Richard Frederick Dahlen 12/6/1926 - 5/2/2013 Dick Dahlen was born December 6, 1926, in Rock Island, IL, to Andrew and Annetta Dahlen. Upon graduating from high school in 1945, Dick entered the Army and was honorably discharged in 1946. After a brief career as a self-professed "ski bum", Dick began a pre-med course at U of IL in 1947 and completed his residency at the U of MN in 1958. Dick then accepted a position with Associated Dermatologists in Tucson, where he was a partner until his retirement in 1990. Dick's patience and compassion were hallmarks of his practice and endeared him to his patients. In April, 1956 Dick married Thelma Niemann, a widow, and adopted her two young children. Subsequently the couple had two more children. Dick was a patient, loving father who enjoyed sharing his passions with his children. He was also a beloved grandfather of seven grandchildren. In retirement Dick and Thelma enjoyed traveling with their family. As a boy, Dick attended Camp Mishawaka in Grand Rapids, MN. Here Dick developed a life-long love of canoeing, sailing, and camping. He returned to camp as a counselor, leading canoe trips into the Quetico-Superior Boundary Waters wilderness area. Dick's passion for Mishawaka remained strong throughout his life. In the 1980's he developed an outreach program to contact potential campers in southern AZ. His efforts resulted in over 1,000 children from Tucson attending camp. In 2010 Dick was acknowledged for his lifetime of friendship to Mishawaka when a camp cabin was named in his honor. Dick enjoyed two primary hobbies in his adult life: woodworking and tennis. He designed, crafted and installed a variety of built-ins for their homes, as well as creating various indoor and outdoor furniture. His creativity and attention to detail contributed to the professional quality of his work. Dick played tennis throughout his adult life. He was a member of the Tucson Racquet Club when the club was located in the shadow of the El Conquistador Hotel. On his travels he frequented the tennis courts wherever he stayed, looking for pickup games. Once he was paired with a man whom people referred to as "Justice". When Dick asked Justice what he did, he replied "I'm Justice Stevens of the Supreme Court." As in other areas of his life, Dick was a selfless and committed volunteer. Over the years he donated time to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Boy Scouts of America, Pima County Medical Society, Our Saviour's and Faith Lutheran Churches, and Rotary, among other endeavors. Dick is survived by his wife, Thelma; daughters, Ann Bakkensen (John) and Andrea Kent (Larry); sons, Robert Niemann (Kate) and Paul Dahlen (Patti) and seven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, send contributions to Camp Mishawaka Foundation c/o Blake Hiltabrand, 1136 Ashland Ave., Wilmette, IL 60091. Friends of Dick and his family are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at 12:00 p.m., at the Tucson Country Club, 2950 N. Camino Principal Tucson, AZ.
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Published in the Arizona Daily Star on May 15, 2013