Martin B. Dickinson, Jr.

Martin Brownlow Dickinson, Jr. died January 5, 2020 at his home in Estes Park, CO in the company of his family. He was born April 13, 1938 in Kansas City, MO, the son of Martin B. Dickinson, Sr., and Ruth Van Riper Dickinson.

Martin spent his childhood in Kansas City, MO and later earned degrees from the University of Kansas (KU), Stanford University and the University of Michigan. After three years of law practice in Colorado with the firm of Holme, Roberts, and Owen, he joined the faculty of KU Law. He served on the law faculty for 48 years, becoming the longest-serving faculty member in KU Law’s history.

At the age of 33, Martin was named Dean of KU Law, a position he held for nine years. An early 1980s study ranked KU Law fourth in the nation for scholarly productivity, following only Chicago, Stanford, and Harvard.

After his tenure as the Dean of KU Law, Martin returned to teaching and writing, as well as private law practice at the firm of Barber Emerson. He received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (1988), the KU Law School’s Immel Award for Teaching and Excellence (1997), and a Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (2002). The KU Law Moreau Award for Student Counseling was awarded to him (1988, 1995, 1997, 2009). He also taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado, and in study abroad programs in London and Istanbul. Martin chaired the Law School Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association. He often said he felt very fortunate to have found a career that engaged him so much and that he considered it a great privilege to teach the law students.

Martin authored or edited dozens of books on taxation and estate planning and he lectured extensively on estate planning and taxation. He was the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his outstanding teaching and service.

Martin was widowed in 1996 when his first wife Mary Ann died. He married Sallie Francis in 1998 and she joined him in Lawrence, KS until their recent full-time move to Estes Park, CO. Their common love for travel and hiking in the Swiss Alps and the Colorado mountains provided for many shared experiences with family and friends. He had been drawn to the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park since his childhood. He lived his personal life with the same dedication and passion that he applied to his career. He had a thirst for knowledge that went beyond tax law. He was a voracious reader of history and anything informative. With his grandchildren he was an adventure guide, constant educator, formidable chess opponent and ever present cheerleader.

Martin is survived by his wife of 21 years, Sallie Francis Dickinson, a daughter, Nancy Dickinson, a son, James Dickinson, two grandchildren, Olivia Dickinson and Evan Dickinson all of Colorado; a step-son, Christopher Nelson of Colorado and a step-daughter, Sarah De Rivaz of Switzerland; a sister, Margaret Schnackenberg of Glenview, Illinois; and seven step-grandchildren of Colorado and Switzerland.

Martin will be missed enormously by all of us who benefitted from his teaching, wisdom, kindness, guidance and sense of adventure. A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, MO on January 30, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Remembrances and condolences can be shared at

The family suggests donations to: KU Endowment, in support of the Dean Martin B. Dickinson Teaching Award, Hospice of the Estes Valley, Rocky Mountain Conservancy in care of Allnutt Funeral Service 1302 Graves Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517.

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