friendly with because he was such a nice guy. He was very gentle, caring, kind and mindful of the needs and thoughts of others."
Maxwell said he has known Dickinson since before elementary school and that they grew up together, doing the things that best friends do along the years.
"I've known him since before grammar school," he said. "We went through school and college together. We were roommates in college for part of that time. We played football together, hunted together and fished together. We were in a high school band together. We even double-dated together. We were also in the same fraternity at the University of Alabama. We were very very good friends."
Dickinson's wife, Conway Kennedy Dickinson, said she and her late husband met at a sporting event at the University of Alabama, and that they were married for more than 54 years.
"Some friends I had picked me up on the way to Tuscaloosa to a ballgame," she said. "We met through a blind date that day. We married on July 31, 1952."
Throughout the years the Dickinson's became the parents of Lee Dickinson Cannon, Richard Kennedy Dickinson and Lawrence Edward Dickinson III. They became the grandparents of Melissa Terrell, Michael Cannon, Annie Dickinson, Ted Dickinson and Jennifer Dickinson and the great-grandparents of Erin and Emma Terrell.
Atmore mayor Howard Shell has known Dickinson for more than 50 years. Shell said Dickinson has been an important staple of Atmore throughout the years.
"My wife and I bought furniture from his dad years ago," Shell said. "Dickie has been a very valuable and involved citizen of Atmore."
Dickinson owned Dickinson Furniture Co., for more than 40 years, according to his wife. He closed it around nine years ago when he retired. Bargain Bin is now where Dickinson's Furniture Co. was located and Dickinson had his hand in assembling the facility.
"One summer, Dickie did not go to summer school but I did," Maxwell said. "Dickie spent the summer constructing the building."
Dickinson served on the Escambia County Board of Education for 23 years and had admiration for a former superintendent who has also passed away, according to Maxwell.
"He was a member of the Escambia County Board of Education," he said. "He had great respect for the superintendent Harry Weaver."
Dickinson was also an avid member of First Methodist Church, where he enjoyed singing in the choir.
"He was a practicing Christian and an excellent family man," Maxwell said. "He sang in the bass section of the choir at the church and was on several boards there."
Maxwell said his beloved friend could also be found at the Atmore Area YMCA and Community Center when he wasn't at church or spending time with his friends and family.
"He was an active member of the YMCA," Maxwell said. "He took advantage of the exercise programs. He rode a bicycle from his home to the Y. He exercised at least an hour, five days a week and usually on Saturdays."
Maxwell said he is going to miss Dickinson greatly because they were friends for so long and their friendship was so firm.
"He was one of my very closest, dearest and longest friends and it was a great loss to me," he said.
Shell said Dickinson did many things Atmore citizens were unaware of to make the city more pleasant.
"He has always worked behind the scenes to make our city a better place to live," Shell said.
Dickinson's family will receive friends at 1 p.m. this afternoon until service time at First Methodist Church. The funeral will take place at 2:30 p.m. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

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