Thomas R. Dickey

September 4, 1943 - November 27, 2015
Thomas R. Dickey

CDR Thomas R. Dickey, USCG (ret.), age 72, of Wilmington passed away peacefully Friday, November 27, 2015 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice.
He was born September 4, 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of the late Roe Foresman Dickey and Vesta Roe Dickey.

Tom graduated with the Class of 1966 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. After commissioning, he was assigned to the Coast Guard cutters McCulloch and Mendota in Wilmington; he was deployed in Mendota to Vietnam in 1969 for 10 months. He later earned a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland and served in several positions with the Coast Guard as an expert in marine hazardous materials. He also wrote international regulations regarding liquefied natural gas ships. A subsequent assignment brought him back to Wilmington in 1978 as Executive Officer of the local Coast Guard Marine Safety Office. He and his family have been residents ever since. After retirement, he worked for the State of North Carolina and as a marine consultant. For over 30 years he was the owner/operator of Airlie Marina/Airlie Yacht Club. He later found a new passion in caring for his granddaughter, Ava. Tom enjoyed being on the water, time with his friends, and most of all the company of his family.

Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife of 49 years, Janice Tarlton Dickey; daughters, CAPT Laura Dickey, USCG, and Amy Dickey Meacham and husband Eric; granddaughter Ava Meacham; and brother, John Dickey and wife Marie.

The family thanks the medical team at UNC-Chapel Hill hospitals, and most especially Dr. Jason Katz, for the outstanding care that Tom received.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to SECU Family House, 123 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking the Condolences tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099


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  • November 30, 2015
    Bert Lomax says:
    I have had the pleasure of knowing Tom for more than ten years but only in the last several did we regularly walk the dock, talking about all things boats and otherwise. Learned a great deal from him. He was a straight forward, calm, and honest person, with a wealth of knowledge and experiences to share. I know I speak for all of us when I say that I am really going to miss Tom. He was a fixture in our community and our lives. His organization and leadership made it possible for us all to enjoy our love for the sea, that much more.

  • November 30, 2015
    Terry and Gail Wells says:
    Janice and family, Sad to hear of Tom's passing. So glad our paths in life crossed, as we enjoyed docking at Airlie, and we got to know Tom. We will keep you in our prayers. Terry and Gail

  • November 30, 2015
    Ken & Carol Morris says:
    We are very saddened to learn of Tom's passing. He certainly had been through some serious medical challenges over the years, but endured it all with courage, dignity and even humor. Janice , Laura, Amy and family , please accept our sincere condolences, We will be making a donation in Tom's memory to SECU Family House as requested. God bless you all.

  • November 30, 2015
    Steve Johnston says:
    I'm so very grateful to have had Tom as a friend. I can't help but smile when thinking back on the lifetime of fond memories he created at Airlie Marina. The Dock Master will be greatly missed by the many who were fortunate to have had him touch their lives.

  • December 01, 2015
    Jo says:
    I had the pleasure of knowing CDR Dickey many years ago when he was with the MSO downtown. I was a bartender at the Fish Market Restaurant and he and one of his Coasties came in several times a week for a beer and a bowl of chowder for lunch. They came early and I looked forward to our chats. He was so smart and witty. I am sorry for your loss. He was too young.