Robert Dickerson (1965-2009)

by David Shannon

Robert Dickerson has been a part of this congregation since November of 2004. From our first encounter with him we saw a man who loved God and His church. We also, from the beginning, met a man who was very sick. “However to meet him one would not know that he was sick. He didn’t dwell on that,” Jay Keopf described. Although many react in bitterness and self-pity to serious illnesses, Robert didn’t. I have visited him in many hospitals, at his home, and often on the phone. Each time he was optimistic, faithful, and concerned about others.

Robert was a handsome man with a gentle spirit. He seemed to always exemplify kindness. His mother, Opal, describes him not only as the best son a mother could have, but describes him as a blessing even when he was a small boy.

Robert brought out the best in us. He was quick to remind his family what God’s will is in various situations. He loved bringing friends to the Lord. He talked frequently of other peoples soul. Even when he was so sick, he would still inquire of others and about the work of the church.

Robert was a good friend. The scriptures tells us that for a man to have friends he must show himself friendly (Proverbs 18:24). Robert did this in every way. His unselfishness was seen in the day it was told to him that Live Hospice Care would begin to serve him. Although he understood what that meant, he immediately begin to speak of his concern for his mother. It reminded me of Jesus dying on the cross asking John to take care of his mother Mary. Prior to this he had already told his mother, “You know I may not beat it. What hurts the most is what my death will do to you.”

Robert loved the Lord and His church. Pat Huddleston has called Robert countless times to check on him. She describes the way he never complained during the long wait for a liver transplant. He was very kind and always appreciative for any act of kindness done for him. But most importantly he always spoke of his love for the Lord and his church. Robert believed he was a sinner in need of God’s grace. He had come to the Lord in belief, passing through the waters of baptism. He constantly leaned upon His God. By faith, we believe he has never been better or happier!

On April 13 the long battle with cancer was over. It wasn’t death that took him, but eternal life swallowed him (Second Corinthians 5:4). Physical death was the moving of the soul from his body of burdens to be carried by angels into a wonderful place of comfort–eternal life!

His family greatly appreciated the visits, cards, calls, and food that was brought to Robert. We truly miss our brother and are thankful that God intertwined our lives. We pray fervently for his dear mother and father, the rest of his family, and his close friend Bill.