Sebring - William G. Dykins, 94, formerly of Poland, passed away Saturday evening, October 27, 2018 at Crandall Medical Center surrounded by his family.
William, affectionately known as Dyke, was born February 26, 1924 in Youngstown, a son of Daniel and Ada Thomas Dykins. He was raised in Austintown and resided in Boardman for 20 years and eventually relocated to Poland.
A 1942 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, Dyke attended Ohio Wesleyan University. Later that same year he left college to enlist in the United States Army to serve in World War II. A proud United States Army veteran, Dyke served as a Combat Engineer and was the recipient of five Bronze Stars. Dyke was honorably discharged December 4, 1945 and returned to the Youngstown area. He attended Youngstown College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English degree in English in 1949 and later received his Masters of Science Degree in Education from Westminster College in 1953.
Dyke began his teaching career at Berlin Center where he taught grades seven through 12, coached and presided over numerous extracurricular activities. In 1952 he transferred to Boardman High School where he taught English and Drama. During his tenure, Dyke applied for and received a state grant to provide theatre to the outlying communities of Mahoning County. He was the brainstorm behind Show-Van, a "state of the art vehicle" (an old truck) and a traveling troupe of young aspiring student/actors who traveled the Mahoning Valley, bringing theatre throughout the communities. This was accomplished under the auspices of the Youngstown Playhouse where Dyke volunteered his time and directed many plays including "Macbeth."
After 39 years of teaching, Dyke retired in 1989 from Boardman as head of the English Department, director of Drama, senior English teacher and Ohio High School Speech League "Hall of Fame" Speech coach. Nancy Beeghly featured Dyke in her Paper Clips column of The Vindicator. He acquired the nickname "Dyke the Ripper" for his policy of tearing up any essay that had more than two spelling errors. Students who were featured in the article described Dyke as intense, tough, intelligent, a motivator for fostering critical thinking embodying the college professor model, and yet was fully aware of each and every student's talents and challenges. His demand for excellence won him widespread respect, and his students thanked him for his tough standards
Dyke was awarded numerous honors including the National Forensic League's Training Youth for Leadership Award, for his efforts resulting in his students earning 16,630 points in the pursuit of speech excellence. He received two "Honor a Teacher Initiatives" from the Harvard Graduate School of Education by two of his former students for his outstanding performance in education.
His voracious appetite for the English language and the arts was fulfilled with his love of Chautauqua Lake where he and his family visited often throughout the years and the numerous trips to New York City and Broadway. They also enjoyed traveling to New England, Florida, California and Alaska, as well as outside the United States to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Europe.
Dyke is survived by his wife, the former Jeanne Lyons whom he married August 15, 1953; and one son, William Jeffrey Dykins of Sebring.
In addition to his parents, Dyke was preceded in death by an infant son, David George Dykins; and his sister, Gwendolyn Dykins.
A Memorial service celebrating Dyke's life will be held Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at the Davis Becker Funeral Home with Rev. David Parry officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions to a favorite charity or radio station WYSU-FM in Dyke's name.
Akron Children's Hospital
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