Delbert Roger Dickson

Date of Birth

December 16, 1922

Date of Death

June 1, 2008

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Delbert Roger Dickson, M.D., originally from The Dalles, Oregon died June 1, 2008 at his Underwood, Washington residence with family by his side. He was 85 years of age and passed away after a long battle with systemic amyloidosis.

A celebration of his life was held on Sunday, June 8, 2008 in Underwood, Washington. A tribute to Dr. Dickson will be held August 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm at the Santa Barbara Club in Santa Barbara, California. Graveside rites will be held privately at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. Please call 805-696-6400 for more information.

Del, Dr. D, Boss, the Good Doc, or DRD as he was affectionately known to many, was born to George Delbert and Montine (Young) Dickson on December 16, 1922 in Long Beach, California. They returned to the family’s Oregon homestead when he was a young child. His youth was spent living on Eight Mil Creek, in Dufur, in Snowden, and eventually in The Dalles, Oregon. He graduated from The Dalles High School in 1940 with a very special group of classmates who have remained friends through the years.

Del continued his education and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene, and as anyone would tell you, he was a lifelong Ducks fan. He attended medical school at the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland (now OHSU) with the class of 1946.

After earning his MD degree, Del proudly served his country as a lieutenant in the United States Navy Medical Corps where he completed a two-year internship at Aeia Heights Hospital at Pearl Harbor. He did his first year residency at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, and then received orders to report to the USS General William Mitchell. He completed his military service in 1950.

On July 1, 1950 Del began his second year residency in Pathology at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California and he fell in love with the area. His final year of residency was spent at Sawtelle Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, California. He then returned to Santa Barbara and Cottage Hospital for the rest of his (practicing) life.

Dr. Dickson was the preeminent pathologist in Santa Barbara for many years. He was Medical Director of the Laboratory at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for 45 years and also at the Santa Barbara County General Hospital until its closure.

One of Del’s goals was to ensure quality outpatient laboratory service for Santa Barbara. In this endeavor, he joined with Dr. John P. Blanchard in founding Blanchard-Dickson Laboratory (B-D Lab), which operated in Santa Barbara for many years. He was later one of the founding partners of Medical Group Pathology Laboratory, which is still in existence today.

In addition to his responsibility as Laboratory Medical Director, Del served on numerous governing and ad hoc committees of the Cottage Hospital Medical Staff. He was instrumental in establishing the Cottage Hospital Laboratory as the best in the city and one of the outstanding laboratories in Southern California. He took great pride in the expertise of the laboratory staff and in the quality of the lab

Dr. Dickson was also instrumental in establishing the Cottage Hospital School of Medical Technology for the training of Clinical Laboratory Scientists, one of the few schools affiliated with a community hospital. The graduates of this school have been, and continue to be, vital in staffing of our community laboratories. Dr. Dickson was proud of the graduates of the program, following their careers and maintaining a mentoring relationship.

The Santa Barbara medical community is fortunate to have had the guidance of a physician with exceptional foresight, dedication to quality and love of his profession. His influence on the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine will remain for many years.

Del met Phyllis Webster on a ski vacation at Mt. Hood while he was attending medical school. They married in 1948 and were blessed with four wonderful children – Pamela, Deborah, Daniel and Brian. Phyllis and Delbert later divorced.

Del married his second wife, Sally Innes, and spent several memorable years with her and her children, Carin and Greg Seim. Del and Sally later divorced.

He met his future wife, Susan Wilson, in Santa Barbara where they were lucky to have many happy years together. Upon his retirement in 1998, Del and Susie moved to the Northwest and called Underwood, Washington home. They enjoyed spending their time gardening and relaxing in the beauty of the Columbia Gorge with the majesty of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams in the scenic backdrop. They were blessed five years ago with a beautiful daughter, Keolani Rose.

Delbert’s legacy will continue to live on through the lives of his wife, Susie Dickson, and their daughter, Keolani Rose, at their home in Underwood, Washington and his adult children and their spouses: Pamela and Tom Howard of San Diego, California; Deborah and Gene Archambault of Santa Barbara, California; Daniel and Karen Dickson of Casper, California; Brian and Bettina Dickson of Napa, California; their mother, Phyllis Dickson of Casper, California; grandchildren, Whitney and Taylor Bell, Janell and Gwen Archambault, Kira and Tessa Dickson, Leo and Archie Dickson; as well as his second wife, Sally Dickson and her children, Carin and Greg Seim, and so many others whose lives he touched.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Kenneth G. Dickson (d. Feb 18, 1992) of Salem, Oregon.

Del Dickson was a very unique and special person. He was always the tallest, strongest, smartest and most informed person in any gathering. Everywhere he went, Del was the person that people sought out for advice. People came to Del for all kinds of information and they sought his opinion on a wide range of topics – from medicine to gardening. Del worked hard for everything that he had but he was extremely generous and willing to help others. He will be missed profoundly but that twinkle in his eye will live forever in our hearts and memories.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to The Mayo Clinic of Hematology, Amyloidosis Research and in care of Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, OR 97031. Friends can also sign the guest book for the family and leave tributes on their website at


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