PORTLAND — Donald I. Dickey passed away on Sept. 24. He was born in Fairfield on July 20, 1926, to Everett and Beatrice (Webb) Dickey. He was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Shirley (Crosby) Dickey; his daughter and her husband Rebecca and Richard Amedy; his brothers and their wives Everett Ormand and Janet Dickey, Ralph and Marilyn Dickey; his sisters and their husbands, Etta Patricia and Norman Jenness, Barbara and Edward Ambrose, and Muriel and Frank Garvey; his sister-in-law Charlene Leggett; his brothers-in-law Lawrence Towle, Dean Noren, Kenneth Clark, and Charles Crosby, who was like a younger brother; nephews Calvin Dickey and John Clark; nephew-in-law Lloyd York; and great nephew-in-law Lloyd York, Jr.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Randall and Celeste Dickey of Clinton and daughter and son-in-law Susan and Mark DeRose (diRosario) of Spruce Head; his grandchildren Nicholas DeRose and Kate Mealey; great-grandchildren Jeremy and Isabella DeRose; and great-great-grandson Orion DeRose. He is also survived by his sisters Glenna Towle and Betty Noren and his sisters-in-law Delnette Clark and Joanne Crosby. He is survived by many nieces and nephews who he enjoyed hearing from and he is also survived by special friends and wonderful caregivers Rhonda and Rick Barton, Cindy Horner, and Linda Thorne. They helped him live the way he chose, in his own home. He particularly enjoyed meeting the Barton family and hearing about their adventures.

Donald graduated from Clinton High School at 16 and was hired at Maine Central Railroad’s Waterville Shop as an electrician apprentice, commencing a career that would span four decades, culminating with his position at retirement as Superintendent of Motive Power. Having listened on the radio to the news of the Pearl Harbor attack, he and his brothers all later joined the service — Everett (Army) and Donald (Navy) in WWII, and Ralph (Army) in the Korean Conflict. Donald was stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Antietam in the Pacific Theater, traveling to Pearl Harbor, the Pacific Islands, Japan, and China. Upon discharge he married his sweetheart Shirley on Aug. 15, 1948. They raised their family in Clinton during the school year and in a log cabin camp he and his brother-in-law Charlie helped build in Oakland on Messalonskee Lake. Donald also built their home in Clinton. Over the years he was a member and lay leader of the Clinton United Methodist Church, the Sebasticook Masonic Lodge #146, and last of the charter members of the Clinton Legion Post 186.

He continued his railroad career while taking Colby College night courses. Upon retirement he and his wife retired to Lady Lake Florida for the winter and enjoyed their summers in Maine. He had volunteered with the church, the Scouts, the Clinton Historical Society, and Habitat for Humanity. He and his wife enjoyed traveling throughout the world spending part of their time in Stratford-Upon-Avon, not realizing until his 90s that his ninth grandparents the Webbs and the Ardens were also William Shakespeare’s grandparents. He was an avid reader, particularly of history. He brought his family to many historical sites including the former locations of Maine’s narrow gauge railroad routes. He loved Moxie and sports, especially baseball and basketball and followed the Detroit Tigers since they won the 1934 World Series when he first began listening to games. The Red Sox were a close second. He played sports in school and remembered all the players and coaches. He retained over 56 years of journals that contained world, national, state, and local events.

When his family moved from Fairfield to Clinton when he was 13, he learned farm chores as his father kept livestock, raised crops and ran a small trucking business. It was during those years Donald became skilled in being able to make nearly anything out of wood or metal and fix anything that needed repair. His restoration of a Model A Truck he rarely drove was a decades-long pursuit to find parts. At all his homes he had a complete shop where he spent many happy hours tinkering and while living in Florida he built a shop and gazebo. He was interested in current events, stayed up-to-date, and enjoyed long talks. His advice to his children was, “Always be the engine and not the caboose.” He wanted his children to think for themselves rather than “following the crowd”.

The committal service at the Central Maine Veteran’s Cemetery off Civic Center Drive in Augusta will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Clinton Brown Memorial Library, 53 Railroad St., Clinton, ME 04927 or to a food pantry or community meal program of one’s choice, including MCH’s Knox County Meals on Wheels, 46 Summer St, Rockland, ME 04841. Arrangements are under the care of Lawry Brothers Funeral Home 107 Main St., Maine, 04937.