DICKENSON, JOAN BRINE (1934 ~ 2020). The following is an obituary for Joan Brine Dickenson, spouse of Bob Dickenson, former Justice of the 11th District Court of Appeals. The obituary was provided by Harrell Funeral Home of Austin.
Joan Brine Dickenson was born on July 14, 1934 near Detroit, Michigan to William and Fern Brine. Joan was the third of four children and the only daughter. When she was very young, the family moved to Massachusetts before settling several years later in Long Beach, California where her father took a job as a ship builder.
Joan was very close with her family, especially her younger brother, Don. Joan and Don often backpacked as teenagers in Yosemite National Park. Joan's favorite place in the park was Tuolumne Meadows. Throughout her life, she often spoke about her time with Don in Yosemite. Joan also always remembered Long Beach as she experienced it as a child and often reminisced about its citrus groves, mild climate, and the Pacific Ocean. As always, she remembered the best in people and places.
Joan attended Long Beach City College and later graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from U.C.L.A. She then began a teaching career in Long Beach. While attending college and teaching, she made many friends that remained important to her for the rest of her life. Joan also remained very close to her parents and brothers and her love of the outdoors never waned. She was an active member of the Sierra Club, and on one of the club's sponsored hikes, met Charles Robert "Bob" Dickenson, who she married in 1972. The couple moved to Abilene, Texas where they had one son, James. Joan routinely loaded up her son and two Boxers (dogs) into the back of her Oldsmobile and drove west to visit her friends, brothers, and parents that remained on the West Coast.
Joan continued her teaching career in Abilene, first at St. John's Episcopal School, and later at Abilene High School. Joan worked tirelessly and offered unlimited personal attention to her students when they needed extra help. Even though this limited her free time, she was able to "foster" (often ending in adoption) a LOT of pets. Joan took dozens of stray cats and dogs to be spayed or neutered and for general veterinary treatment. Some appreciated her efforts and moved inside as welcomed family additions, but just as many remained feral bandits that only appreciated the food she left outside for them. Joan remained kind to all, pets and people, her entire life.
Joan also grew Meyer lemon and Naval orange trees; no small task in North Texas. The plants remained in planters that were routinely moved in and out of her garage because of Texas weather that frequently consisted or scorching heat, freezing cold, hail, and high winds. In spite of the challenges, Joan grew a lot of excellent citrus.
Joan often entertained friends and family at the Dickenson house. She was an excellent cook and her New England boiled dinner, holiday feasts, and from scratch desserts were loved by many, maybe most by her son and his friends. Joan delighted in decorating, redecorating, painting, and repainting her home. She also spent many summer mornings pulling weeds, trimming trees, and landscaping to make sure no neighbor was "embarrassed by the Dickenson's yard."
Joan moved to Kalispell, Montana to be near family in 2017, and became very close with her family there. She also was able to spend time with her sister-in-law, Eleanor Brine, niece, Maureen Rush, and Maureen's daughter, Amanda Rush (pictured), each loved dearly by Joan. Joan passed away peacefully at Maureen's house in Kalispell, Montana on August 28, 2020.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, William and Fern Brine, husband, Judge Charles "Bob" Dickenson, and brothers William, Jack, and Don. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, James and Adriane Dickenson, sister-in-law Eleanor Brine, nieces and nephews, and their families, who will always remain impacted by Joan's kindness and sense of humor.
A graveside service will be held at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas on the afternoon of October 9, 2020.
In lieu of donations or flowers, please just be kind to your pets or someone else's.