Robert Towne Dickson died peacefully at his Spring Street home in St. Helena on March 15 due to cancer and complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was born in San Francisco on May 21, 1948 to Barbara Towne Dickson and Robert Dollar Dickson. He was raised and attended schools in Marin and Monterey Counties, and helped his father and uncle farm at Black Point in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Rob served in the United States Navy from 1967 to 1969, and was on the flight deck crew of the attack carrier Bonhomme Richard off VietNam.
In 1972 Rob moved to Napa County and began to manage the Glendale Ranch, east of St. Helena, on behalf of his stepfather. He worked in the mid-1970s with Laurie Wood to establish its vineyards, which he farmed for 35 years with the assistance of his friend Cio Perez. From 1983 until his death, he managed a company in Texas established by his stepfather, active in oil and gas production, ranching, and property development.
Both of Rob’s parents were pilots in World War II, and he enjoyed both fixed wing and particularly helicopter flying until being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1999.
Rob was a gracious, humble, and quiet individual with a sly sense of humor. He was adept at all things mechanical and was a talented and devoted gardener. A beautifully restored 1965 red Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Spider was a prized possession. Rob traveled widely with his family and friends, and enjoyed entertaining at Glendale Ranch and in Carmel.
Robert Douglas Dickson, who was born in 1983 and died in 2012, was Rob’s only child. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Julie Diane Emerson Dickson, by his granddaughter Sarah Lynn Read in FL, by many Marin County cousins and numerous nephews and nieces and their families. The family will conduct a private memorial service.