Esther G. Dickinson, age 85, of Alexandria, VA, died at home on Saturday, July 24, 2021, with loving family support surrounding her during her prolonged battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Born Esther Gertrude Linde in East Providence, RI, on January 30, 1936, she was daughter of Helge Daniel Linde (1903-1965) and Gertrude Emma Petching (1907-1958) and sister to David Daniel Linde (1933-2011). Esther graduated with honors from East Providence High School in 1953, after which she and her family moved out West to Long Beach, CA, where she worked as a secretary and set out to enjoy everything that southern California had to offer.
In 1962 she met a young naval officer (Robert S. Dickinson) on a blind date/dance; they fell in love and just 6 short months later were married. Some called them rash, but their marriage lasted nearly 59 years. At that time, Rob was stationed on a minesweeper and shortly thereafter was conducting operations near Japan. Being newlyweds, Esther decided to fly to Japan and look for him at the ship’s scheduled ports of call. This was pre-internet, pre-cellphone, and practically pre-computer, yet she tracked him down anyway.
For the next couple of decades, Esther assumed the role of Navy wife to a submarine officer and had two children (Scott Dickinson and Laura Miller) while moving to wherever the Navy assigned Rob including: Vallejo, CA; Idaho Falls, ID; Charleston, SC; Newport News, VA; Groton, CT; Naples, Italy; Honolulu, HI; and finally to Northern Virginia, where she had a 20-year career as a Federal employee working for the Department of the Navy.
Esther collected friends from all over the country. She was outgoing, funny, loved to laugh and tell stories, and was a stickler for details. If you doubted her memory, you were most likely wrong. She was known to break into song without warning and knew even the most obscure lyrics. Despite this, Esther was self-deprecating and claimed to be a modest and non-adventurous person. Yet after Rob’s retirement from the Navy, they both continued to travel the world. By the time she was 70, she had set foot on all seven continents (including Antarctica).
Esther was a devoted, loving wife to Rob, mother to son Scott and daughter-in-law Susan, daughter Laura and son-in-law Shawn, and grandmother to Brian, Jessica, and Ariana. We and our extended family all miss her terribly.
A Celebration of Esther’s Life will be held at the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, VA 22307 on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 11:00am – please check for any updated COVID restrictions. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in her memory to the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church at www.mvuc.org, where she and Rob were active members, or to the Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinson.org 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131.