Clayton Larimore Dickey

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Clayton Larimore Dickey, 91, died July 26, 2013, in Tuscon, Ariz. He was born June 18, 1922, in Milwaukee, Wisc., and grew up in the neighboring community of Wauwatosa. Relatives remember his graduation from Wauwatosa High School with four years of Latin, the foundation for his lifelong interest in languages.

Prior to World War II, Clayton attended Cornell University, then transferred to the University of Michigan. After his sophomore year, in 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force, where he was trained as an aerial gunner, then as a navigator on B-17s. He was fortunate still to be in training as a B-29 navigator when the war ended in 1945.

Returning to the University of Michigan, Clayton pursued an English major and devoted many hours to the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, where he met his wife, Ann Kutz Dickey. As seniors, Clayton was the paper's city editor and Ann instructed younger staff members in the mysteries of academic journalism. Following graduation, the two Daily staffers were married in January 1948. They recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Clayton's first job after college was in the United Press Bureau in Cleveland, Ohio. Then, in 1949, the couple quit their jobs in Cleveland and embarked on an adventure, 15 months in Paris, France, where Clayton perfected his French and put baguettes on the table with freelance journalism. On their return to native soil, Clayton was hired as a reporter by The Milwaukee Sentinel. He worked there for nearly five years until, in 1955, he began a 31-year career in public relations at The Dow Chemical Co. in Midland. Of his many assignments during those years, he particularly relished his time in Dow International, which reqired travel to Latin America, Europe and Asia.

In 1989, after both Clayton and Ann had retired, they began to spend six months of the year in Midland and six months in their Pima County house on the edge of Tucson. In 2010, they sold their Michigan house and, in 2011, became full-time Arizonans.

Clayton was preceded in death by his sisters, Elizabeth and Mary. Surviving him, in additon to his wife, are a daughter, Elizabeth E. Dickey of Eugene Ore.; a son, David C. Dickey of Omaha, Neb.; David's wife, Carol, and their children, Jennifer L. Dickey and Kevin M. Dickey.

Family will attend a burial service in Midland Cemetery on August 17, 2013. A reception for friends is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 18, from 4-5:30 p.m., at Table restaurant in the H Hotel on Main Street. Those planning a memorial gift may wish to consider The University of Michigan (LSA), 3003 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1288.

Published in Midland Daily News on Aug. 4, 2013
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