Dwight Franklin Bickel
Dwight Franklin Bickel, 81, passed away on January 16, 2013, at his home in Phoenix, Ariz., following a recent illness. He was born February 1, 1931, to former mayor Melvin J. Bickel and Ethel M. (Hackley) Bickel in Trilla, Ill. Dwight grew up in Trilla and Charleston, Ill., where he married Barbara Carrolyn Alexander in 1949; they had two children, and later divorced. He married Cynthia (Gross) Petrie of Emmett, Idaho, in 1969, and they had a son together.
Dwight began college at the University of Michigan, served in the Air Force during the Korean war, then attended the University of Illinois where he earned his B.S. degree, 1955, followed by his Juris Doctor degree, 1957. After completing his education, he began practicing as a lawyer in Charleston. In 1958 he and his family moved to Boise, Idaho, where he served as Idaho's Assistant Attorney General from 1959-1963, and started a private law practice that he continued for the rest of his life.
Although Boise remained his home base, Dwight moved several times to pursue different business opportunities during his professional career. He was admitted as a lawyer in Illinois, Idaho, Hawaii and Arizona, as well as the US Tax Court and Supreme Court. Later in his career, Dwight specialized in trust and estate work. His proudest professional achievements were the books he authored, one for the general public, The Real Truth About Living Trusts, and a lawyers' reference book, Living Trusts Forms and Practice, that will be a preeminent resource for lawyers across the country for many years to come. The Idaho Bar Association honored his fifty years of service as an Idaho lawyer at a ceremony in Sun Valley that he attended with his oldest son. In 2010, after Cindy's death, Dwight moved to Arizona to concentrate on his trust and estate work.
Over his lifetime Dwight pursued many interests, including playing the trombone in a jazz band, acting at the Boise Little Theatre (earning a Beaulah award in 1963) and teaching at Central Michigan University and Boise State University. He was active in politics, including attempts for Ada County Prosecuting Attorney and Idaho State Senate. He was a member of the Lions Club in early years, and more recently active as a member of the El Korah Shriners in Boise; he recently enjoyed acting again in the Shriners fund-raising melodrama. He also enjoyed camping, fishing and traveling. Two highlights for him were his years of practice as Bickel & Bickel with his son Dwight, and running a bike shop, The Spot, with his son Justin. He also shared office space and referrals with his daughter Debbie, to help establish her CPA practice. Dwight was a fascinating character with many accomplishments; he had a brilliant mind, wonderful sense of humor, and was totally human in his strengths and weaknesses. He will be missed by many.
Dwight is survived by his children: son Dwight A. Bickel, 60, and wife Lucinda J. Vergason, Edmonds, Wash., daughter Deborah A. (Bickel) Little, 57, and husband Gary R. Little, Middleton, Idaho, and son Justin D. Bickel, 42, and fiancé Lenora Franco, Kuna, Idaho; two step-children: Steven Petrie and wife Dana Petrie, Meridian, Idaho, and Lisa (Petrie) Osterman and husband Matthew Osterman, Nampa, Idaho; his grandchildren: Derek J. Bickel and wife Lara (Pazemenas) Bickel, Wash., and Alex R. Bickel, Wash.; two great-grandchildren: Linna and Nolan Bickel, Wash.; and his niece, Judy A. (Bickel) Besich, 70, Ponderay, Idaho. Last, but not least, his two kitties, Handsome and Sissy, that he loved so much!
He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Cindy, and his only sibling, Melvin Bickel, Jr.
A private memorial service will be held in Boise on February 16. Interment will follow at Dry Creek Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Shriners Hospitals for Children, or AJ's Best Friends Purebred Cat Rescue.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Jan. 27, 2013