Members of Chicago Newspaper Guild Local 34071:
It is with great sadness that I report the death of former activist of the Chicago News Guild and member of the Guild’s Executive Board, Albert Dickens of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Albert, who died May 10, 2020, at age 82, began his tenure with the SunTimes in 1978, joining the paper after the Chicago Daily News folded. Between the two papers, he amassed more than 49 years of service. He officially retired in September 2019 because of the effects of a stroke suffered in March 2019.
A staple in the newsroom, Albert served as the editorial assistant for the Sports Department but was known throughout the company. A dapper dresser with a friendly personality, Albert lit up the newsroom both with his appearance and his presence. But it was his vast wealth of knowledge and meticulous attention to his work that were most impressive. Efficient and professional, he handled everything from filling out expense forms to making travel arrangements for reporters to solving payroll crises. He was the glue that held the department together.
He didn’t stop there, however. Albert was revered by all whose path he crossed. Helpful and friendly, he was a beacon of light in a newsroom in which the day-to-day grind sometimes was bleak. Versed on seemingly every subject and fluent in more than five languages, Albert could hold a conversation with everyone from the printers to the executives of the paper. He even conversed in Polish with the maintenance staff — not bad for a guy from a small town in Iowa.
A true renaissance man, Albert loved opera, theater, literature and classical music. He also dabbled in art. Did I say dabbled? He was an accomplished artist who loved working in watercolors and enjoyed sketching. Albert will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Services were held May 14, 2020.