James A. Dickey
mes A. Dickey, Naval Academy class of 1956, passed away on March 6, 2015. He was 83 years old. Jim received his Congressional appointment in the early 1950s, during the Korean conflict. He had previously joined the Naval Reserve and was attached to VF-885, an F8F squadron out of Olathe, Kansas. During one of the training weekends he was called in by his Commanding Officer and informed that because he had received the principal appointment to the Naval Academy, and the Squadron had been called to active duty, he had a choice of either going to Korea into a combat zone, or going to the U.S. Naval Academy. During final exam weeks, he often expressed his doubt about whether he had made the right choice. Compared to exam week, maybe Korea wouldn't have been all that bad. Jim graduated with the 17th Company and was commissioned into the Supply Corps on June 1, 1956. On June 2, 1956 he married Lila Jean Read of Annapolis. Due to the class scheduling for the Supply Corps School, he was granted 35 days leave. With nothing to do, he got a job at the Baltimore Shipbuilding Company as a pipe fitter, since he was a qualified plumber from working in his father's plumbing business. One day, at lunch time, he realized he had forgotten his wallet and was without funds. After finding an old gunny sack, he collected enough soda bottles at 2 cents apiece to purchase lunch. The unplanned largesse was the start of a very successful period of employment at the Shipyard, because his income from the pipe fitter's job was about double of an Ensign's pay! When the Supply Corps School schedule was ready for a new class, Jim and his new Bride went to Athens, Georgia for six months of training and daily courses in Southern dialects. Following graduation, his first assignment was aboard the USS Columbus. Then he was assigned to a destroyer escort, followed by two and one half years in Bangkok, Thailand, NAS Alameda, MACV-Vietnam, Naval Material Command, Washington DC, U.S. Naval Academy and Defense Supply Agency, Arlington, from which he retired. Following retirement from the Navy, he opened his business as a Stock Broker and Certified Financial Planner and, after twenty-seven years, completed his professional career. During his military career and later years, Jim and his wife were ardent travelers, visiting over ninety countries. He was a member of the Annapolitan Club for over fifty-five years, and a member of China Post #1 of the American Legion for over thirty-five years. He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Lila; two granddaughters, Anna Fisk and husband, Garrett, and Callie Benjamin; and many friends. He was predeceased by his daughter Alix, who lost her battle with cancer in January 2012. A Memorial Service will be Saturday, March 28, 2015, 1:00 p.m. at FRENCH - Wyoming.