Dr. James F. Dickson Jr.

Dr. James F. Dickson Jr.

  • Funeral Date: 3/17/17
  • Funeral Time: 11 AM
  • Date of Birth: 7/18/37
  • Date of Death: 3/09/17
  • Funeral Location: Northfield United Methodist Church

Dr. James F. Dickson Jr., age 79, of Northfield, passed away Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Three Links Care Center. James was born July 18, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of James Sr. and Dorothy (Ruckdeschel) Dickson. He was raised in Fanwood, New Jersey, and graduated from the Pingry School in 1956. He then attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. James continued his education at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, receiving his Master of Arts degree. James received his Ph. D. in 1970 from the University of Maryland. He married Hollida Wakefield in 1963. The couple later divorced.

James was a psychology professor at St. Olaf College, retiring as Professor Emeritus of Psychology in 2005. During his 40 plus years at St. Olaf, he took sabbatical leaves at University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Texas, Austin; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Memorial University in Newfoundland. He married Mary Scanlon on April 22, 1978, at Skinner Memorial Chapel in Northfield. The couple continued making their home in Northfield.

James loved all types of music especially opera. He was very proud of his Scottish heritage. He and Mary enjoyed travel especially by train. They traveled throughout the United States as well as to Mexico City (by car), Spain, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. He was a member of the United Methodist Church, and spent many years serving as treasurer. He was on the board of directors of Cannon Valley Girl Scout Council. James was always very family oriented. His love of people was evident through his last years with many employees and residents while at Three Links Care Center.

He is survived by his wife Mary of Northfield, three daughters, Jean Dickson of Bettendorf, Iowa, Kathryn (Adam) Wolkenhauer of Plymouth, Minnesota, Laura Dickson of Northfield, five grandchildren Claire and James Feeney, Carter, Leah and Eli Wolkenhauer and a son-in-law Timothy Feeney. He was preceded in death by a son, James Dickson (1982) and his parents.

Funeral services for James will be Friday, March 17, 2017, beginning at 11 AM at Northfield United Methodist Church with Reverend Rachel McIver Morey and Pastor Clark Cary officiating. Visitation will be Thursday, March 16, 2017, from 4 PM to 7 PM at Bierman Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service in the church. Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery in Northfield. Memorials are preferred to the Northfield United Methodist Church, Three Links Care Center Life Enrichment Activities, or to the donor’s choice. Arrangements with Bierman Funeral Home. biermanfuneralhome.com


  1. Mary, I am so very sorry for your loss. I have no words to convey the solace you most certainly must be seeking. I will share though that I believe James is on a voyage. We wave goodbye from the shore until his ship can no longer be seen. Yet, we can be assured he will arrive at his destination where others he has known will be waving hello:-) Each of us will one day make that voyage. When we do, we should look forward to James waving on the shore as we approach. My prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Mark Scott

    Blessing and peace to you and your family Jean. You are in my thoughts and prayers.