David “Dave" Dickson, born in Akron, Ohio on March 12, 1935, son of the late Mabel (Keagy) and James Dickson, and brother to the late Loretta “Jean” Dickson, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, grace and love, on Sunday, August 29, 2021. He spent the last eight months living with family in Arlington, Virginia where he could see the Potomac River, watch the sun rise each morning, and view planes, trains, and passersby at Long Bridge Park.
For 35 years Dave taught social studies at Revere High School with an emphasis on law and world history. While at Revere, he served as Thespian adviser, producing and directing 13 musical productions and 26 plays. Upon retiring from teaching high school, he found himself not ready for true retirement, and taught an additional ten years as an adjunct professor at Kent State University. During this time, he also wrote and published, The Winnowing, an apocalyptic novel about a pandemic.
From 1960-1995, in collaboration with two friends and colleagues from Revere, Dave formed and operated a local construction company, dedicating his summers off from teaching to painting and improving homes throughout northeast Ohio. Additionally, between 1968-1980, Dave founded, managed and performed at The Bowery, a piano and banjo "saloon" off West Market Street in Akron. Open on weekends only, The Bowery's 13-year run was no small feat in the entertainment world; it was a popular and well-loved neighborhood bar.
Dave graduated from Revere High School as salutatorian of the class of 1953. Receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the University of Akron, he was a member of the school's ROTC program. Dave rose to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and was appointed a Distinguished Military Graduate. Offered a regular army commission, he accepted and was initially assigned to the Nike Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) School in El Paso, Texas. Subsequent deployments sent him to a combat ready SAM battalion in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he served as a Launcher Control Officer, Fire Control Officer, and Company Executive Officer. Following a lengthy tour as a Military Liaison Officer to Civilian Weapons Development Contractors at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, Dave decided to resign his position to return to civilian life. His last assignment before being released from active duty was an appointment as Post Defense Counsel to the Judge Advocate General Corps.
As a father, he was a constant advocate for his children and provided unflagging support throughout their lives. He was dependable, honest, warm and kind, not just to them, but to all who knew him. He was gentle, thoughtful and sensitive, and had an endearing sense of dry humor. He wore a suit and tie every day of his teaching career, often with a pocket square and always with well-shined shoes. He owned three Cadillacs over 30 years and took pride in their care. He turned his backyard into a masterpiece garden. He was a class act through and through. He was a strong enough man to call each of his children “honey” and end every phone call with them by saying “love you.” His children are so proud to call him their Dad. He stood so tall.
Dave was preceded in death by his first wife, Prudence (2013), and second wife, Carolyn (2017), who loved him dearly. He is survived by his six children, Bridget Barbernitz (Colette) of Leawood, Kansas, Abigail Dickson of Peoria, Arizona, Lydia Zeisel (Brian) of North Pole, Alaska, Daniel Dickson (Meghan) of Fernandina Beach, Florida, LeeAnn Gedeon (Dave) of Arlington, Virginia, Philip Dickson of Arlington, Virginia, and 14 grandchildren. His family will be forever grateful to his wonderful caregivers, Ms. Aarrian Epps and Mrs. Jannet Gubatan, who provided so much love, compassion, dignity, and kindness to him during the last chapter of his life. As the family patriarch, he was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.
Calling hours will be held at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 North Miller Road, Akron, Ohio 44333 from 10am-12pm on Saturday, September 4. A burial service will follow at 1pm at Rose Hill Burial Park, 3653 West Market Street in Akron.
May he Rest In Peace.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes and Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.
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