Col. J. Tom Dickens, III

May 27, 1943 ~ June 2, 2022 (age 79)

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Lt. Col. (ret.) J Tom Dickens III, “Tommy”, went home to be with the Lord after a long battle with colon cancer. He was born on May 27, 1943 in Athens, GA and passed away at his home in Rabun County surrounded by family on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at the age of 79.


J Tom graduated with honors from Winder-Barrow High School in 1961 and continued his education with a full academic and athletic scholarship to Georgia Tech. While attending, he was a member of ROTC and a member of Chi Epsilon honor fraternity for civil engineering. He graduated with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering. 


J Tom was commissioned into the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation. He was awarded a Bronze Star medal for meritorious achievement while serving in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. After his tour of duty in Vietnam, he returned home to his wife, Nancy Ouzts Dickens, deceased, and young daughter, Lara Joanne. The family was completed in 1970 with the birth of his son, J Tom Dickens IV. 


In his career as a Certified Professional Engineer in Civil Engineering, he worked in the private sector for several years before returning to civil service for the US Army - serving at several military locations across the southeast. After returning from Vietnam, he served in the US Army Reserves, retiring in May 2003 as a Lieutenant Colonel. 


J Tom and his loving wife Susan retired to Rabun County, where they enjoyed time with dear friends and family. He became active with volunteer work, applying his talents again with the Home Improvement Ministry (HIM) in Rabun County.  He also served on the boards of the FAITH organization and The First United Methodist Church of Clayton. 


J Tom was a natural born piddler as he truly enjoyed woodworking, gardening, repairing, building and fixing a wide array of items for his friends and family. 


He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Nancy Ouzts Dickens; mother, Miriam Jackson Burns, and father, J Tom Dickens, Jr. 


He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Susan Sharpe Dickens; daughter, Lara Dickens Williams; son, J Tom Dickens IV (Donna); brother, Winburn Jackson Dickens (Elaine); half brother, Marty Hurt (Margaret); stepdaughters, Stephanie Brown (Mike) and Courtnie McGinty (Patrick); grandchildren, Preston Brown, Keighly Brown, Mason McGinty, Jessie Claire McGinty, Erin Williams; many cousins, a niece and nephew. He will be missed by his beloved pets, Scooter Luke and Huck Henry.


At J Tom’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to a charity he cherished. The Friends U Need Club, Inc., “The FUN Club”, 501c3 nonprofit; a day program for special needs adults. 922 Gainesville Hwy, Ste 108, Buford, GA 30518.


Anyone who knew J Tom, “Tommy”, was touched by his kindness, humor, and mild temperament. He was truly a peacemaker, and was a real source of positivity. He will be missed by all who knew him. 

The family will hold a Memorial Service on Thursday June 9, 2022 at the Clayton United Methodist Church at 2:00 pm with Rev. Zack Martin and Rev. Jeremy Noffsinger officiating, with military honors to follow.

Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at


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Memorial Service
June 9, 2022

2:00 PM
Clayton First United Methodist Church
71 Main Street
Clayton, GA 30525

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