Robert Krueger Dickson, 73, community activist, insurance adjuster for GM

November 09, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Robert Krueger Dickson, a retired insurance adjuster and volunteer who was active with Habitat for Humanity and the Joseph House soup kitchen, died of pancreatic cancer Thursday at his Salisbury home. He was 73.

Mr. Dickson was born in Baltimore, the son of parents from Scotland and Germany. He was raised in Dundalk and was a member of the first graduating class of Dundalk High School in 1947.

He served in the Navy from 1947 to 1952. For the last three years in the Navy, he was an electrician's mate aboard the USS Midway, a carrier.

In 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Boyer, whom he met when both were appearing in a high school production of Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore.

Mr. Dickson began his career in 1956 as an insurance adjuster with Motors Insurance Corp., a division of General Motors Corp. In 1960, he was transferred to Salisbury, where he worked until 1977, when he returned to his home on Liberty Parkway in Dundalk.

During the 1960s, he coached in the East Salisbury Little League and was a member of the Parent Teacher Association for Wicomico County.

After retiring in 1988, he returned to Salisbury, where he became involved in many community activities.

Mr. Dickson was a member for 42 years of Wicomico Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, where he had served as a Sunday school teacher, church school superintendent, elder, trustee and liturgist. He also served on numerous church committees.

"He was an extremely humble person," said a son, David S. Dickson of Parkville.

He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Joseph House soup kitchen in Salisbury.

"Bob was more than someone who just came to church on Sunday. He was an integral part of everything we did here," said the Rev. William Bruce Kirk, pastor of Wicomico Presbyterian Church.

"We're the only church in town that built a Habitat for Humanity house. We had previously supplied people and money to help build other houses. In 2001, Bob and another gentleman came to us and said, `Why don't we build our own house?' We had some accumulated money and we were able to do one big project," Mr. Kirk said.

"And you could always tell when Bob was cooking for the soup kitchen. He never wore an apron, and his shirt was always spattered with whatever he was cooking. I'd see Bob and instantly knew where he had been," he said.

"There are givers and takers in life, and Bob was one of the givers. He gave time and time again," Mr. Kirk said.

Mr. Dickson enjoyed traveling by ship and liked taking his family along on cruises.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Wicomico Presbyterian Church.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Dickson is survived by two other sons, Robert C. Dickson of Destin, Fla., and James R. Dickson of Richmond, Va.; and six grandchildren.

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