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Richard L. Dickson

Mt. Zion Region News of Mt. Zion, Illinois

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Richard L. Dickson, 50, of Decatur passed away on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 in St. John's Hospital, Springfield, IL.

Richard was born on December 24, 1964 in Decatur, IL the son of Richard L. "Dick" Dickson and Peggy S. (Grinestaff) Sunderland wife of Dr. Dale W. Sunderland. He graduated from Mt. Zion High School in 1983 and then went on to attend MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL. He then later graduated from the University of Illinois at Springfield with a B.S. in Horticulture. Richard farmed in Dalton City and the surrounding area for over 20 years. He worked with the homeless and helped them in his role in human resources through the organization Downtown Rescue Mission in Mississippi. He was also a graduate of the Scuba School International with a certification of a Gold 500 Diver and a Certified Registered Scuba Diver and Tour Guide in Honolulu, HI. Richard was passionate about martial arts. This led him to becoming an Outstanding Instructor for the Bando Ryu Karate Association.

After becoming an instructor Richard received his Godan 5th Degree Black Belt award and was later inducted into the Illinois Combat Karate Organization Hall of Fame in 2014. He was a member of Mid America Sport Skydiving Club in Taylorville, IL. Richard was avid fan of the Decatur Pride Softball Team attending all tournaments with his mother and Dale.

He is survived by his mother: Peggy S. Sunderland and her husband Dr. Dale W. Sunderland of Decatur, IL; two sisters: Melody Klaisner of Naperville, IL and Tina (Brian) Bradley of Mt. Zion, IL; two nieces: Haley Mason and Brianna Bradley; nephew: Nathaniel Mason; special friend: Tricia Reitz of Hillsboro, IL.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents and father: Richard L. Dickson in 1998.

The family would like to extend special thanks to the staff at St. Mary's Hospital, especially Kathy LaMastro, Dr. Cullen and De Richey Abbullah for their extra love and compassion. After his passing he donated his body to the Gift of Hope Organization.

Private family services will be held at a later date following Richard's wishes for cremation. Memorials can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or Shriner's Hospital for Children. Dawson & Wikoff West Wood Street Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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