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Thomas Dickey.
Thomas R. Dickey.

Thomas R. Dickey, U.S. Coast Guard Commander (retired), age 72, of Wilmington passed away peacefully Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

He was born Sept. 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 and operator of Airlie Marina and 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, U.S. Coast Guard, 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 online condolences for the family at Wilmington Funeral and Cremation.

To view the full list of Port City Daily obituaries, click here.