NEW YORK CITY - Beloved son of Douglas and Laurie (McLaughlin) Dickson, younger brother of Mackswell and Bowman, and friend to too many to count, died Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, in New York City. He was 24 years old.
The Guest Book is expired.
Born on March 9, 1989, Donny was a sweet and beautiful boy with a bright outlook and a contagious positive manner, who had grown into a wonderful adult, loved and admired by his students and colleagues at the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J., where he taught math and coached boys cross country, track, and wrestling. He injected happiness and spirit into every occasion or encounter in which he was involved, whether as emcee of a variety show (something he had done many times), singing karaoke with friends, or just sharing his infectious smile with a stranger he passed on the street. He loved to laugh and make others laugh, and was always the first one to don a cape, face paint, or a costume to celebrate any occasion, injecting his special brand of humor and life into the most elaborate or mundane events. But he was also a serious student and teacher, admired for his intellect and his patience with those he taught.
Donny grew up on the campus of St. Paul's School in Concord, where his father was a longtime faculty member. He attended Concord public schools until high school, when he enrolled at St. Paul's, graduating with the Class of 2007. At St. Paul's he was an All-New England runner and an accomplished wrestler, who captained the SPS cross country and wrestling teams. He was a math whiz and was elected to the Cum Laude Society as a senior. At his graduation, he was awarded the Benjamin Rush Toland Award, recognizing intellectual achievement, athletic ability, and a gallant spirit.
Donny embodied the St. Paul's School Prayer, which urges kindness, unselfishness in friendship, thoughtfulness, and an "eagerness to bear the burdens of others." He was kind and accepting of everyone he met, something that was not lost on those who knew him.
Though his family moved to Austin, Texas, in 2008, Donny remained in New England to attend Middlebury College, where he majored in math and German, co-captained the cross country team, and served as a peer tutor in calculus and writing. He was chosen by his peers as the commencement speaker for Middlebury's Class of 2011. He went to work at Peddie upon his graduation, following in the footsteps of his family of teachers.
He continued running as an adult and had recently qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Donny loved St. Paul's and considered it his home. For the last three summers, he returned to Concord, first as an intern and then for two years as an assistant director of the St. Paul's School Advanced Studies Program, where he distinguished himself as a kind and caring mentor and a respected authority figure, who also shared his humor and enthusiasm with his students.
He leaves his parents, Doug and Laurie, of Austin, Texas; his brothers, Mackswell and Bowman; his paternal grandmother, Pauline Dickson of Candia; his maternal grandmother, Mary McLaughlin of Manchester; many aunts, uncles, and cousins; his dogs, Moose and Penny; and enough friends to fill a stadium.
He was predeceased by his grandfathers, Donald J. Dickson and Francis J. McLaughlin.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, Oct. 9, fro 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St. at the corner of North Street in Manchester.
A memorial service to celebrate Donny's life will take place Friday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of St. Peter at St. Paul at St. Paul School, 325 Pleasant St., Concord.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Donny's memory to a scholarship fund in his name to be established at St. Paul's School.
To send an online message of condolence, please go to lambertfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Concord Monitor on Oct. 9, 2013
Lambert Funeral Home
1799 Elm Street Manchester, NH 03104