Richard F. “Dick” Dickens Jr., 68, of Geneseo, died Thursday, June 13, 2013, at Good Samaritan Village, Geneseo after a courageous battle with cancer. Funeral services for Dick were held Tuesday, June 18 at First Lutheran Church, Geneseo. The Rev. Arthur Bergren officiated. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. A visitation was held Monday, June 17 at Vandemore Funeral Home, Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Misericordia or Iowa SIDS Foundation.
Dick was born on Jan. 11, 1945, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Richard Sr. and Bernice (Gerard) Dickens. He graduated from Westmer High School in 1963 and attended Illinois College where he played basketball and earned Little All-American football honors. He married Tamara Plato on Jan 29, 1967, and had three children, Scott, Heather and Jackie. Tamara died in 1989. He married Sherry VanDerSchaaf on March 24, 1990, and with her children, Steve and Wendy VanDerSchaaf, created a blended family of seven.
He was president of Dickens Construction Inc. and TamRic Construction, Geneseo, and later Dickens Consulting and Construction Inc. of LeClaire, Iowa. He and the staff of those companies provided concrete foundations for numerous Home Depots and Hy-Vee Stores in the Midwest. They also provided concrete work for the City of Geneseo and St. Malachy Church. Dick also coached basketball and taught sign language at the Illinois School for the Deaf.
His greatest joy was his family, spending time with his grandchildren, and attending their various activities. He also loved fishing for big catfish on the Rock and Mississippi rivers, watching the Chicago Bears, playing cards and watching Westerns.
Survivors include his wife, Sherry Dickens of Geneseo; sons, Scott Dickens (Carol) of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Steve (Betsy) VanDerSchaaf of Bettendorf, Iowa; daughters, Heather (Joel) Francque of Geneseo; Jackie (Brian) Beach of Geneseo; and Wendy (Mark) Einsweiler of Galena; grandchildren, Nathan and Lindsey Francque; Danielle Beach; Luke, Brooke and Jack Einsweiler; and Michael, Max and Andie VanDerSchaaf; three brothers, Troy (Marlene) Dickens, Jack Dickens and Tim (Anne) Dickens; one sister, Dee Hall; brother and sister-in-law, Roger and Mary Spittler; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Tamara; and grandson, Andrew (A.J.) VanDerSchaaf.