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Fairfielders Gather to Honor Carl Dickman

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—The words “fitting tribute” rang out often Monday evening. Family and friends of Carl Dickman gathered in Fairfield to remember the late political leader. Fairfield chose to honor the dedicated politician and golf lover by naming the South Pine Creek Par 3 Golf Course after Dickman.

“He loved golf probably as much as he did politics,” said Kathleen Dickman, one of his two daughters. “I can remember him playing the game every Saturday from when I was a little girl. I think he’d enjoy having this named after him.”

Dickman held various elected offices in Fairfield for more than 30 years. He started on the Plan and Zoning Commission in 1967. But most of his political career was spent on the Board of Selectman , serving from 1977 to 1994. He then went to Hartford, representing Fairfield’s 132nd District in the state House of Representatives until his retirement in 2004. Dickman died in January at the age of 84.

At the ceremony, some of Dickman’s friends and colleagues shared their memories. James Walsh now fills the same role Dickman once did as the only Republican on a Board of Selectmen, which is controlled by Democrats. But his fondest memory is of his days on the Representative Town Meeting, for which Dickman would occasionally run seminars on proper parliamentary rule so that “the process was always done right, and done fair.”

Jack Slane, representing the Golf Commission, remembered Dickman as many other did--for his willingness to ignore party lines to help people.

“When I first came to town, I was running for the RTM in a district I wasn’t going to win,” Slane said. “I was a Democrat, he was a Republican, but Carl spent two hours introducing me to everybody at the polls.”

Dickman also served as president of Fairfield’s H. Smith Richardson Golf Course and of the New England Public Golf Association. Because of his love of the game, Board of Finance Chair Thomas Flynn suggested that Fairfield use the then-unnamed course to honor Dickman. He said Monday, “Naming a par 3 golf course that children could use to learn the game that he loved so much I think is a fitting tribute.”

Did you know Carl Dickman? Share your memories in the comments below.

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