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Joel Dickerson, Sr.
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Obituary for Joel Dickerson, Sr.

On July 23, 2018, Joel Dickerson Sr., affectionately known as "Joe Dick”, was summoned by God to his heavenly home. Joel was born on February 10, 1943, five minutes before his twin sister, Jolene. Joel was the third child of four children stemming from the holy matrimony of his parents the late Abraham and Lillie Dickerson. Joel’s parents were God fearing, and their family attended church regularly. Joel, along with his sister Jolene, and brothers Willie Melvin and Abraham Lessie were original members of today's Sunshine Band. Like most young boys during that era, Joel did hard work in the fields, pulling tobacco, picking cotton and grinding the fields.

Joel was educated within the Wayne County school district, later graduating from Norwayne High School in Fremont, North Carolina, where he was a star athlete in baseball and basketball and also had a reputation for being a great dancer, which all of the young ladies took notice of. During these High School days, Joel’s twin sister Jolene introduced him to Barbara Ann Cox, a lovely and smart young girl from Goldsboro, North Carolina. As Mom would tell us, if Joel entered the bus and another young man was sitting with her, Joel would first ask him to get up politely. If he refused, Joel would just knock him out the seat. Mom said this happened on more than one occasion. Following graduation, Barbra would relocate to Brooklyn, New York, and Joel would soon follow. On September 16, 1964 at 7:30 pm in the city of East Orange, New Jersey, Joel and his high school sweetheart Barbara Ann were united in holy matrimony. Joel told Barbara he wanted to have a basketball team. Out of this union, God blessed them with seven children, five boys and two girls. Joel had his basketball team, plus two cheerleaders, although one of the girls, Kim, played high school basketball herself. Joel and Barbara settled in Newark, New Jersey where they would raise their family along with two dogs. Joel continued to play basketball and baseball with his sons well into his late 40’s. He also played in various softball leagues. Mr. Dickerson was well known by the young men in the neighborhood.

In the early years, Joel worked at Orange Memorial Hospital. In addition, Joel worked at the Harrison Park Towers as a doorman and Security Guard. He also served as the shop steward during his tenure there, where he was employed for 25 years. After the Harrison Park Towers, he would start his final working assignment, at the NJIT Police Department as a security officer. During the Blizzard of 1996, Joel walked from Oakwood Place and Central Avenue, to Central and Norfolk Street in Newark. That was how serious he was about his job.

In July 2006, Joel rededicated his life to Christ, joining Faith Temple during a Tuesday Night Revival at Promise Land Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. After 21 years of service to NJIT, Joel retired in 2012 due to his first bout with cancer. Joel met cancer like every other challenge before, trusting God and still smiling.

Even after his diagnosis with cancer, he walked to church when well enough to attend. He enjoyed walking, as he walked everywhere, even refusing rides, just to walk. Joel loved people and being around people. He was a sports almanac, recalling many sporting events and accomplishments. He was a avid New York Giants and New York Yankees fan. Joel enjoyed watching Jeopardy, anything sports, and preaching when it was on television. Joel enjoyed eating pineapple cake, potato salad, chopped barbecue, coleslaw, pinto beans, and cornbread, all provided by his wife, Barbara. One of his favorite desserts was strawberry ice cream.

Our mom called him “Good Time Joe”, his friends called him “Joe Dick”, and the children simply called him Pop or Daddy. Now God has called his child home. He will be missed by many, known for his smile, generosity, and always dressing debonair. He was truly the life of the party. Aside from all that, Joel knew who God was, trusted him, and loved him.

Joel leaves to cherish his loving memory, his twin sister Joelene Armwood of Newark, NJ, sister-in-law Shirley Dickerson, of Morris Plains, NJ, Emma Coor of Queens, NY, Linda Cox Dubois, of Highland Falls, NY, Ernestine Cox, of Highland Falls, NY, Edna Cox, Sheryl Cox, and Helen Cox, of Goldsboro, NC, Brother-in-law Thurman Cox, of Germany, Durwood Cox, of Monroe, NY; Children Joel Jr. and Dinah, of Bolingbrook, IL, Kelvin N, of Harlem NY, Deacon Issac L., of Union, NJ, Barbara R, of East Orange, NJ, Kim of East Orange, NJ, Abraham and Tiffany, of Montclair, NJ; Grandchildren Joel Dickerson the third, of Bolingbrook, IL Marcellus Dickerson, of Bolingbrook, IL Kyra Dickerson, of Bolingbrook, IL, Alexis Dickerson, of Montclair, NJ, Isaiah Dickerson, of Union, NJ, Ellie Dickerson, of Union, NJ, Sachi Dickerson, of Union NJ, and Josiah Dickerson, of East Orange, NJ; Great Grandchildren Layla Dickerson and Julian Dickerson, of Bolingbrook IL; Dear friend and neighbor, Mrs. Valerie; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

Joel was preceded in death by his father, Abraham Dickerson, his mother Lillie Dickerson, wife, Barbara A Dickerson, son, Derrick L Dickerson, and two brothers, Willie Melvin Dickerson, and Abraham Lessie Dickerson.

Joel battled cancer three times, in a span of six and a half years. He maintained his smile throughout. He fought a good fight. Above all, Joel knew his life was in God’s hands. Joel no longer has to suffer, no more sickness and sorrow, he can rest in the everlasting arms of God. Daddy, take your place in the kingdom. We love you, we will always love you, and look forward to see you again.

-Love, your children.

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Previous Events





10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Faith Temple #1of Freewill Baptist Church

Corner of Main & Halstead
East Orange, NJ 07018

Funeral Service




11:00 AM
Faith Temple #1of Freewill Baptist Church

Corner of Main & Halstead
East Orange, NJ 07018

Cemetery Details


Rosedale Cemetery

408 Orange Road
Montclair, NJ 07042


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