Dallas Lee Dickens, 70, passed away July 24, 2006. Born October 29, 1935, he was preceded in death by his parents, Phynis Rea and Hallie Rose Dickens, and daughter, Shelley Jo Dickens.
After graduating from Sand Springs High School, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
He served in the Air Force and the National Guard. He was employed by Breisch Engineering as a certified land surveyor and retired as a civil engineer in 2001 from the Benham Group after thirty years of service.
Dallas was a gifted and talented person. He enjoyed home projects, collecting World War II memorabilia and firearms, and visiting with family and friends.
He is survived by Sharon Dickens, his wife of 24 years. Other survivors include son Kevin, his wife Cathy, and their sons, Kelly, Kyle, Kayden of Neosho, MO; son Todd, and wife Stephanie, and their daughter Britney of Catoosa; son Tommy and daughter, Katie of Glenpool; Daughter Tina Thompson, with daughters Kylie and Leah of Sand Springs. Kenneth Friend, stepson, his wife Staci, and their sons Brandon and Caleb of Jenks.
Dallas leaves two brothers: Bill Dickens and wife Janie of Tulsa, and Tom Dickens and wife Barbara of Tucson, Arizona.
A special cousin is Max Dickens, and his wife Ginny of Tulsa. He leaves several nieces, nephews, cousins, and many, many friends.
Dallas Lee Dickens was a great-great-grandson of Thomas J. and Nancy Caroline (Mathis) Erwin of Carroll County, Arkansas, and a 25th great-grandson of Sir William de Irwyn of Drum.
Joseph Thomas Erwin, 81, of New Concord, Calloway County, Kentucky, died Monday, August 28, 2006, at Western Baptist Hospital, in Paducah, Kentucky. Memorial services were at the South Pleasant Grove Methodist Church near Hazel, Kentucky on September 1, and burial was in the adjoining church cemetery, about a mile from where he was raised and attended elementary school and high school.“Joe
Tom” was a graduate of Hazel High School and Murray State University, and received a master’s degree from Indiana University. He taught school in Portageville, Missouri, Evansville, Indiana, and Murray State University where he served as the sports publicity director. He was also a feature writer for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal.
Born June 23, 1925, in Calloway County, he was the son of the late Herbert H. “Hub” Erwin and Eva Bazzell Erwin. Also preceding him in death were one sister, Judy Erwin Parker, and two nephews, Tripp Nix and Tommy Erwin.
Survivors include two brothers, Rob Erwin and wife, Wanda, and Billy Erwin and wife, Gerry, all of Hazel; two sisters, Mary Frank Paschall and Diane Erwin, both of Murray; brother-in-law, Charles Parker, Hazel; nieces and nephews, Janice Nix, Evie Paschall, Tim Erwin, Bucky Erwin, Teesa Lilly, Dr. Terri Erwin, Tammy Lewis, Laurie Gallimore, Tracy Jones, Chuck Parker and Benjie Parker; 13 great-nieces and great-nephews; six great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
Joe Tom was a g-g-g-grandson of Joseph Erwin, Sr. and Catherine Nancy Cowan, and a twenty-first great-grandson of Sir William de Irwyn of Drum.
Joe Tom Erwin served with the Marine Corps in World War II on the USS California where he was a loader on an anti-aircraft gun. He was at his post on January 6, 1945 when the ship was attacked by kamikaze planes. During the attack Joe Tom’s gunner was killed by machine gun fire, and Joe Tom took over and continued firing. All of the attacking planes were shot down except one. When it crashed into the ship forty-four of the crew were killed and 155 were wounded, including Joe Tom. Joe Tom received a Bronze Star for his action, and a Purple Heart for his wounds.
Joe Tom retired to his cabin on Kentucky Lake about thirty years ago, but before that he lived a very public life.
C. Ray Hall, a writer for the Courier-Journal of Murray said, “Joe Tom Erwin was known for bursts of booming laughter and long spells of reflective silence. He was, by all accounts, a complex man who achieved a simple life. He was a farm boy who read Albert Camus and listened to the music of Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald.”
“He was a great ambassador for Murray State,” said Ed Given, retired sports information director at Western Kentucky University. “He was always a lot of fun, and always had a smile on his face.”
“He was probably the most chronic reader I’ve ever known,” said Charles Mercer, a Kentucky Lake neighbor.
Terri Erwin, a niece who is a child psychologist in Louisville, said her uncle “...achieved a life of simplicity without materialism.”
“Joe Tom was unique,” said Dwain McIntosh, a retired Murray State publicist. “He did it his way. An avid bird watcher, he had a great love for nature. He also played the role of mentor to countless people.”
“My uncle had been diagnosed with cancer about five weeks ago,” said Evie Paschall. He said, “I’m 81. I’ve lived a good long life, and I don’t have anything to regret.”