Obituaries

Stephen Randall Dickens

1953-2005

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Stephen Randall Dickens passed away May 15, 2005 at the age of fifty-one. Survivors include his parents, Thomas and Barbara Dickens; Chuck and Kellie Dickens of Tucson, brother and sister-in-law; niece, Erin Dickens; nephews, Brett and Bryant Dickens; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Phynis and Hallie Dickens.

Steve was born November 3, 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When he was about two the family (Tom, Barbara and his brother Chuck) moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and it was there that he grew up and went to school.  He was a multi-sport athlete at Camelback High School, but he excelled as a receiver on Camelback’s football team, receiving all-city/all-conference honors. After a break Steve also earned a degree in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff.

Steve loved the west, and his special interest was Indian and cowboy lore. He was an avid reader, and was amazingly knowledgeable about the history of the western Indians and their relationship with the cattle ranches and their cowboys.

 Steve was intrigued by cowboy life, and when he could he lived it himself. During his younger days he worked on many cattle ranches, from Arizona to Wyoming. One of the first, and certainly the one he remembered most fondly, was the Murphy Ranch. He worked there during the summers when he was going to high school. It is located south of Young, Arizona in the wilderness area of the Sierra Ancha Mountains. It is remote even today, but Steve loved working on the out-of-the-way ranches; “…the more isolated the better,” he often said.

After graduation from NAU, and after some leisure travel through the mid-western United States and Canada, Steve got a job in the construction industry. He worked throughout Arizona, the Reno area of Nevada, and the central and western areas of New Mexico. He eventually became a licensed general contractor himself, specializing in commercial and residential projects.

Steve traveled all over the Southwest during his early days as a cowboy, and later as builder, but he fell in love with southeastern Arizona. He loved the people, the mountains, the canyons, and especially the grass-filled valleys around Sonita and the San Rafael Valley. In 1986 Steve purchased land in the Canelo Hills, which is located along the western flank of the Huachuca Mountains. He named his property the DX Ranch, and it was his home for the next nearly twenty years.

The area was good for Steve. It allowed him to be part of the cattle industry, which he loved, but it also presented business opportunities. It was there that he began his own construction business. Steve started small with houses, and especially liked to build Santa Fe style homes. Eventually, however, he expanded into commercial structures.

    As time passed the lives of all of his family members became busy and hectic. While there was an occasional wedding, graduation or funeral, Thanksgiving and Christmas became the accepted time for the family to come together. Steve attended most of these  gatherings, but one could always catch up with him during hunting season. He loved to hunt and fish, and was always pleased when family and friends could accompany him. He treasured these times of camaraderie, as did those who were with him. It was a time when one could learn about all of Steve’s new adventures, and he could catch up on the whereabouts and experiences of old friends. Most family members and close friends undoubtedly have fond memories of Steve that relate to hunting or fishing.

Steve began his unexpected battle with malignant melanoma in March 2004. There were no early symptoms or warnings whatsoever. Some of the best cancer doctors and research scientists in the world cared for Steve, and he fought the disease with resolve and optimism. Even a week prior to his death he was positive that he would succeed. His attitude was always “…when I get better.” In the end it was a peaceful passing at 2:55 PM on May 25, 2005. 

 “A one of a kind guy who will be sorely missed but never forgotten.”

                                                     Reported by Kellie Dickens

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Editor's note: Stephen R. Dickens is a great-great-grandson of Laura Alice Erwin Dickens (who was the fourth-born child of Thomas Johnston Erwin and Nancy Caroline Mathis, and an older sister of William Coleman “Cole” Erwin and Michael R. “Mike” Erwin), and a 25th great-grandson of Sir William de Irwyn of Drum.

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Glenda Jo Hutchison Vincent

1959-2005

Glenda Jo Vincent passed away Monday, August 1, 2005, at St. Frances Hospital in Tulsa. She was born May 31, 1959, in Chanute, Kansas, the third-born child of   Edgar and Joanne Austin Hutchison. As a youngster she live in rural Altoona, Kansas, and graduated from Altoona Midway High School in 1977. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University in 1981.

Glenda began working for the U.S. Corps of Engineers in 1982, and was first a Park Ranger at Fall River, Kansas. She also worked at Canton Lake and Copanulah Lake before being transferred to Oologah Lake, Oklahoma.

It was at her most recent assignment that she met Dwayne Vincent. They were married February 28, 1995, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Survivors include her husband, daughter Randi of Oolagah; stepson Jacob Vincent of Atlanta, Georgia; parents Edgar and Joanne Hutchison of Altoona, Kansas; brothers John Hutchison of Chanute, Kansas, and David Hutchison of Altoona; sisters Gloria Adam of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Dena Hutchison of Huntington, New York, and many in-laws, nephews and nieces.

Services were at the First United Methodist Church in Claremore, Oklahoma, and burial was at the Oowala Cemetery. Pastor Ray Crawford officiated.

“She meant so much to everyone here at the Corps,” said her supervisor John Carmichael. “She was Oologah Lake. She had an outgoing personality and always had a smile on her face. Glenda was easy-going but very professional, and she will be sorely missed.”

Carmichael went on to say that she was involved in all aspects of lake operations, but that recreation specialty was her love. She worked with Good Sam Clubs, Girl Scout and Camp Fire Girl groups, equestrian groups, as well as many Boy Scout Eagle projects. Some of Glenda’s other responsibilities included handling the reservation system, coordinating the gate attendant roster, and managing the host and volunteer programs. She was also the media spokesperson at the lake and served on the Southwestern Division Committee for Interpretive Services.

In 1991, Glenda was honored as the Tulsa District Ranger of the Year. In 1995, she was presented with the Commander’s Award for Meritorious Service.

“No one can fill her place. She was one of a kind,” Carmichael said.

That pretty much says it all Mr. Carmichael, and her family and friends agree heartily. 

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Compiled from an obituary article in the Oolagah Lake Leader dated August 4, 2005, which was researched and written by staff writers Carolyn Estes and Bill Snyder.

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Editor’s comment: Glenda Jo Hutchison Vincent is a granddaughter of Flossie Erwin Austin, a great-great-granddaughter of Michael and Minnie Erwin, and a twenty-fifth great-granddaughter of Sir William de Irwyn and Lady   Marotte Bernard of Drum. She is also a third great-granddaughter of John Austin who emigrated from England to the Colonies in the late 1700s.

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