Dickson, Ruby Jean
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Ruby J. "Jean" Dickson, 86, of Peoria, Arizona, passed away peacefully in her home on June 28, 2014. She was born to O.V. and Ivy Schwab in Shafton, Pennsylvania on April 13, 1928. She graduated from Norwin High School in Irwin, Pennsylvania in 1946, then attended the Fashion Institute of Merchandising in New York City. After she graduated, the family moved to Frostproof, Florida. She contracted tuberculosis in early 1949, and lost most of one lung to the disease. After a long convalescence, she was discharged from the hospital in late 1950. In 1954 Jean met and married Air Force cadet Kenneth W. Dickson. They had their first son, Eric, while stationed at Dreux AFB in France in 1957. Their second son, Ryan, was born in 1960 at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. The family was later stationed at Reese AFB, in Lubbock, Texas, before finally moving to Phoenix when Ken returned from Viet Nam in 1968. After Ken's retirement as a major in 1972, they founded and operated the Port-A-Boat inflatable boat store in north central Phoenix. Most summer weekends were spent camping at Lake Pleasant fishing, waterskiing, sailing, and demonstrating boats for customers. The family also took trips to Lake Powell, Rocky Point, Mexico, and various other places in the Southwest. The boat store was eventually sold and Jean and Ken started real estate careers. They divorced in 1992, and Jean continued in real estate. After retiring from real estate, she moved in with son Ryan and his wife Laura. In her later years Jean delighted in soundly thrashing all comers at Scrabble and continued to hone this skill via the daily Republic crossword puzzle. She was also adept at spoiling house pets. She is survived by her son Eric, his wife Marion, and their children Martin and Erin, son Ryan and wife Laura, and Laura's four sons and five grandsons and their families, who fully accepted her as "Grandma Jean". She is also survived by sisters Joan and Dene, brother Jimmy, and their families. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 18, 2014 at Heritage Funeral Chapel at 6830 W. Thunderbird Road in Peoria.
Heritage Funeral Chapel
6830 West Thunderbird Road Peoria, AZ 85381
Published in The Arizona Republic on July 16, 2014