George H. Dikman, a retired real estate and insurance executive and a pioneer in Seminole's development, has died at age 77.
Mr. Dikman died Thursday (June 29, 1995) at Palms of Pasadena Hospital. The cause was a brain tumor, said his wife, Beverly. He was hospitalized about three weeks ago after fainting while shopping, she said.
From 1946 until the early '80s, he owned and operated the George H. Dikman Agency. He played a significant role in community and religious organizations, including the Police Athletic League and the Jewish Community Center of Pinellas County, which he helped found.
He ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 1953, asking voters in his campaign literature to "Let George Do It." He lost to J. Gerald Murphy, a lawyer.
In the mid-1960s Mr. Dikman built the earliest subdivisions in Seminole, Lake Pearl Estates and Esquire Estates, said his daughter, Bonnie O'Connell. He also moved his agency to a strip shopping center that he built on Park Boulevard in Seminole.
In those days, Seminole had cow pastures, and few thought about what the future would bring.
But Mr. Dikman was different, O'Connell said.
"He had uncanny foresight about developing real estate in Florida," she said. "He always knew what area in which to buy real estate," though sometimes he was ahead of his time.
His biggest mistake?
"He always said he wouldn't develop on the Gulf beaches because you drive to work facing the sun and go home facing the sun," O'Connell said.
George Henry Dikman was born in New York City and attended public schools in Wood Haven and Jamaica, N.Y., and Delehanty Institute in Manhattan. He also studied at St. John's College of Law.
During World War II he worked for the Navy in New York. He became acquainted with this area on his honeymoon after his marriage in 1940 to Ruth Hymes. It ended in divorce. When the war ended, he moved his family here.
After working briefly at Rutland's Men's Store, he started a real estate and insurance partnership with Clinton Emmons and acquired the business at 178 Central Ave. when Emmons died two years later.
In 1958 he moved the business to 4265 Central Ave. and doubled its size in 1966 before opening the new office in Seminole.
Mr. Dikman was a board member of Congregation B'nai Israel and a 34-year member of B'nai B'rith. He also belonged to the Odd Fellows, Moose Lodge and Elks. He was a Mason.
His professional organizations included the Greater St. Petersburg Association of Insurance Agents, Florida Association of Insurance Agents and St. Petersburg Board of Realtors.
He was a volunteer in the Senior Corps of Retired Executives. In his youth he was an Eagle Scout.
In addition to his wife of about 34 years, Beverly, survivors include two sons, Robert, Tampa, and Jeffrey, Tallahassee; two daughters, Bonnie O'Connell, St. Petersburg, and Ellen Leber, Seminole; two brothers, David, Tamarac, and Leo, Jamaica; and eight grandchildren.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Beth David Chapel, 6366 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Burial will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Park, Largo.
The family suggested memorial contributions to PARC, 3100 75th St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; Menorah Manor, 255 59th St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710, or the Jewish Community Center of Pinellas County, 5001 Duhme Road, St. Petersburg, FL 33708.
_ Some information in this obituary came from stories in the Times.