John R Dickinson, 74, of Brainerd, MN passed away Sunday, December 11, 2022, and is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Patricia; daughters: Tracey (Rick), Natalie, Leslie (Jordan); grandchildren: Aythan, Elise, Connor, Quinn, Rory and Maya.

John was born December 31, 1947 in Rockford Illinois, son of Robert and Mavis.  He graduated from Watertown (WI) high school.  He was an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War from 1969-1971 achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.  He received an Electrical Engineering degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering. 

His professional career included working for Wisconsin Public Service, Energy Control Consultants, Inc, which later became KEMA Consulting. 

As per John’s plan, he retired at the age of 52 so he and Pat could enjoy many outdoor adventures: Canoeing the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana, hiking 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from California’s southern border, multiple bicycle trips across the United States camping along the way, and annual trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  Then into their 60s, John and Pat took trips across the country on their scooters, and later traveling on their motorcycle. One summer they visited every State Park in Minnesota!

John was a brilliant thinker, skilled handyman, and avid tennis player.  He spent many hours helping people (especially his daughters) design and execute their complex home improvement projects.  When not doing handyman tasks, he loved to play tennis.  He was a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and played in the Senior Tennis Players Club, not only playing tennis, but also organizing and facilitating the rosters for his Monday and Friday groups; John really enjoyed his tennis buddies!

John loved the outdoors, and had recently moved to a lake home outside of Brainerd with Pat.  He loved to be able to walk out the back door and do his most favorite thing ever: fish!  To John, family traditions were very important, one week each summer he would host a weeklong gathering for his kids and grandkids to be able to enjoy the outdoors and relax with his family.

John was social and outgoing, and made new friends all the time.  He enjoyed meeting and learning about everyone he encountered. He was an incredible person who impacted everyone he met. His generosity, kindness, determination, and drive made him who he was and who we loved.

A memorial gathering is being planned for next year, more information is forthcoming.  In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in John’s name to an organization of your choice that promotes nature conservation or supports State and National Parks.

On December 3, 2022, John added pictures and information to their website, please feel free to browse recent photos and past adventures!