Betty Lou Dickey, 85, of Mount Dora, Fla., formerly of Ashland, died Wednesday, April 5, 2017, after a lengthy illness.
She was born Dec. 14, 1931, in Lovely, the daughter of Montraville and Lillian Davis Preston.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gilbert J. Dickey; one brother, Larry D. Preston; and three half-brothers, Richard, George and Paris Preston.
Mrs. Dickey was a retired real estate broker and accountant. She was the first woman to be certified as a public accountant in West Virginia and operated her own accounting business in Williamstown, W.Va., in the 1970's and 1980's. She relocated in 1985 to Florida, where she worked as a broker with Jordan Realty in Satellite Beach through the 1990s.
Mrs. Dickey enlisted in the Women's Army Corps in 1949 and served as a supply clerk in the 9400th Technical Service Unit, Signal Corps, Women's Army Corps Detachment at Fort Monmouth, N.J., until her honorable discharge in 1950.
Mrs. Dickey graduated from Ashland High School in in 1949. She earned a bachelor's degree from Marietta College, where she achieved Phi Beta Kappa status for academic excellence. She earned a master's degree in business administration from Ohio University in Athens.
She enjoyed painting, sketching and ocean cruising. She was obsessed with elephants and built a spectacular collection of more than 2,200 figurines over her lifetime.
In her later years, Mrs. Dickey battled and beat breast cancer and lung cancer. Her final challenge was a blood disorder that progressed to acute leukemia.
She is survived by her daughter, Beth Dickey; her son and daughter-in-law, Monte C. Dickey and Jamie Anderson Dickey; two grandchildren; and her beloved Yorkie, Jamie.
A celebration of life will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at Rose Hill Burial Park Chapel in Ashland.
In lieu of flowers, Betty's final request was that donations be made to cancer research so that others might not suffer in the future.
Published on April 15, 2017