Robert Jon Dickinson

May 13, 2023

Robert Jon Dickinson passed away Saturday, May 13, 2023, at his home in Daleville, AL, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born to Dee and Barbara Dickinson in Spirit Lake, IA. When Jon was in 1st grade, the family moved to Alta, IA, where he attended school until graduation in 1975. During the summers, Jon would spend much of his time with his Grandma Booton and cousins at her cabin located near Gerk’s Resort and the lagoon on West Okoboji in the Iowa Great Lakes Region. In his younger years, Mom would put him on the bus in the near town of Storm Lake for the 60-mile drive and Grandma would pick him up at the bus stop. Fond memories and stories of fishing, playing on the docks, and other antics with cousins and friends he made along the way were often retold over and over at family gatherings. This also included his dad and Grandpa Dickinson taking him perch fishing on Big Spirit Lake. Summer or winter, he had a lot of time on the water and ice. He had several great friends from school. He developed a good work ethic delivering newspapers and working at the gas station in Alta, a job he loved! Later, while serving in the military, he graduated from Troy State University at Dothan. He became an avid golfer; hitting the links every Saturday morning and Thursday afternoon league, touting 2 holes in one on different courses! When he had leave he almost always drove back to Iowa so he could go back to his favorite fishing spot on the trestle between East Lake and West Lake in Okoboji.
Jon knew his career path early in life. He would draw pictures of Army helicopters. In October of 1975, after graduation, he joined the Army as a high school to flight school candidate and completed flight school at Ft. Rucker, AL, in October 1976. From there, the Army sent him to overseas assignments in Korea, HI, Iraq, Haiti and Afghanistan, among other overseas deployments. He married Myong Kim early in his career. He attended the Aviation Safety Officer Course and was later designated an Instructor Pilot in the UH-60 helicopter. During his sterling career in the Army, he advanced to Chief Warrant Officer (CW5) and Master Aviator, qualifying for several aircraft including the Blackhawk and Apache helicopters, and Mohawk fixed wing airplane. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and as the flight operations officer for the 82nd Cavalry Airborne, he also served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. His experience and expertise led him to becoming the first warrant officer to be certified as a Mishap Investigation Board President. After more than 36 years of active duty service, Jon was selected to serve as the Program Manager for Aviation Mishap Prevention at the Combat Readiness Center as a Department of the Army Civilian, serving in this position for over 10 years. With more than 47 years of service in peacetime and in combat, Jon was awarded the Gold Order of Saint Michael.
Jon’s dedication to duty, competence and leadership has touched countless lives in Army Aviation. The Army was Jon’s life. He was a faithful soldier of God and a rock for his family. His parents preceded Jon in death, as did his brother Steve Daly, other extended family and too many friends and comrades.
He leaves behind a very loved and important woman to him, Maxiene Ryan, Daleville, AL, and her son Harley (Beth) Ryan, Gulf Breeze, FL; their daughter Alex, San Diego, CA and son Eli, Pensacola, FL; also sisters, Vicki (Don) Winchell, Sioux Falls, SD; Dana Messerole (Ken), Fayetteville, NC; brothers, Rocky (Cathy) Dickinson, San Francisco, CA; Ric Daly, Eveleth, MN and sister-in-law Sharon Daly, Spencer, IA. Jon’s fishing and golfing buddies, close cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, other extended family and friends all share our grief.
Celebration of Life services will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at Wings Chapel on the base of Fort Novosel with Chaplain Scott Kennis officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 2:30 P.M until service time. A private graveside service will be held at a later date in Spirit Lake, IA. Please note, if you do not have an authorized clearance, a visitor pass is required to enter Fort Novosel. Please come early so that you may get a visitor pass at the Security Office.