by Adam Fritzsche
The Resident recently met with Dr. Frank Dickson, a World War II veteran and Professor of Geology (PhD) who now lives at The Elms in Westerly. But this 95 year old spritely intellect is still working!
His resume is extensive. The quick version goes like this: Chairman, Dept. Geology, University of California, Riverside (1954-1969), Institute of Geophysics, UCLA; Chairman, Dept. of Geology, Stanford University (1969-1979); Dept. Of Geological Sciences, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Adjunct Professor (1986-1994).
Even though he retired in 1994 as a Research Professor from the University of Nevada, Frank continues to contribute to global geological discussions.
I visited Frank at his home where he has lived for the past two years having moved from California to be closer to his daughter. Arriving at his apartment, I found him tapping away at his computer, knee-deep in research papers – the epitome of a scientist in the midst of his lifelong work. His passion for all things ‘geology’ is apparent.
We spent over an hour talking about family, his work and his passions.
Importantly, Frank also served in the Army Corps for four years, spending most of that time in China and Japan. He discussed in-depth China’s role in World War II and how it never received the attention it deserved. “China’s resistance to Japan is one of the great untold stories of World War II. Though China was the first Allied power to fight the Axis, it has received far less credit for its role in the Pacific theater than the United States, Britain or even the Soviet Union, which only joined the war in Asia in August 1945.”
After World War II ended, he and his wife Liz (of 65 years), who passed away shortly before coming to Rhode Island, raised six children on the West Coast. Three are still alive.
Except for his hearing, Frank is remarkably healthy and energetic, not to mention interesting! So glad to have Frank on the