Bruce L. Dickinson, 58, of Sinking Spring passed away on Sunday September 6, 2020 at his residence surrounded by his family. Born in Reading, he was the son of the late Leon and Janet (Behrle) Dickinson. His is survived by his loving wife Leeanne J. Dickinson.
Along with his wife, Mr. Dickinson is also survived by his son Quinn A. Dickinson of Sinking Spring, his brother, Brian Dickinson of Sinking Spring and his sister, Beth Dickinson of Annville. Bruce retired as a Chief Quarter Master for the US Coast Guard in 2003, was a wheelchair van driver for Western Berks Ambulance until 2019 ,and served as Fire Police Lieutenant for the Wyomissing Fire Department as well as serving with Western Berks Fire Department and Township of Spring Fire Rescue over the past 20 years.
His life was all about serving his community. Even as a teenager, he enjoyed helping others. He was a lifeguard for his local pool. In addition to swimming, he loved playing football in high school. After graduation, he took a year to assist his family with the operation of their Blue Rocks Campground in Lenhartsville. He then joined the Coast Guard. This was his true love. He served on many ships in Virginia, Long Beach, California, Puerto Rico, San Diego, and New Jersey. He was a respected and accomplished quartermaster. During this time, he assisted with many heroic missions. In 1996, he received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for his leadership during recovery operations for TWA flight 800 that crashed off Long Island, NY. He coordinated the efforts of over 100 federal, state, and civilian boats and aircraft in the search. He also supervised the logistical support and arrangements for transporting the victims to shore.
He was also awarded the high honor of Sailor of the Quarter in 1997 for his work at Sandy Hook, NJ. In 1999, he became an E-7 Chief Quartermaster and served at the Coast Guard Operations Center in New York City, just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center/Twin Towers. On the horrendous morning of September 11, 2001, Bruce left his building to immediately assist after the first plane crashed into the first tower. He was only a block away from the first tower when it began to collapse. He led people to safety and to the marina to board ferries out of the area.
After retirement, he taught gun safety and shooting skills. Every Wednesday afternoon, he could be seen helping people safely cross the street at the West Lawn United Methodist Church fundraising dinners. He could also be seen throughout the community directing traffic after traffic accidents or fires as a fire police officer.
For fun, Bruce loved to play Texas Hold Em , winning many tournaments locally and in Atlantic City. He won his last restaurant tournament only 3 weeks before passing away! Bruce was also a connoisseur of cigars and IPAs. A favorite pastime was sitting around the fire pit smoking cigars and enjoying an IPA and conversation with dear friends. Attending microbrewery festivals, Pints for Pups, and outdoor festivals with friends were also favorite things to do. He was an accomplished woodworker and model train enthusiast. He and his son created a large model train city in their family’s basement. In 2016, Bruce and his son Quinn purchased and renovated a 1982 Hahn fire truck. It is their pride and joy!! They took it to parades and events frequently and even escorted Wilson students to the prom in it!
Bruce was an animal lover and rescued many elderly dogs in need of homes with his wife. Rocky, Dexter, Belle, Louie, Tucker, and Gracie were blessed to have him as their caring owner. Emily, the newest addition, adopted on Veteran’s Day, made Bruce smile the last 10 months of his life. She continues to bring joy to her family and everyone she meets.
Bruce fought his glioblastoma brain cancer with all his might. Through 4 brain tumor removal surgeries, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and Avastin therapy, his positive attitude and sense of humor never waned. He was a favorite of all his doctors at University of Penn hospital in Philadelphia. He was a true warrior and all- American hero.
Above all, Bruce was a devoted husband, father and son. He will be missed dearly by all who knew him and his very kind and giving heart.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held in Bean Funeral Homes and Crematory, 3825 Penn Avenue Sinking Spring, Tuesday September 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Amy S. Landis, certified celebrant will officiate. The family will receive relatives and friends in Bean Funeral Home from 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bruce’s memory to the Animal Rescue League of Berks Co. 58 Kennel Rd. Birdsboro, PA 19508.
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