If you’ve spent any time in Ada, or the area, you have most likely heard the name Dicus, as in Dicus Supermarket, which draws up nostalgic memories of a coin-operated pony ride for only a penny, friendly service from the store clerks, and great savings.
The Dicus Supermarket was first started in 1940 by Frank Eugene Dicus. Frank’s son picked up the tradition and carried the store on through its many name changes and locations, finally shuttering its doors after more than 80 years in the Ada community.
But Jim and Ann Dicus are so much more than a grocery store name, and East Central University is honoring the couple for their Distinguished Service to ECU, the Ada area, and beyond.
“It’s an honor,” Jim said. “We always love giving back to our community. Always.”
“Jim and Ann are wonderful people and so deserving of the honor,” said John Hargrave, CEO of ECU Foundation, Inc., and former ECU president.
“We really are humbled,” said Ann, a 1979 ECU graduate. “I’ve always been so proud of ECU and what they’ve done. ECU really is an asset to Ada and the surrounding area, especially considering the outstanding level of teachers that graduate from there.”
“The Dicuses have worked in many respects to promote ECU, including attending many activities, serving on boards, and raising scholarship money,” Hargrave, said. “They have been active in every aspect of community service in Ada for many years.”
Perhaps the most meaningful and honorable act of service attributed to Jim and Ann, is the annual Mike and Leslie Dicus Golf Tournament. The tournament is held each fall in memory of the couple’s son, Mike, and daughter-in-law, Leslie. Leslie died in a traffic accident in Dallas in 2001. Mike passed away not too long after in 2002 from lung cancer.
Proceeds from the tournament go to a scholarship fund, benefitting Ada area students. In November 2021, Jim and Ann presented ECU Foundation Inc., with a $15,693 check, which was matched by the Foundation. To date, the tournament has raised more than $856,000 for college scholarships.
“This is our way of giving back to our community, and it means a lot to us,” Jim said. “Mike and Leslie were just an outstanding couple in every way you could ever ask for.”
Jim has served the community as chairman of the Valley View Hospital Board, and as president of the following: Oklahoma Retail Grocers Association, Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Greater Ada, Ada Boys Club, Oklahoma Coupon Board, Ada Industrial Development Corporation, and the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity chapter at the University of Oklahoma.
Ann has also given back with her time by serving on the Ada School Foundation, Youth Shelter, OU Stephenson Cancer Center Board of Advocates, Women’s Shelter, ECU Foundation, OU Parents Association, and as president of the Ada High School Band Association, Ada High School Tennis Association, and the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Mom’s Association.
Around two dozen of Jim and Ann’s family members have graduated from ECU with bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Jim and Ann will be formally recognized at ECU’s Evening of Honors and Recognition, May 6 at the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.
Sponsorships are available at various levels for the event including a Gold Sponsorship for $3,000; a Silver Sponsorship for $1,500; and a Bronze Sponsorship for $250.
Individual tickets are also available for $75 each. Advance tickets are recommended.