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American Patriotic 10


Gerald Raymond Dickson

October 21, 1929 ~ July 20, 2018 (age 88)

      Gerald Raymond Dickson, 88 was born October 21st, 1929 in Portland to Raymond Avery Dickson and Ola Ethel Dickson (Pyle). He passed away July 20th, 2018 at Swiss village in Berne, Indiana.  He married Carolyn Sue Wright June 17th, 1956. In January of 1998, she preceded him in death.

     Gerald started school at the age of four in a one-room school house south of Pennville, Indiana. He attended grades 5th-9th at Pennville School and grades10th-12th at the Bryant High School. Throughout high school, he was active in playing baseball and basketball and graduated in 1947.

     In January of 1951, he entered the Army Airborne. He completed 16 weeks of basic training at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. At Fort Benning, Georgia, Gerald received his Airborne jump training. He was then transferred to the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He made 36 parachute jumps, and served as Sergeant training Airborne troops. He was discharged from the Army January 1954.

     Gerald completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical (Tool) Engineering at Chicago Allied Institute of Technology May 23rd, 1958. He was employed in Chicago doing architectural design after graduation. For approximately 30 years he was employed as the plant Facilities Manager at Franklin Electric in Bluffton, Indiana.

    Gerald excelled in the sport of golf, making two, hole in ones, during his golfing career. He also enjoyed being a part-time farmer in Noble Township until 1992. After retiring from Franklin Electric in 1988, he meticulously restored at least 36 antique tractors.

     He married Sondra Lee Zimmerman in 2000 after the death of his first wife. Gerald and his beloved wife Sondra enjoyed traveling and spending time with friends and family. He became a devoted stepfather to four children, Kurt Zimmerman wife (Leslie), Kimbra Weesner husband (Gary), Karen Hemmelgarn husband (Doug), Kevin Zimmerman wife (Melody), 11 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.

     He was of Christian faith and a member of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church. He was involved with youth ministry from 1967-1989 engaging in choral and bicycle trips. Gerald was actively involved with the Breakfast Optimist Club and Tri State Gas Engine and Tractor Association. He also served on the planning and construction committees for the Jay County Library and Jay County Jail.

    Aside from his parents, Gerald was preceded in death by three brothers, Dwane Elton, Neil Lee, Gary Paul and sister, Dorothy Maxine. One living sister, Anna May Williams resides in Appalachia, Virginia.

       Gerald loved God, his family, Franklin Electric, and Blackberry Pie.

     Visitation will be held from 3-7 pm on Tuesday at the Williamson-Spencer and Penrod Funeral Home in Portland, Indiana. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday at the funeral home. Pastor Darrell Borders will officiate at the service and burial will follow at the IOOF Twin Hills Cemetery, Pennville.  Military graveside rites will be conducted by American Legion Post #211 of Portland.

     Memorials may be directed towards the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.  

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