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Longtime city attorney, mayor dies
June 25, 2008, 12:00 AM Staff report


Belmont fixture Kenneth M. Dickerson died Thursday afternoon from pneumonia.

He was 82.

Dickerson served as Belmont’s city attorney for 31 years and on the City Council for five years — three of which were as mayor. He died with his family by his side June 19 at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City.

Dickerson’s life and career took him from a quaint upbringing in Hawaii to the quiet suburbs of Belmont.

As a young boy, he and his mother made a living by selling flower leis in Honolulu. In 1944, he joined the merchant marines and took off to San Francisco. From there, he joined the Navy and served on an auxiliary minesweeper in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he was drafted onto the University of Hawaii football team and joined ROTC. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from UH he served as an officer in the Korean War and trained troops in Hawaii.

Dickerson was later accepted to Northwestern Law School where he attended for a short time before making the decision to attend Stanford Law School.

He graduated from Stanford in 1956 and passed his bar exam shortly after.

In September 1957, Dickerson joined a growing law practice with Mike Aaronson and Melvin Cohn in San Carlos. Today the firm is known as Aaronson, Dickerson, Cohn and Lanzone and represents a number of municipalities in San Mateo County.

In addition to being a partner at his law firm, Dickerson also served as legal counsel for the San Mateo County Harbor District for nine years, a councilman for the city of Belmont for three years and the mayor of Belmont for two years. Mr. Dickerson was well known in his career as the city attorney of Belmont for 31 years and Foster City for 22 years.

Both cities are now represented by attorneys from the same law firm.

He was known for his efforts in the 1960s to encourage and advocate for the building industry and commercial enterprises in the city of Belmont.

Dickerson was a past president of the Lions Club of Belmont and of the Belmont-San Carlos Optimist Club. He was also a former member of the Belmont Rotary Club. Dickerson was a longtime member of the California Golf Club and enjoyed playing golf in his spare time.

Dickerson is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jan; daughters Manuela Sugars, Cristy Middleton and Lori Mayer; and his six grandchildren, Sarah and Emily Sugars, Jenny and Jacqueline Mayer and Eric and Kevin Middleton.  

Services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 28 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in San Carlos (1106 Alameda de las Pulgas). In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to The Salvation Army, Attn: Development Department, 832 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94107-1123.


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