Music professor dies of COVID-19 days before spring semester kicks off

Dickens’ death marks the second known faculty death from complications of COVID-19

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Credit: Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home

Andy Cole, Editor-in-Chief

STATESBORO — On January 9, Theodore Pierce Dickens, DMA, died from complications of COVID-19. At the time of his death, Dickens was a faculty member in the music department.

“A good man, very lovely man, highly intelligent and highly talented pianist,” said William Amponsah, Dickens’ friend, pallbearer and assistant professor of economics. “I have very fond memories of him.”

Amponsah confirmed to The George-Anne that he died from complications of COVID-19.

“The students love him,” said Amponsah. “He brought so many students to sing in our church. He liked his choir.”

Steven Harper, chair of the department of music, echoed Amponsah’s praise.

“He was really a brilliant organist,” said Harper. “A very generous spirit. A lot of students of Georgia Southern sang in the First United Methodist choir. He always made a point to feature them as much as possible.”

“He had a close bound with those students,” Harper added.

“I wish I had the influence he had on students and future leaders in our community,” said Dickens’ pastor Rev. Stephanie Smith.

Smith added that Dickens’ had an inspirational love for his wife. She hopes Dickens will also be remembered for that.

Statesboro First United Methodist Church posted a video Sunday of Dickens playing their organ. The video can be found here.

Dickens’ death marks the second known GS faculty death from complications of COVID-19.

The George-Anne reached the university for comment. We have not yet heard back.

“Surviving is his wife of 36 years Tammie Akins Dickens; a son and daughter-in-law Matthew and Jennifer S. Dickens; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law Wayne and Kristen Akins; his mother-in-law Myrtis Akins all of Statesboro,” his obituary reads.