Feb. 9, 1922 – Sept. 10, 2011
Dr. Robert Hall Dickson, 89, passed away on Sep. 10 at his home in La Crescenta.
Bob was born on Feb. 9, 1922 in Bisbee, Ariz. to Robert and Christina Dickson. He grew up in Jerome, Ariz. where his father was a mining engineer in charge of the Verde Central Mine. His family later moved to New York City, where they lived on Staten Island.
Bob attended Cornell University. While there, a cousin introduced him to his future bride, Rosemary Hope. Bob and Rosemary were married in Minnesota in 1943.
Bob began medical school at Cornell but interrupted his studies to serve in World War II with the 9th Armored Division in Europe. After the company’s medic was killed in the line of duty, Bob became the medic, despite having completed only a year of medical school, which had included very little practical training. In 1945, his company was brutally attacked by Axis forces in Germany. Defying small arms and machine gun fire, he made his way to “no man’s land” in a half-track truck, where he treated numerous wounded men, scooped them up onto the truck and drove them to safety. For this, he received a Silver Star. Bob also fought in the intense battle for the Bridge at Remagen, a key strategic victory for the Allies. He also was awarded a Purple Heart.
After the war, Bob resumed medical school, graduating from Cornell in 1949. Bob and Rosemary had three children: Ann, Christina and Robert. Bob acted as chief resident at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital and eventually opened his own medical practice. He served the La Crescenta-Tujunga area for over 30 years as a general family practitioner.
In 1988 he retired and he and Rosemary moved to Bear Valley. After a few days of “retirement,” he became bored and decided to resume his medical career, this time working as a physician at the maximum security Tehachapi State Prison where he was respected by staff and inmates alike.
In 2007, Bob and Rosemary returned to the La Crescenta area and, much to Bob’s sorrow, Rosemary passed away that year.
Besides medicine and his family, Bob’s passions were boats, cars and travel. He and Rosemary journeyed extensively throughout the United States and Canada, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, South and Central America, the Pacific, Morocco and Egypt. Bob was never happier than when taking long road trips, especially through the American southwest. He was unpretentious and generous, and was a dedicated doctor, husband and grandfather. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his daughters Annie and Christina; his son Rob; and his grandchildren Andrew, Romy, Angelo, Giancarlo, Elena and Robby.
Dr. Dickson will be interred at the Riverside National Cemetery on Sept. 30 at noon. A private memorial celebration will follow.