Kenneth D. Dickerson of Walla Walla died on Sunday, April 7, 2013, while competing in a team roping at the Sombrero arena in Sunnyside, Wash. He was a farmer all his life, retiring when he was 70, and his favorite sport was team roping.
Ken was born May 1, 1931, to Kenneth L. and C. Eilleen Reeder. The Dickerson family came to the Walla Walla Valley in the mid 1800s, and Ken farmed property in both Oregon and Washington. He and his wife, Shirley (Warner) lived their 57 years of marriage at their home on Springdale Road. He attended Springdale School and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a gunners mate, from 1950 to 1953.
The Dickersons have one daughter, Janice K. Brashear, an AVP at Baker Boyer Bank; a son-in-law, Scott Brashear; two granddaughters, Bailey Brashear of Renton, Wash., and Lauren Brashear of Kennewick; Ken’s brother, Jon Dickerson and wife Diane live in Ocean Park, Wash. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister-in law, Shirley A. Dickerson.
Ken raised sugar beets, alfalfa, corn and other crops on the family farm and also on neighboring farms. He was secretary of the Walla Walla Sugar Beet Growers Association for several years. He was very interested in obtaining better living for farm workers and served as chairman of the Walla Walla County Housing Authority for 10 years, during which time major new housing was built at the labor camp. The Dickersons also raised registered Angus cattle for several years.
He was a member of Fire District 4, Station 4 for a number of years until he had a serious farm accident and was no longer able to run, a necessity for a firefighter. He and a friend organized the Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse Roping Club and instigated the Pioneer Posse Summer Series in 1957. He was a director and past president of the Posse and an honorary member. He was a member of the First Christian Church.
Ken was known for having a good “eye” for a horse and owned many good ones that later went on to win with pro ropers. One horse he sold later won the team roping at the Pendleton Round Up and another was competed on at the National Finals Rodeo. He roped with the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association and qualified for its finals in Reno in 1995 and 1996. More recently he roped in the Northwest Old Timers Rodeo Association, winning a number of buckles and awards, both heading and heeling.
He enjoyed roping and riding with the Community College Rodeo team practices at Brent Palmer’s Arena, and began every day with friends at McDonald’s. In 2010 Ken was honored at the annual “roast” and roping at Sombrero Arena in Sunnyside, an event held annually.
He and his wife “went south” for many years in the winter, first to California and later to Cave Creek, Ariz., where they had many friends at Doud Camp, also known as the Draggin Ass Cattle Company. They took their horses and current dog. Their friends were from California, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Family and friends will meet for interment at the Helix, cemetery on Monday, April 15, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Walla Walla Wagon Wheelers building on Hussey Road. A light meal will follow. Contributions can be made to Walla Walla Community College Rodeo Scholarship Fund or to the charity of choice through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
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