John M. Dykes
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LEXINGTON, Ky. - John M. Dykes, 76, passed away on May 3, 2012, at his Lexington, Kentucky home while under the loving care of his wife and their two daughters. Their son is serving in Afghanistan at the present time.
John was born in Pocatello March 29, 1936, the son of Fred E. and Lina Dykes. He graduated from Pocatello High School in 1954. The U.S. Military Academy (West Point) accepted him and another 1954 Pocatello graduate, Richard Webb as members of the Class of 1958. A strong bond of friendship developed between the two "plebes," which was only broken by Maj. Webb's untimely death.
While at West Point and later at Ohio State University John would occasionally visit the Somerset, Kentucky area, where all his Dykes and Dutton ancestors for several generations had lived. While visiting a cousin a Berea College he was introduced to her roommate, Doris Brittain, also from the Somerset area. The couple was wed on March 3, 1964.
Upon graduation, John selected the Corps of Engineers at his branch of service and Korea as his first duty post. His choice of post may have been influenced by the facts that his brother had served there in peacetime and a cousin, Randall Dykes, had been killed there during the Korean War. His next assignment was as a student at Ohio State University, where he received an MS degree in civil engineering in 1962.
Following that, he became a military adviser at Kerman, Iran, for a year during the Shah's regime. Doris taught school while John was active in the Vietnam War, where he was twice awarded the Purple Heart medal. Following his tour of duty there he was assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he and Doris made the decision to leave the service. He retired as a captain.
The family moved to the Omaha area, where John wanted to explore "workin' on the railroad." Finding the railroad required too much time away from home, he became an instructor at Papillion Community College. When a teaching job became available at Somerset Community College, John and his family moved to Somerset. A final move to Lexington came about as John was considering pursuing further education at the University of Kentucky. However, the prospect of a job at GRW architect/engineers was too good to pass up. It was from GRW that he retired, having been a construction superintendent for many years.
John's avocation was that of a fine cabinetmaker. To call it a hobby doesn't do it justice. He selected special woods for his work and the finest hardware that money could buy. One unusual wood he used was lumber from logs that had lain under water for many years. He made blanket chests and pie safes for family members. A pie safe is similar to a bookcase except has sheet metal panels punched with a designed instead of glass. He located his grandmother's pie safe and copied it for his design. Secret compartments were incorporated into his work, which should last for generations.
John is survived by Doris, his wife of 48 years; and their three children and families. The eldest is Rachel (Jeff) Rainey and son, Jacob. Next is Lt. John B. (Beth) Dykes and son, John T., and daughter, Hannah. The youngest is Sarah (Randy) Moser and daughter, Anna, and son, Grant. He is also survived by numerous cousins in the Somerset area and throughout the South. There are two survivors in Pocatello, a brother, Fred W. Dykes, and a cousin, Wanda Dykes Barron.
His ashes will be brought to Idaho by the family at a later date.
Published in Idaho State Journal on May 9, 2012