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Obituary for W Carl Dicks

William Carl Dicks, 90
Long time Businessman/City Commissioner


Lakeland- William Carl Dicks, Army veteran, long time businessman, city commissioner, mayor and loving father and grandfather died Wednesday, August 9, at home after a brief illness.
He was 90.
Born in Plant City, April 15, 1927, he was the son of James Raymond Dicks and Lucille Streyer Dicks.
He graduated from Plant City High School in 1945 and immediately joined the Army.
While in high school, he lettered in football and track. With no teacher in the subject, Carl taught himself calculus and then taught other students. At 17 he became a volunteer fireman, sometimes jumping out the window of the school to answer the siren signaling a fire.
Entering service at war’s end, he was assigned to the 359th Battalion of the Army Corps of Engineers, serving in Belgium in 1946 and 1947 during major cleanup of explosives and war damage. He was promoted to sergeant while still 18.
Returning to civilian life, he bought and owned Dicks' Paint and Hardware at 945 S. Florida Ave. in Dixieland from 1947-1974.
On Nov. 14, 1948, Carl Dicks married Betty Stinson. It is a marriage that has lasted for almost 69 years.
Carl was known by friends and customers as being able “to fix just about anything” involving mechanics and hardware.
Also selling hunting and fishing licenses from his store, he frequently gave advice on the best place to wet a hook. An avid fisherman himself, he and a fishing buddy cleared boat paths for themselves and others in Lake Chokoloskee into the Everglades in the late 1950's and early 1960's. He made fishing trips by private boat to Dry Tortugas.
In 1972 Carl successfully ran for the Lakeland City Commission. He became the longest serving elected municipal official in Lakeland history, serving for 24 years until 1996 and served as mayor in 1975.
During his service on the Commission he became known for championing strong public municipal services to all parts of the city, at times even going head to head with administrators and an occasional fellow commissioner to see that residents had proper street lighting, water services and electric service.
Carl was instrumental in getting the city to modernize and increase wastewater treatment in a city that had begun outgrowing its municipal services to an increasing population. Carl and Betty have been members of College Heights United Methodist Church since 1953.
He was a past commander of the Lakeland Power Squadron and also taught classes in Navigation and Seamanship.
In addition to his interests in fishing, hunting and in building and flying remote controlled airplanes, he was an avid golfer with a wide array of golfing companions and fan of the professional sport.
Carl was also a strong fan and supporter of University Florida Gator football.
He leaves his wife Betty, daughters Suzanne Grillo of Palm City, Barbara Benton of Riverview, Nancy Ellis of Lakeland, and Mary Jane Camp of Eagle Lake. Grandchildren are Lance Uhlir, Michael Uhlir, Dr. Sara Ellis, Katie Camp,and Jessica Camp Lynn and great grandchildren Lance Uhlir, Jr., Tyson Uhlir, Macee Uhlir, Niko Uhlir and Lena Uhlir.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to College Heights United Methodist Church, 942 South Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33803
Memorial Services to be held at College Heights United Methodist Church are pending.


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Previous Events

Service

Friday

25

Aug

11:00 AM
College Heights United Methodist Church

942 South Blvd
Lakeland, Florida 33803

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