Dickey a community civic leader

William “Bill” Francis Dickey was someone who always desired to make his community better, says Gary McJunkin.

In the decades leading up to the 1972 incorporation of North Charleston, Dickey was one of the area’s most civic-minded residents, he says.

Dickey, who was born Nov. 17, 1921, and died May 24, always seemed to be helping get things underway as the area developed, McJunkin says.

He grew up around Charleston Heights, near the Charleston Naval Base. He moved to Park Circle after serving in World War II and training to pilot B-52s.

While his community-minded spirit took root in North Charleston, his good works and concern for the challenges in the lives of others extended to the entire Charleston community, said friends.

The banking, charitable and arts groups Dickey lent his talents to, often as a board member, number in the dozens.

March of Dimes, Rotary and United Way are just a few of them. A person would be hard-pressed to name a local community-minded organization that Dickey did not give his time to.

Dickey, a banker who was president and chairman of the board of Cooper River Federal Savings and Loan, also served on Charleston County Council.

In addition, he was a charter member of Cooper River Baptist Church.

“He was a person who had a desire to exceed in whatever he did and he worked hard at that,” McJunkin says.

“My experience with him is that he was one who could see where there was a need. He had the ability to be a leader and was interested in doing what he could.”

While Dickey was involved, he also seemed always to be behind the scenes, McJunkin says. “He did not do it for credit.”

McJunkin also says Dickey was very personable.

“The best thing I found about Bill was that he was easy to talk to,” McJunkin says. He would never be one way on one day, and another on the next.

Those who knew him knew that he was consistent. But there is something McJunkin recalls about his friend that not too many people knew.

“He was a great pianist and could play the organ. He could hear a song on the radio and play it by ear.”

Dickey would half-joke that his mother, a piano teacher, would not let him leave the house until he excelled at his piano lessons, says McJunkin.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.