Tribute To A Professional Surveyor
by Lou Dycus
The year was 1946, and World War II was over. Thousands of men and women who had recently been fighting in some far off country to preserve our freedom were returning home. Many were just out of high school when they either volunteered or were drafted; therefore the only work skills they had were those learned during the war.
While a high school senior, Jim Dycus volunteered on his 17th birthday to serve in the U.S. Navy. He trained to become a Gunner's Mate First Class and for the next three and one-half years he fought in the South Pacific. His last assignment was to sweep the harbors for mines of the bombed Japanese cities, which was the final act that determined the outcome of the war in the Pacific.
He was 20 years old with very little job skills except handling the US Navy ship's big guns. He went to his parent's home to Tulsa and began looking for work. With a confident swagger and a gift for gab, he answered an ad for salesman, but got off the elevator on the wrong floor. When the doors opened he found himself in the reception area of Amerada Petroleum Corporation. He completed a job application for their exploration division and was hired.
For the next 25 years he traveled coast to coast and border to border in search of oil. Along the way, in 1948, he met and married his wife of 62 years in Ardmore, Oklahoma. They had two daughters, Rebecca and Deborah, but it was on the day the second daughter was born in San Angelo, Texas, that Jim was promoted from Jr. Surveyor to Chief Surveyor, 17 January, 1952. He learned to survey by observing, practicing and hands on experience as a chain man, rod man, and Jr. Surveyor for the oil exploration company. He learned formulas, geometry, calculations, and continued to learn as technology progressed in the engineering and surveying fields.
No project was too tough. He worked in extreme locations and environments from the swamps of Florida to the 40 degrees below Winters of North Dakota and from beaches to badlands. Jim loved his work and has always been proud of being a Surveyor. He taught classes and mentored young men throughout his career, always perpetuating the highest standards of a professional surveyor.
He was transferred to Oklahoma City to close the Amerada office in 1970, due to a merger with Hess Corporation and was the last of the exploration personnel to be dismissed. Oklahoma was just entering a new era of growth and there was a demand for surveyors; therefore
it was not difficult for him to make the transition from an oil company surveyor to a registered Oklahoma Surveyor #1012 .
His professional credentials include surveys for Jim Slade Engineering; Phillips, Stong, Coon Engineers; U.S.Army Corp of Engineers, Emera Corp; and The Oklahoma Department of Mines as well as a network of many surveys for private individuals.
In August, 2009, after a 60 year career, 83 year old James (Jim) O. Dycus completed, with pride, his final surveying project for a Kingfisher, Oklahoma company.
Editors Note: Jim Dycus passed away May 25, 2010