Illinois State Softball Mourns Passing of Bill Dickson; Former Stew-Stras Superintendent


Published on October 20 2017 9:01 am
Last Updated on October 20 2017 9:01 am
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois State Athletics family mourns the passing of longtime volunteer assistant softball coach Bill Dickson, a hall of fame inductee who touched the lives of many throughout the softball community. Dickson was 85.

Dickson is remembered by many in this area for his years as Superintendent of the Stewardson-Strasburg School District.

“This is a very sad time for our softball family and everyone who knew Bill Dickson,” head coach Melinda Fischer said. “A true gentleman, Bill was an example of life lessons, professionally and in softball as well. His knowledge expanded over a half century and his love for the sport of fast pitch softball was apparent each and every day he spent with our program. His commitment to volunteer as an assistant coach for 20 years is unheard of in current times. He was an invaluable member of our coaching staff and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sonia and her extended family.”

An educator, softball player and coach for over 50 years, Dickson brought a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for teaching the game of softball to collegiate players. Working primarily with ISU's corner infielders, Dickson's pupils, third baseman Kara Nelson earned All-America status in 2007 and 2010, and Abby Olson garnered All-America accolades in 2010.

Dickson was a 1950 Lovington High School graduate. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State in 1954 and his master’s in 1957. He also earned an Ed.S. from the University of Illinois in 1962. He served in the United States Army from 1954-56. Dickson started his softball career when he was an undergraduate student at Illinois State. He played for the State Farm Chiefs from 1953-54.

A member of the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) Hall of Fame, Dickson was a teacher for eight years and superintendent of schools for 30, retiring in 1993. After moving back to the Bloomington-Normal area in the late 1990s, he sought out Fischer and Illinois State softball, and gave his assistance to the program for nearly 20 years.

William E. Dickson passed away of natural causes on Oct. 19, 2017 at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center. He was born on May 15, 1932 in Decatur, Illinois, to Chester and Vivian Dickson, who are deceased. He married Sonia C. Wells, who survives. Other survivors include one sister, June Walden of Barrington, Illinois. A celebration of life is being planned by the Redbird Softball program for a later date.