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Elmer Newton Dickinson Jr. died peacefully at his home at the age of 88 on August 7 2012, surrounded by family.
Dick, as almost everyone called him, was predeceased by his wife Josephine Pawsey Dickinson and his younger brother John Dickinson. He is survived by his son Robert Dickinson of Norwalk and grandchildren Eric Dickinson of Hong Kong and Lily Dickinson Bindumu of Yaoundé Cameroon; his son John Dickinson of Ridgeway SC and grandchildren Chris Dickinson of Bethel and Rachel Dickinson Mohseni of Palm Beach Gardens FL; and his daughter Sherrylee Dickinson of Norwalk and grandchildren Ashley Mink of Stamford, Stacey Mink of Norwalk, Russell Mink of Stamford and KK Mink of Norwalk; and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Joyce-Ann Scheuch of Cologne Germany, and by dozens of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews in England and Germany.
Dick was born in Glastonbury CT in 1924, the son of Elmer Newton Dickinson and Florence Martin Dickinson. He attended local schools and entered the US Army Air Corps in 1943 while a student at the University of Connecticut. He was stationed in England in January 1944 and became a staff sergeant during his service in the European theater of World War II. In 1945 he married Josephine Pawsey of Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Returning to the US in October of 1945 he attended Trinity College, graduating in 1948 with a business and engineering degree.
He began working with the Commerce and Industry Insurance Company of New York City in 1948, becoming president in 1968. He was president and director of the American Home Assurance Company from 1971-78, then chairman and CEO, and became an executive vice-president of its parent company American International Group (AIG) in 1976. He was also chairman and CEO of the AIU Insurance Company, Birmingham Fire Insurance Company of PA, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, and a director of the American International Life Assurance Company of New York. He was a life member of the Union League Club of New York.
But nothing else in Dick's long and rich life could possibly compare with the love he had for his family and the endless support and generosity he showed to us all. He never missed celebrating a birthday or a graduation or a wedding or a birth. He never tired of wanting to know what everyone was doing and what they were interested in. He never stopped helping us all in ways big and small. After retiring he loved splitting his time between the home he and Josey shared in Connecticut and her house in England, near where they had first met during the war. And as much as they enjoyed these places by themselves, Dick and Josey enjoyed just as much sharing them with the rest of us. We can only hope that somehow, somewhere, Dick is now enjoying a cigar and a scotch and maybe a polka with his beloved Josey.
A memorial wake will be held on Saturday, August 18, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT. Interment will be private. Dick's family would like to ask that in lieu of flowers memorial donations be made in his name to Boys Town at www.boystown.org.
Please visit www.collins-funeral.com to leave condolences.
Published in The Hour on August 15, 2012