loving memory of Charles Elmer Dickson, who passed away on January 15, 2009, at
his home on South St., Trumansburg, surrounded by his family and friends, after
a courageous battle with lung cancer. Chuck, or “Fud” to his friends, was a
devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and uncle, with many friends all
over the country whom he cherished and loved.
Chuck was born on February 28, 1938, in the
Montour Falls hospital to Stuart and Martha (Covert) Dickson. Shortly
thereafter, the family moved to Trumansburg, their hometown for the next 70
After graduating from Trumansburg High School, Chuck married his high school sweetheart, Karen Ginnever, on Sept 8, 1956. He grew to love agriculture in high school while working on the Perry City farm owned by his grandfather, Elmer Covert, and he felt it would be his lifelong work. But fate had different plans, and in July, 1960, Chuck was proud to be hired by NYSEG in Ithaca, NY.
He started in the mail/printing-room with stints on the “Pony Express”, and worked his way up to Vice-President of Gas Operation. Along the way, he furthered his education at Erie, Broome CC and SUNY Binghamton.
During his NYSEG career, Chuck and Karen made their home in several NY communities beginning in East Aurora in 1965, where he worked in Residential Sales, selling home electric heating, a novel idea at the time. While in East Aurora, he met lifelong friends and formed a bluegrass band called the Tannery Brook Boys, named for the little stream that ran behind their houses. This band became the glue to their continuing friendship, as they dropped everything to play at local parties in Rochester, Syracuse and in the Binghamton area. They even played at the B.C. Open and made several trips down to Nashville.
In 1968 he moved to Binghamton to serve as Electric Heating Specialist for NYSEG. In 1973 he was named Local Manager in Endicott. While there he was active in several organizations, serving as President of the Endicott Rotary, Co-Chairman of Concessions at the B.C. Open Golf Tournament for many years, Board Member of L.N. Picciano Boys Club and local advisor to the board of Key Bank. During this time, Chuck and several other Southern Tier sportsmen founded the first Ducks Unlimited chapter in that area. He served for many years as Ducks Unlimited Master of Ceremony. He was also active at this time in the Wild Turkey.
In 1982, Chuck was named Lockport District Manager for NYSEG. In addition to his regular duties, Chuck supported the efforts of NYSEG’s generation group to site and construct Somerset’s coal fired power plant on Lake Ontario. The project included design and construction of a railroad which would transport coal from the Buffalo Harbor to the power plant. The entire NYSEG group was pleased when the power plant was brought in under budget and on time. While in Lockport, Chuck continued his involvement in community activities. As a member of the Chamber of Commerce, he was named Citizen of the Year in 1985. He also served on the United Way Executive Committee, was Chairman of the local Kenan Art Center, member of the Board of the Lockport YMCA, Lewis Trail Boy Scout Council and Lockport Rotary.
He was named General Manager, Binghamton Area in 1986, and the family relocated to Endwell, where Chuck continued to be active in community affairs, chairing Broome County’s 1988 United Way campaign. He also served on the boards of United Health Services, Key Bank Advisory, Boys Club, Binghamton Rotary, Broome County Arena, and Binghamton City Club; and chaired the Broome County Chamber of Commerce.
In 1992 Chuck was named VP of Gas Operation
for NYSEG, a role he held until he retired in 1994. In 1995, he was approached
by SUNY Binghamton to be their temporary director of Alumni and Parent
Relations, a position he then held for 7 years. Chuck thoroughly enjoyed making
many long term friends among both alumni and staff at Binghamton University.
Throughout his life, Chuck continued his interest and advocacy for agriculture and the outdoors. An opportunity to join the Oneonta-Ithaca Farm Credit Bank Board in 1987 allowed an outlet for his view on these issues. Subsequent mergers with Chuck’s involvement concluded in the creation of First Pioneer Farm Credit, a $2.2 billion agricultural financial institution, serving NE Agriculture. Chuck retired from that board in the fall of 2008, when he was recognized by several National Farm Credit leaders for his contribution.
In 2002, Chuck & Karen moved back to their hometown of Trumansburg, where they spent a year remodeling their home. He became active in his music again, playing new gigs with the Tanner Brook Boys and with local bands. He enjoyed golfing with friends, especially his Wednesday morning foursome, and hunting with friends and family. He was proud to have not missed opening day of deer season for 50 years! He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, serving as Deacon and Elder.
Chuck was predeceased by his father, Stuart, his son Matthew, and his granddaughter, Olivia Hamilton.
He is survived by his wife, Karen; his mother, Martha of Trumansburg; son Daniel of Monument, CO; son Stuart (Dominique) of Naples, FL; daughter Tracey Mullen of Monument, CO; daughter Barbara Hamilton of Atlanta, GA; sister Melanie (Raymond) Spadafora of Westport, NY; brother Robert (Kathy) Dickson of Rochester, NY; brother-in-law, Douglas (Kathy) Ginnever of Zephryhills, FL; brother-in-law Peter Ginnever of Trumansburg; and aunt Drucilla Simpson of Chicago, IL. Chuck also cherished his many grandchildren: Stuart, Sarah, Jeffery, Claudia, Phillip, Morgan, Meghan, Jamie, Jacob & Caleb. He is also survived by many nephews and nieces.
The family will be present to receive friends from 6-8 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009 at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg.
Services will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, January 19th at the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses, 69 E. Main St., Trumansburg with the Rev. Glenn Kennedy officiating. Masonic Rites will be given by fellow members of the Trumansburg Masonic Lodge #157 F&AM. Immediately following these services, a reception will be held in the church chapel. Prayers of Committal, at Grove Cemetery, Trumansburg, will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Chuck’s memory may be directed to Hospicare, who were so helpful in his final days. Kindly mail to: Hospicare of Tompkins County, 172 East King Road, Ithaca, New York 14850 or visit www.hospicare.org.