On August 20, 2010, The Lord called Frances Violena Wheeler Dickerson better known as Violena home to eternal rest. She departed this life as she lived it, surrounded by the love and support of family and friends.Born July 26, 1931, Violena was the second child of the late William and Anna Wheeler. She was educated in the Charles County Public School System. Violena met the late Earl Benedict Dickerson, Sr. and they were united in Holy Matrimony. Through this loving union 9 children were born.Violena loved baking homemade lemon meringue pies, stuffed hams, bingo, watching sports and listening to videos. Violena worked and retired from the St. Mary’s County Board of Education.
Violena was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother.She leaves to cherish her memory, her devoted children, Earl Dickerson, Jr. (Sheila), Shirley Thomas, William Dickerson(Sadie), Alfred Estep(Francis), Marjorie Swann(Darryl), Tracy Dickerson, Lowell Dickerson, Virgil Dickerson(Jan), Troy Dickerson(Bridgette); a sister, Kathleen Holly;20 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 from 9 am until Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 am at Holy Angels Catholic Church 21340 Colton Point Road Avenue, Md 20609. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Bushwood, MD.
My Dearest Frances,
George and Georgia Dickerson forever altered my life when they brought you, Frances Cecelia Dickerson, into the world on October 26th, 1933. As a waterman in Abell, Maryland, your daddy harvested the bounty of the Patuxent, Potomac, and Wicomico Rivers to raise a growing family, of which you were the first born. Good fortune brought fourteen other siblings: Thelma, Teeny, Martha, Wilbert, Barbette, Joe, and the late Betty Ann, John, Buck, Leroy, Allen, Kenny, Gibby, and Tyrone.
I’ll never forget that day in 1948 when I saw you for the first time. We were on the school bus heading to Banneker High School. I knew then and there, upper classman or not, that you were going to be MY WOMAN. But you sure made me wait a long time for that honor. In 1952, you matriculated into Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland. I waited for you. Later, you worked for Dr. Lowden in Bethesda, Maryland. I waited for you. But this time was different. You knew I was sweet on you, and you charmed me into driving you between the doctor’s residence and Abell. (Folks often wonder where I got my start driving a taxi cab.) Little did you know that I was working my magic (or rather, mojo) on you. During one of those rides home, I charmed YOU into our first date in 1953. Remember where we went? I certainly do. It was the Demolition Derby in Lexington Park. You were beautiful–especially your lovely hair. That is, until the dust powdered your curls. If I’m not mistaken, that was our last trip to the derby, but thankfully not our last date together.
I proudly met you at the altar in 1954, and we settled into married bliss in Washington, District of Columbia. You didn’t know this, but during our early years together, I partook of the legendary Southern Maryland oysters–the ones your daddy used 15 times and I used on five occasions. Gregory Antonio, Eric Llewellyn, Denise Renee, Sharon Patrice, and Kimberly Chanteuse were borne over a period of 14 years. I stayed away from those oysters after that…
We bought our first house on Peabody Street in 1961. Suburbia became our next destination when we moved to 20th Place in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland. Remember how the kids would slink down in the seats when we drove the Pontiac Safari station wagon? That’s about the time we turned in our “tried and true” station wagon for a “green” Pontiac Bonneville. I should have kept that station wagon for when they started driving; we would never have had to worry about them leaving the house.
After the children left the nest and you retired from the Department of Health and Human Services, we travelled to Aruba, Canada, and cruised to Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean. We bought our dream home on South Alleva Court in Accokeek, Maryland in 1993. Who can forget watching those raucous Redskins games in the family room on Sundays? Or better yet, the Sunday dinners you prepared with stuffed ham, crab cakes, fried oysters (which I didn’t touch!), and your signature rolls?
I often reflect on our time together. One thing you should always know: you brought happiness to all who knew you. The football games, basketball games, soccer games, special lunches, school plays, Girl Scouts, school graduations, parties, recitals, dinners, weddings, anniversary celebrations, and other events you attended were special, because YOU were there.
On November 20th, 2010, we celebrated 56 years of Holy Matrimony. On December 25th, we celebrated a joyous Christmas with the family. On January 1st, 2011, we toasted the New Year. And on January 14th, we said, “’Til we meet again.”
I want to thank you for our many wonderful years together and for five wonderful children. Just know that we all love you very much. Our daughters and sons-in-law–Sylvina (Greg), Tonia (Eric), Tony (Sharon), and Tony (Kim); our grandchildren–Aaron, Maurice, Tony, Marcus, Morgan, Rachel, Asia, Trenton, Trevor, Brian, and Tristan; and our great grandchildren– Brandon, Zoie, Trevor, and Austin–share that same love and admiration for you.
Enjoy your time with family and friends in Heaven. I’ll catch up to you eventually–just as soon as I complete my penance for messing up your hair during that ’53 Demolition Derby.
P.S. You will also be missed by your aunt, Rita Frederick; your uncles, Joe and Aloysius (Shine) Dickerson; and your brothers and sisters-in-law, John X. (Sallie), John F. (Ann), Hezekiah, Veronica, James (Ann), and Charles Briscoe; Sonny (Thelma) Thompson; Ernest (Martha) Carter; Joyce (Teeny) Dickerson; and Essie (Joe) Green. I know my late sister, Margaret Hebb (your bridesmaid), welcomed you with open arms when you arrived Home.