Thomas Dickinson

Thomas W Dickinson

Tuesday, June 16th, 1942 - Wednesday, August 12th, 2020
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Thomas W. Dickinson, 78, died peacefully at home August 12, 2020, lovingly tended by his partner, Ruth Arendt (VonSick), with the support and assistance of Hospice of the Western Reserve. Tom died after a courageous two-year struggle with brain cancer.
On June 16, 1942, in Pittsburgh, Pa., Tom was born to William H. Dickinson and Lathia Benton Dickinson, both deceased. As his mother died when he was very young, Tom was raised by his stepmother, Mary Katherine Dickinson, also deceased.
He is survived by his sons, James W. (Lori) Dickinson and Todd A. (Sam) Dickinson; grandson, Aaron Dickinson; sister, Elaine (Tom) Phillips; brother, Robert (Ann) Dickinson; uncle, great-uncle, and beloved friend of many.
In 1964, Tom married Nancy Newman, with whom he raised their sons. While their marriage eventually ended, Tom and Nancy had worked together through the years to care for their sons and grandson.
Tom earned a degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1964, but his call to ministry led him to pursue a Master of Divinity degree from Drew University. Upon completion in 1967, Tom became a Deacon Minister in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he was ordained as an Elder in 1969. Over his 20 years of parish ministry, Tom served churches throughout the Conference, most recently Nottingham United Methodist Church in Cleveland. In recent years, Tom returned to Nottingham Church as an active member, serving on committees, singing in the choir, and helping with the church’s outreach ministries.
Following his work in the ministry, Tom received a degree in mental health counseling from Cleveland State University as well as advanced training at The Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He worked in the mental health field for over 20 years. Over the years, Tom also owned several rental properties. He regarded his work of owning and maintaining those properties as a ministry. He was committed to providing fair and equitable housing for his tenants.
Tom had many interests. He had a great love of singing and of community theater. He performed in many productions of the East Cleveland Theater. Tom was always renewed by nature and was frequently seen picking up litter on his hikes. He enjoyed travel and maintained a blog of the trips he and Ruth took in their RV. They both participated in the Nomads, a United Methodist ministry of volunteers who travel to work projects all over the country. He was particularly fond of the Wanake Camp and Retreat Center, a United Methodist facility in Beach City, Ohio, participating in work camps there and raising money for youth camperships. Tom also served the community by being a lifelong blood donor. Throughout his life, in countless ways, Tom gave himself in service to others.
Donations may be sent to Nottingham United Methodist Church, 18316 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44110.
Arrangements are entrusted to McMahon-Coyne-Vitantonio Funeral Homes in Willoughby and Ohio.
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