Johnny Weldon Dickerson, 77, of Draper, passed away Saturday, Dec. 8 at Highland Ridge Rehab in Dublin. He was born Oct. 28, 1935 in Pulaski.
Preceded in death by his father, W.W. Dickerson, and mother, Virginia Cole Dickerson, Hiwassee.
Survived by wife of 58 years, Louise Viers Dickerson of Draper; daughter, Regina Dickerson Morris and husband, Ricky, of Shiloh; son, Keith Dickerson and wife, Linda, of Dublin; and son, Johnny W. Dickerson Jr. and wife, Jenny, of Dublin; grandchildren, Tara Morris Bird, Tyler Morris, Kristin Dickerson, Korey Dickerson, Brady Dickerson and Taylor Dickerson; great-granddaughter, Oakley Bird, and brothers, Robert Dickerson of Roanoke, Dan Dickerson of Roanoke and Mike Dickerson of Dublin.
Mr. Dickerson owned and operated the Electroplate-Rite Corporation for over 45 years in Dublin. He began his career in metal finishing when he moved to Chicago after graduating from Draper High School in 1953. He was employed at Plate-Rite Company in Chicago. He acquired his associate’s degree in metal finishing at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He married his wife of 58 years in Crown Point, Ind. After nine years in Chicago, they returned to Hiwassee where he worked for Inland Motor for nine years. While at Inland Motor, he helped start their gold plating department. He loved the metal finishing industry and wanted to start his own business. With the help of his father, local veterinarian, Dr. David Stanley, and local banker, Bill Elmore, he began the Electroplate-Rite Corp behind Dublin Animal Hospital, later moving to the present location.
Mr. Dickerson was a businessman at heart and devoted his life to his business. He also incorporated his work into his leisure time by refinishing antique cars. His passion was the 1956 Ford Crown Victoria. In the 1980s he enjoyed showing his antique cars at car shows along the east coast and won many national awards, including Grand National Winner of Antique Automobile Club of America for his 1956 Crown Victoria Glass Top.
He was a past president of the Natural Bridge Branch of the American Electroplating Society, past board member of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, and past member of Dublin Ruritan.
He also loved preparing a garden every year and raised cattle and poultry for 15 years. Another of his leisure activities was bowling and he participated in the National ABC bowling tournament for years. He also sponsored and bowled state and local tournaments. He is a member of NRVBA Hall of Fame.
As much as he loved his business, he loved his family more. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He will be greatly missed.
The family would like to thank those who helped Mr. Dickerson through the years, and the many loyal employees who helped make his dreams a reality.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. from Stevens Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Don Scott officiating. Burial will follow in O’dell cemetery, Hiwassee. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. at Stevens Funeral Home, Pulaski. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes contributions be made to Hiwassee Pentecostal Holiness Church, 2464 Bethel Church Road, Hiwassee, VA 24347 or The Alzheimer Association, www.alz.org.
Arrangements by Stevens Funeral Home, Pulaski.