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DONALD DICKERSON


1921 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
DONALD DICKERSON Obituary
DONALD DICKERSON Donald H. Dickerson, 92, the husband of former Warrenite Beverly Moon Atkinson, passed away Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at Nathan Adelson Hospice, following a two-week illness. Donald was born March 17, 1921, to Charles and Emma Zell Dickerson in Huron, S.D. He graduated from Huron High School in 1940, and then attended Huron College, majoring in pre-engineering studies. He moved to San Diego and worked two years for General Dynamics Corp., building military aircraft. When World War II started, he joined the U.S. Navy. The new "recruits" were invited to take the famous "EDDY test" in order to discover talented future engineers. Because of his work at General Dynamics, and his general interest in electronics, Don crammed all the information he could find before taking the test and surprised everyone, himself included, by winning the top grade among the over-200 applicants. Don was immediately enrolled the U.S. Navy Electronics Radar School, where he served until the end of the war. He attended the University of Minnesota, Minnesota on the GI Bill, graduating with a bachelor of electrical engineering degree in 1949. Don then worked for the Bendix Corporation Aerospace Division in North Hollywood, Calif. on a top secret project to develop the first ground-to-air missile system. This was a forerunner of the present military ground-to-air defense systems. Bendix sponsored many athletic events to help keep the employees content with their heavy work schedules. Don proudly collected and displayed many of these trophies won at the various events. His work branched into the rapidly growing computer technology area, and this soon became his primary work interest. In 1961, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a master's degree in computer science. Over the next several years, his primary work assignment was a leadership position in the integration of computer technology into the Bendix Corporation's Aerospace Division activities. With the aerospace business declining, Donald decided to find more stable work, and joined the Southern California Edison Company (SCE), the third largest electric utility in the United States at that time. SCE was in the process of integrating rapidly expanding computer technology into their utility business. He participated in this work at SCE during the next 15 years, serving at the supervisory level. During this period, the SCE computing facility became one of the largest and most modern in the United States, and was frequently used by the IBM Corporation for beta testing of their new type computer equipment and software. In 1986, at age 65, Donald retired from SCE. In 1998, he moved to Sun City, Summerlin, a perfect place for seniors to retire. Donald was preceded in death by his first wife, Gaynell. They had no children. He was also preceded by his parents; a much-loved sister, Clara Marie Bluschke; and a brother, Arthur C. Dickerson. Donlad is survived by his second wife, Beverly Moon Atkinson Dickerson, whom he married Nov. 7, 2003. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Dr. Thomas (Kathy) Atkinson and Amy (Frank, Ph.D.) Pettigrew, and their families; stepgrandchildren, Thomas (Lisa) Atkinson, Dr. Charles (JessieRae) Atkinson, Anna (Michael) Caparaso, Emily (Patrick) Tully and Hallie Pettigrew; and four stepgreat-grandchildren. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in Fellowship Hall at the Mountain View Presbyterian Church, Sun City, Summerlin, 8601 Del Webb Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89134. Any donations in Donald's memory are suggested to the church (address above) or to Nathan Adelson Hospice, 3150 N. Tenaya Way, Suite 350, Las Vegas, NV 89128.
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