John Dickson, 69 of Billings, died on Friday, August 24th, after struggling with stomach cancer. He was born in Billings on August 2, 1942 to Frances and Frank Dickson.
John graduated from Senior High School, and attended school in Las Angeles, CA for two years before returning to Montana to become a diesel mechanic in construction, which he did until his retirement. Also, after returning to Billings, he married Marilyn Brown and they had two children, Kelly and Matthew. Marilyn died in 1981 and John then raised his children as a single parent from the ages of 9 and 12. In 1991, he married Susan Stand; they were married for 21 years at the time of his death. He welcomed her children, Jessica and Nancy, and the two families merged into one.
John had many avid interests, including bowling for 34 years on the Parker Tile Team at Sunset Bowl, on Friday evenings. He and Susan enjoyed tent camping, back-packing, four-wheeling in the mountains near Cooke City, golfing, and raising Red Angus cows on the Dickson Ranch in the Duck Creek Area. John was truly dedicated to the St. Andrew Presbyterian Church’s large community garden, where he worked with other volunteers to provide food for many support agencies around Billings. His other great enjoyment was restoring old vehicles. He especially liked 1940’s Willys Jeeps and old Chevrolet pickups. Prior to his death, he had almost finished restoring a 1951 Chevrolet pickup for Susan. They spent many hours on back roads and at junk yards looking for parts to ensure that the pickup and the Willys Jeeps were completely authentic.
John is survived by his wife Susan; daughter Kelly (Scott) Fricke and two grandchildren, Carson and Alexis of Yuma, AZ; son Matthew (Kristen) Dickson of Aurora, CO; Susan’s daughters, Jessica (Kenneth) Eaton and grandchildren Chloe and Charlie of Bettendorf, Iowa and Nancy (Mike) Wood of Billings. He is also survived by three sisters, Jane (Larry) Story of New Castle, WY, Barbara (Jim) Yager of Billings, and Sue Ann (Rudy) Bischof of Georgetown, TX. His sisters’ children and grandchildren were all very special to John. He is also survived by sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Patricia and Gale Tollefson and brother-in-law Christopher Colness, all of Minneapolis.
Memorial Services will be held at 10:00 A.M., Friday, August 31, 2012 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, officiated by Rev. Aline Russell. Refreshments will follow.