Bruce Dickey, age 69 of Russellville, claimed his heavenly reward Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville. Bruce was a husband, Dad, Pepaw, brother, friend, advocate. He was an artist, craftsman, mechanic, problem-solver, protector, researcher of facts and conspiracies, and collector of both useful and unuseful objects, and a lover of God.
Bruce was born January 5, 1952 in Russellville to the late Raymond and Margaret Adams Dickey. Two brothers, Kenneth and Dennis Dickey and sister, Paula Watts of Bellville have preceded him in death.
The beginning of his life-long love of stringed instruments began in childhood when he played cello in the orchestra. After moving back to Russellville in 9th grade, he exchanged his cello for a football where he played guard for the Cyclone team and met his lifelong friend Dwayne Betsill. Bruce graduated high school and started Arkansas Tech as an art major in 1970.
He met Kay his first year in college. They were instantly smitten with each other and 3 years later were married August 26, 1972 under a big oak tree on Bruce’s parents farm. In the 70’s his first business was working on foriegn cars and as time went on, he began selling foriegn cars and opened a car lot on 4th street. He also crafted dune buggies from VW chassis, resulting in many hair-raising adventures. As Kay always said, Bruce walked that fine line between brave and crazy. He always tackled impossible tasks with gusto constructing his first home with the help of a friend from Tech.
It was during this time that Bruce fell in love with flying. He jointly owned a small Cessna plane. Kay went up with him once, and that was enough. Again many hair raising stories have been told like flying under bridges, diving straight down off the side of Petit Jean, and avoiding certain death by quickly switching a fuse pack to regain control of the plane.
His next big project was construction of the house on Skyline where he moved his young family, which now included a three year old son, Warren. After completing the house, Bruce finished a business degree at Tech and did electrical work. Bruce began his teaching career at the area vocational school in 1993.
In 1992 John Preston was born and the years really started to click off.
Bruce embraced fatherhood. He taught his boys to fish, to build roaring campfires and explore the local waterways in canoes. He coached their ball teams, ran the soap box derby and attended every school function. Watching his boys become involved in music inspired Bruce to become interested in building and repairing guitars.
Later in Bruce’s life he became committed to an orphanage, My Savior Lives (located in Kenya) where he advocated, mentored, and eventually used his construction and electrical skills to improve the living conditions of the children there. Those children remained in his heart during his very last days.
Survivors include his loving wife of 48 years, Kay Birmingham Dickey of Russellville; sons Warren of Bigelow and John Preston Dickey (Kristen) of Fayetteville. Granddaughter, Joy Kathryn Dickey of Conway and brother Paul Dickey (Ruth) of Hot Springs Village. Numerous extended family members.
Graveside services will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, February 6th at Rogers Mt. Grove Cemetery near Spring Lake, an old family cemetery. An open visitation will be at Humphrey's Funeral Service from 11:a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. Memorials may be made to My Savior Lives Orphanage in care of David Robbins, 101 Cessna Circle, Hot Springs, AR 71913. Pallbearers are Warren and John Preston Dickey, Jon and Cole Birmingham, David Robbins, and Emmitt Barnes.
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