Ray Dickens of Wewahitchka, Florida passed away at home on Friday, September 9, 2011 with his loving companion of forty-one years by his side, Sue Dickens. He courageously battled cancer for the past 5 ½ years.
He was born, October 9, 1934 in Sumrall, Mississippi to Jack & Burnice (Barnett) Dickens.
He graduated from Sumrall High School in 1955 and was offered a basketball scholarship to Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Mississippi which he declined to proudly enlist in the United States Army. During his six years in the Army he traveled to Tipa, China where he worked in the receiving and transmitter station and repaired radio antennas. He also played on the Army Football team, where he played against players such as Rosey Grier.
He returned to Sumrall to work with his older brother, Charles Dickens for Hercules, Inc. in Louisiana and Alabama. He later moved to DeFuniak Springs, Florida and started Dickens Land Clearing. He moved to Wewahitchka in 1968, where he fell in love with the area and the people. He decided to stay and call Wewahitchka home. It was here he met and married Sue Gaskin.
He was an active member of Dalkeith Baptist Church in Wewahitchka where he led and directed music for many years. Music was an influential part of his life. He spent many hours enjoying playing his guitar and singing.
For the past twenty-two years, he has proudly served as Mayor of Wewahitchka, for the citizens whom he greatly loved and called friends. This was a task he never took lightly, from handing out candy to the children, attending the many sporting events, and coordinating the fish fry for the Senior Citizens. He always rose to every occasion and opportunity to serve and come alongside the citizens of Wewahitchka. The dedication of the Wewahitchka City Annex in 2010 was a great honor for him. In return, the citizens of Wewahitchka have poured out their love and support upon Ray and Sue during his illness.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Jack & Burnice Dickens and his nephew, Craig Lott, all of Sumrall; Charley & Rosselle Gaskin and Charles Arthur Gaskin, all of Wewahitchka.
Survivors include: his wife, Sue Dickens of Wewahitchka; a brother, Charles Dickens of Gulfport, Mississippi and his wife, Amanda of Blountstown, Florida; a son, Bobby Dickens and wife, Cindy of Freeport, Florida; two daughters: Becky Minardo of Mobile, Alabama and Tracy Nowe of Houston, Texas; two step-daughters, Sherry Hall and husband, Steve of Niceville, Florida and Suzanne Aull of Wewahitchka; two grand-daughters; three grandsons; five step-grand-daughters; one great grand-daughter; three nieces and one nephew.
Funeral services will be held 3:00 p.m., Sunday, September 11 from the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Wewahitchka with Reverend Joey Smith and Reverend John Clenney officiating. The family will receive friends 5:00-8:00 p.m., Saturday, September 10 also at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church.
Pallbearers are Phillip Gaskin, Gage Gaskin, Harold Lester, Lee Mims, Chipper Wade, and nephew, Leslie Dickens. Honorary pallbearers are the Wewahitchka City Council Members, the City of Wewahitchka Workers, and the Adult Sunday School class of Dalkeith Baptist Church.
Services are under the direction of Adams Funeral Home in Blountstown. Phone 674-5449. On-line condolences may be made at adamsfh.com