Arthur B. Dickson


Arthur B. Dickson, 88, of Vineyard Haven died Sunday, January 1, 2012 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He was the husband of Priscilla (West) Dickson.

Born in Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada on August 28, 1923, to the late Roberta (Coltart) and Roy Dickson, Arthur was the only one of eight siblings born in the hospital; he weighed just two pounds.

Arthur came to the Vineyard in 1939 at the age of 16 and attended the Tisbury High School where he met Priscilla West, his lovely, devoted wife of 67 years. He graduated high school in 1941. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted and served in the United States Army as Tech Sergeant attached to the 3187th Signal Service Battalion as a High Speed Radio Operator. Before leaving for overseas, he married Priscilla in Manasquan, N.J.

Arthur landed in La Havre, Normandy, France during the European invasion. After receiving his honorable discharge in March of 1946, Arthur returned home to start a family.

On the Vineyard he worked for more than 50 years for Colby Construction, then Goodale Construction, serving as foreman on many construction projects Island-wide. He retired in 2001.

Over the years Arthur served his community in many capacities. He was an active member of the American Legion Post #257 of Vineyard Haven, where he held many positions, including Past Commander, Historian, and Parade Coordinator. One project he was proud of was the construction of the Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven. Because of the numerous hours spent by the Legionnaires working on that project, their wives were humorously referred to as “Park Widows.”

Arthur was a long-time blood donor to the American Red Cross. He was elected to the Tisbury Road Commissioners/DPW in 1954 and served until 2011. He joined the Tisbury Fire Department in 1941 as a firefighter; in 1975, he became captain of the Legion Fire Truck; in 1980, he became an Assistant Fire Chief and served in that position until his retirement in 1991.

Arthur served as Veteran’s Grave Agent for the Island for 44 years. He proudly took care of putting flags on veteran’s graves. He also served the Town of Tisbury in many capacities on numerous boards.

His hobbies included hunting and fishing and the many family activities in which he attended. He epitomized the meaning of service to God, country, and family.

In addition to his wife Priscilla, Arthur is survived by his daughter, Linda Jane Unczur, and her husband, Henry; and his sons Robert Roy Dickson and his wife, Annmarie, and Glenn Arthur Dickson and his wife, Linda Marie, all of Vineyard Haven; 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Arthur was predeceased by his siblings, Marvin, Ilda, Vera, George, Janet, Ruby, and Betty.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Please visit for online guest book and information.

Visiting hours in the funeral home, will be on Wednesday, January 4, from 5 to 7 pm.

His funeral service will be on Thursday, January 5, in the funeral home at 11 am and burial will follow in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Vineyard Haven, with military honors provided by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard. A reception will follow at the American Legion Hall, Vineyard Haven.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to the American Legion Post 257, P.O. Box 257, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.