DICKSON, ANDREW DAVID, known as Andy, died peacefully in his sleep on January 5, 2022, from gallbladder cancer. Andy was born November 10, 1939, to the late Warren Dickson and Rosemond (Whiteside) Dickson. He was the brother of the late Wendy Dickson. He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Ann Marie, and a daughter Laurel Schwartz and son Matthew Dickson. He will miss the love from his children, son-in-law Steve Schwartz and daughter-in-law Allison Dickson. He always was joyful when he was with his grandchildren Andrew, his namesake; Graham; and Jared Dickson; and with his granddaughters Amy Picard and Ella Schwartz.
Andy had a Bachelor of Education from Rhode Island College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island.
Andy and his wife Ann Marie met when they were first year teachers at Cranston High School West where his early morning whistling of “Clair de Lune” became a mating call.
After one year as a science teacher, he yearned for adventure, so between 1962-1964 he was a mathematics and physics teacher in Kisii, Kenya, a British run boarding school for local boys from the Luo, Bakusu, and Kipsigis ethnic groups. He was such an excellent teacher that some students changed their first names to his. This African adventure was a defining experience in his life as he taught, maintained the school generator, climbed Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro, and ventured into the bush.
On his return he began his 42-year civilian career with the US Navy as a teacher in the Quonset Apprenticeship Program and then, with steady career moves, as Director of the Labor and Employee Relations at a Regional Office located at the Naval Submarine Base New London. He was well-respected as a manager who brought out the best in his employees. He was a “numbers” guy who had a wealth of knowledge to share. He was an inclusive manager long before there were hashtags and protests.
Andy enjoyed coaching his son’s youth soccer teams and, in later life, taking a keen interest in his son’s business, and Andy enjoyed working with his young daughter on her homework and then listening to her many stories as a music teacher. As a husband he was generous, loving, gentle, and supportive. He and Ann Marie travelled the world together, he campaigned with her as she ran for public office, and he attended numerous local events with her. His last public service was to drive his wife as she delivered Meals on Wheels the day before Thanksgiving.
He was very loyal to his social affiliations. He had two loves – singing and the outdoors. He was a member of the St. Francis de Sales, N. Kingstown church choir for over 40 years. He was also a member of the RI Fish and Game Protective Association, W. Greenwich. He served as Secretary, Membership Chair, and Newsletter Chair from 2000-2020. He enjoyed the fellowship of the members and had great admiration for their many talents.
Andy was a quiet man, who did not dwell on the past or future. He savored today. Andy’s life was one well-lived.
His Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, January 15, 2022, at 10:00 AM in St. Francis de Sales Church, 381 School St., North Kingstown, followed by burial at Quidnessett Cemetery, North Kingstown. Visiting hours Friday, January 14, 2022 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Iannotti Funeral Home at Maple Root, 2000 Nooseneck Hill Road (RTE 3), Coventry. Proper face covering and social distancing is respectfully required. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Andy’s memory may be made to St. Francis de Sales Church, 381 School Street, N. Kingstown, 02852; or the Coventry Food Bank, 50 Wood Street, Coventry, RI 02816.
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