Mocs National Champ George Dickinson Passes Away

1966 Tennis National Champion

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

"George was a great sport, loved the game of tennis and he would fight you to the wire every time you played. Above all, you knew every call he made was the right call and you probably got few others in your favor."

-- Forrest Simmons,  former Chattanooga City Closed Singles Champion  

 

Known for his speed on the court, a solid forehand and impeccable character, former U. of Chattanooga national tennis champion George Dickinson passed away Tuesday in Atlanta.

Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Dickinson was a native of Lookout Mountain and was UC's first individual national champion in any sport. He claimed the NCAA small college singles title at the 1966 tournament held at the U. of the South.

The funeral is Monday Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta.

A graduate of Chattanooga City High School ('61) and U. of Chattanooga ('66), he also attended Ga. Tech for two years.

"Back in the early 1960s, there were not many tennis college scholarships available so George was a walk-on for the Ga. Tech tennis team in the fall of 1961," said his younger brother Tommy Dickinson.

"To show you the impact he had on people and the way he carried himself from day to day, Tech's legendary football coach Bobby Dodd awarded George a football scholarship after his freshman year since there not a lot of tennis scholarship money available." 

Playing in the tennis boom of the 1950s and 1960s, he played with and against other top local tennis junior players, including Chris Brown, Morrow Chamberlain, Bill Brown and John Killebrew.

Winning championships as a junior and senior player over a four decade span, Dickinson was a member of the Greater Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Sports Halls of Fame.

He also helped lead City High School to the first state wrestling team championship in 1961.

Run Around That Backhand: "No doubt he was the fastest player I ever played against, but he also had a terrible backhand," said former doubles partner Forrest Simmons with a laugh. "If you hit a shot wide to his backhand he would go to great lengths to run around his backhand, even to the extent of hitting a forehand from the adjacent court."

True Friendships: "We can all say we have our share of friends, but for George he had many true friendships, people he could count on no matter what and vice versa," said brother Tommy.

George Will Be Missed: "I have always been proud to call George my friend. He was all heart and honesty in everything he did. He will be sorely missed," said Cindy Kemp Battle, former Southern junior tennis champion who was inducted into the Lookout Mountain Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 with Dickinson.

 contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

 

 

 

 


Man Found With Home-Made Explosive Device Near Businesses In Hixson

A man was found with a home-made explosive device outside businesses in Hixson late Tuesday night.   A business was evacuated and portions of Highway 153 and Hamill Road were cordoned off while the device was taken away.   Joshua Redden, 34, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession ... (click for more)

Man Shot In Home Invasion Early Wednesday Morning

A man was shot in a home invasion early Wednesday morning.   Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot on the 6000 block of Arlena Circle at 4:40 a.m. Upon arrival, police located the victim, Edward Greatheart, 41,  who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Mr. Greatheart was treated on the scene and transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

Life For Our Ancestors In 1890

May 26-27 is the 1890’s Day Jamboree in Ringgold. I encourage any reader to attend and enjoy that wonderful community. I love having grown up in Northwest Georgia and celebrating our veterans, including both of my grandfathers who served in WWII.  But I also want to describe how the 1890’s were for my ancestors, living here in a singularly turbulent time. Based on, among ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Governor Haslam, Please!

AN OPEN LETTER TO GOV. BILL HASLAM … Greetings to you, my friend. You know with one more year on the course we have sailed during your two terms as the leader of our state you will go down as one of the greatest governors we have ever had. It stands to reason you eye Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat, but whatever you do it will be hard to replicate your service to Tennessee and ... (click for more)