American Heart Association, The Cancer Research Institute or a charity of Donor's Choice in care of Pitman Funeral Home, P. O. Box 248, Wentzville, MO 63385
John Franklin Dicks, 86, of St. Charles, MO, died Friday, February 8, 2019, at his home in St. Charles, MO. He was born July 16, 1932, to John Rex and Rose Icephean (Huff) Dicks in St. Louis County, MO.
Mr. Dicks started his career as a draftsman at Wagner Electric Corporation in St. Louis in 1950 and moved to McDonnell Douglas in 1962, working his way from Design Draftsman to Engineer and on to Unit Chief/Design Specialist. He retired from McDonnell Douglas in 1989, but returned four different times as a consultant through 1995. While at McDonnell Douglas, he was a key member of the Electrophoresis Operations in Space (EOS) team, which successfully flew the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System on seven Space Shuttle flights. He enjoyed many years working on the space program, traveling to Houston, Huntsville, Cape Canaveral/Kennedy, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC/Virginia, New Mexico, and California. One of his highlight stories was telling family that he “took a nap in the space shuttle” while it was on the pad one day before launch. After his retirement, he also founded Pioneer Design Services, a computer-aided drafting company.
Mr. Dicks served on active duty in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He served as an Instrument Flight Instructor for Naval Cadets using flight simulators and other training devices. He received an Honorable Discharge in October of 1959.
Playing duplicate bridge and attending tournaments in various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada was one of his and his wife's favorite pastimes. He was a member of the American Contract Bridge League, having attained the rank of Diamond Life Master. He was very active in sports throughout his life, first as a player of baseball, basketball, football, bowling, and golf, and then as an avid fan later in life, cheering on the St. Louis Browns, the Cardinals (both football and baseball), and the Rams. He was also a frequent attendee of NASCAR races in Daytona. He was very proud of his achievement in Candy Crush, having reached level 1,412 and he was always challenging his grandkids to beat him (which none ever did).
Mr. Dicks was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Dr. Samuel E. Dicks of Emporia, KS.
Among his survivors are his wife, Shirley Ann (Warner) Dicks of St. Charles; five children: Linda Renee (Ed) Evans of Lake St. Louis, MO, John Norman Dicks of Manila, Philippines, Nancy Beth (Steve) Pennington of Kirksville, MO, David Dale (Jody) Dicks of Linden, MI, Sally Ann (David) Weyhaupt of Belleville, IL; twelve grandchildren: Emily (Rick) Jenkins, Aaron (Lindsay) Evans, Melissa (Ben) Brennecke, John N. R. Dicks, Adam Pennington, Caitlin Pennington, Megan Pennington, Simon Dicks, Spencer Dicks, Justin Williamson, Jessica (Ryan) Bingheim, and Michelle Weyhaupt; and ten great-grandchildren: Lydia, Caroline, Audrey, Samuel, Addison, Lucy, Aubrey, Lainey, Lucas, and Evan.