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Funeral set for single father of 8 who died unexpectedly following surgery

By Nate Eaton

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    IDAHO FALLS ( — A single father of eight children who died unexpectedly following brain surgery will be laid to rest Monday.

David Dickson, 42, was caring for six of the eight kids when the family moved into a new home in Idaho Falls just three weeks ago.

“He was driving home from breakfast with his kids and his vision started to go out,” Kelly Bradshaw, Dickson’s sister-in-law, tells “He got very sick and thought he had been drugged at the restaurant because he couldn’t figure out what was wrong.”

A trip to the doctor revealed Dickson had a brain tumor. He went to the University of Utah Hospital and had surgery on June 16 to remove the tumor. It was a success, according to Bradshaw, and Dickson woke up singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“He had a good prognosis and the doctors removed most of the tumor. They were very pleased with how it went,” Bradshaw recalls. “He was doing great, called his kids and the next day he got a pretty severe infection in his brain. It caused swelling and he lost consciousness. It caused irreparable brain damage and he never woke up again.”

Dickson’s eight children are between 7 and 18 years old. He had two kids with his first wife and they have been living with her in Arizona. The couple divorced and when Dickson remarried in 2012, he adopted his second wife’s four children, whose father died. Dickson and his wife had one child together and adopted another before their marriage ended in 2019.

Dickson, who worked as a mortgage loan officer at Zions Bank, was excited to buy a new home and begin a new phase of his life.

“He was ready for a fresh start. He was all about giving the kids the best life that he could,” Bradshaw explains. “He’s had a lot of hard trials in this life and his number one priority has always been caring for and protecting his kids. I think he felt this new house was the final step in getting the kids where they needed to be.”

Before his surgery two weeks ago, Dickson held a conference call with Bradshaw and three of his siblings. He told them he didn’t think anything was going to happen to him but just in case, he gave them each assignments and asked Bradshaw to become the guardian of his kids.

Bradshaw and her husband, who have five children with four still living at home, are now preparing to have six additional kids under their roof.

“We’ve got five bedrooms and ten kids. Everyone’s sharing a room and it will be fine,” she says. “It’s overwhelming and it’s daunting but I love them. I would do anything for them. They are family. David asked me to do it so I will.”

Bradshaw, who is the sister of Dickson’s second wife, admits the past three weeks have “felt like a dream” and knows there will be struggles ahead but “I have faith we’re going to figure it out,” she says.

She describes Dickson as a hard worker who loved to hunt, fish and camp. He was always happy and made everyone feel like they were his best friend.

“David was the most optimistic, happy-go-lucky guy who made you feel special. He told everybody he loved them and he meant it,” Bradshaw says holding back tears. “He was really good at telling his kids how much he loved them and they knew it. They never doubted that.”

Even in death, Dickson helped others as his organs were donated. His funeral will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at the Weber Heights Latter-day Saints Stake Center in Ogden, Utah. It will be live-streamed here. He will be buried in Morgan, Utah.

A GoFundMe account has been created by Dickson’s manager to help cover his children’s expenses.

When asked if anything else is needed, Bradshaw has one request.

“Please just pray for his kids. He worked so hard to give everything he could to his kids and they were always his top priority,” she says. “I know trials and struggles are going to come but we will work together as a family to meet the needs of the kids as best we can and everything will be ok. We all love David so much and will miss him so much.”

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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