George K. Dike
Ph.D., 1961. Michigan State University
M.S., 194. University of Minnesota
B.S., 1941. North Dakota State University
Professor Emeritus and Extension Specialist
Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Michigan State University
Professor Emeritus and Extension Specialist, George K. Dike, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, led an illustrious life that took him from a homesteaded farm near Grafton, North Dakota, to the beaches of Iwo Jima, and finally home to Okemos, Michigan in 91 years. His education began in a one-room rural school and continued with a B.S. from North Dakota Agriculture College, M.S. from the University of Minnesota, and PhD. from Michigan State University. His education was interrupted by WWII, and it was while he was attending NDAC that he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving four years as an officer in the Pacific Theater. Most notable during his military career, he participated in the assault on the island of Iwo Jima as an artillery battery commander, spending 35 days under fire. It was one of the howitzers under Captain Dike’s command that had the distinction of being the first American artillery shell fired on Iwo Jima. Dr. Dike was awarded both the Bronze Star Medal Valor Device and a Purple Heart for his actions on Iwo Jima.
Following WWII, he completed his active military duty with stateside service during the Korean War as a Manpower Officer of the Selective Service System. He thought it was a privilege and an honor to serve in the Marine Corps alongside so many patriotic, young Americans. Alternating between military service and civilian careers, Dr. Dike held the post of Dickey County Agricultural Extension agent in North Dakota, where he met and married Marjorie Hokana of Guelph. Accepting an offer from Michigan State University, the Dikes moved to Michigan, where George worked as an Extension Specialist while completing his PhD. Joining the faculty as Professor of Agricultural Economics, George not only taught college students, but he also made several trips to Africa where he introduced effective crop production techniques to farmers and educators there.
Dr. Dike retired from MSU after 25 years as Extension Specialist and Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics. He also retired after 35 years in the USMC with the rank of colonel.
Although officially retired from both his civilian and military careers, he continued sharing his interests with contributions to written publications and television documentaries. George always thought each of his jobs was the greatest and considered himself fortunate to work with so many fine people. In his retirement he hosted many gatherings and celebrations at his home in Okemos, which was a center of joy and warmth for his family and friends. Dr. Dike died September 17, 2009, in East Lansing, Michigan.
- Experiences of George K. Dike in World War II – The Pacific Theater