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Tom Z. Dickerson, 83, of Rockford, IL passed away on Friday, March 2, 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ after a sudden illness. Tom was born August 22, 1934 in Cherokee, OK to Zearl and Retta (Wilson) Dickerson. He was one of three children and graduated from high school in Byron, OK. Tom was proud of his service in the Army. He served in the Army National Guard and was called into active duty during the Bay of Pigs incident with Cuba. He also served as a Sgt. with the US Army Reserves Quartermasters Unit during the Korean War. Tom came to Rockford as a young man and started his working career at Woodward Governor. During his early years he was involved with the Rockford Rams football program. Against advice from friends, Tom decided to pursue a career in real estate. His first venture was with Bridge & Dickerson Realtors. After a few years Tom decided to venture out on his own and started Dickerson Realtors. Starting out as a Real Estate Broker, then moving into investment property and home building (Ambassador Homes), he subsequently got into land development. Tom was responsible for developing quite a few subdivisions including Olde Farm, Stonehedge, Mulford Hills, Mulford Hills West, Valley View, Koresh Farms, Hart Farms, The Preserve, Forest Ridge and more. Later through acquisitions including Nieman Realtors, the company became Dickerson & Nieman Realtors in 1998 and with 5 offices in three counties is still today the largest real estate firm in the area. Tom was also proud of his time as President of the Board of Realtors, was named Illinois Realtor of the Year and received numerous other awards and recognition. Tom credits his success in real estate with obtaining the coveted CCIM designation as well as the GRI and CRE. Tom built his business starting from a small office of agents to becoming the largest real estate company in the Rockford area while still maintaining a family atmosphere within the company. With a career spanning over 5 decades, Tom helped thousands achieve the American Dream! Tom was a leader, contributor, Army veteran, friend, father, father-in-law, father figure, grandpa and mentor.
Tom married his wife, Earline in 1973 and together shared 44 years of marriage and combining a family with six children. Tom was an avid golfer and was a longtime member of FHCC, even notching the always elusive “hole-in-one.” He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and was also a supporter of United Way during his career. Tom enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and always made them laugh. Tom had a great sense of humor and wit. He was always there to help others when needed. In retirement, Tom and Earline spent the winters in their beloved Scottsdale, Arizona home, enjoying the warm weather and mountainous landscape and entertaining family and friends. He will be sorely missed but not forgotten. His legacy is genuine and will live on for decades to come.
Tom is survived by his wife, Earline; children, Karen (husband Doug Page) Dickerson of Roscoe, IL, Tom Keith Dickerson of Loves Park, IL, Cindy (Keith) Kelly of Rockford, IL, Andrew (Sean) Wehrstein of San Francisco, CA, Candace Ross, Frank (Jennifer) Wehrstein, of Rockford, IL; grandchildren, Adam J. (Daniela) Dyer, Kristina Kelly, Shannon Kelly, Stephanie Ross, Erica Ross, Reilley Wehrstein, Ashley Wehrstein, Frank Wehrstein, Jr., Ashley Dickerson; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Bill Dickerson and Betty Sumner.
A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 10, 2018 in Stateline Church, 601 N. Perryville Rd, Rockford, IL 61107 with Pastor Tyler Johnson officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Keith Country Day School or Rosecrance. Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory was honored to assist with local arrangements.
Keith Country Day School
1 Jacoby Place, Rockford IL 61107
Rosecrance Health Network
1021 North Mulford Road, Rockford IL 61107-3877