Arthur Raymond Dickman, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather, died May 30 at his home in Two Rivers, Alaska. He was born in Staples, Minnesota, on June 3, 1939, to Richard and Iris Dickman. On June 29, 1961, he married Phyllis LaValle, who was smitten with him since the first day she laid eyes on him on their elementary school bus. Together they brought their family to Two Rivers in 1975, where they remained the rest of their lives.
Art was a machinist/mechanic by trade, but he was so much more than that. He was a creative genius who taught himself the "art" of welding and fabricating. There was nothing he could not build. From his own sawmill to a modified John Deere dozer with tires to use as a log skidder at the sawmill, a log loader, a boom truck with a dump box, a barbecue station for HC Price's raffle, a 1950-ish Bluebird bus he converted to a fully-equipped RV, a homemade tractor, a hustler commercial mower he converted to a six-wheeler dozer with independent suspension front and rear blades and a Subaru engine, an automated quilting machine, to the road safety rumble strip device he made for HC Price back in the 80s. When he was not creating his own stuff, he was rebuilding front end loaders and dozers, bringing them back to their former glory. His shop was his daughters' personal service station, where he spent hours keeping their vehicles running.
Art was a wonderful husband and father. He placed high expectations on family values, ensuring his family understood the importance and value of each other. If a family member were struggling, he would rally the troops (his family) to support the needs of that family member. Together, they built and rebuilt houses for each other or gathered for weekly lunches to lift the mood of a family member in need.
Art is preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Dickman; his parents; all 12 of his siblings; as well as countless in-laws, nephews, nieces and cousins.
Art is survived by his six children, Danny (Debbie) Dickman, Richard (Sophia) Dickman, Tammy Rasmussen, Sherri (Jim) Soileau, Lisa (Allan) Coty and Wanda (Jeff) Bezona; and 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, a great-great-grandchild, as well as countless in-laws, nephews, nieces and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. July 17 in honor of Art. The memorial service will be held at Pleasant Valley Community Center, 7234 Anders Ave., Fairbanks, AK, 99712.
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