News

 

Mortgage industry veteran and GOP activist Dale Dykema dies at 87

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and Republican activist Dale L. Dykema died on the Fourth of July after a battle with prostate cancer. The Newport Beach resident, known for his thoughtful, engaging manner and ongoing commitment to the community, was 87.

“Dale L. Dykema — gentleman and the best of OC’s best. R.I.P.” read the Facebook post Wednesday of Lucy Dunn, CEO of the Orange County Business Council.

Dykema’s political activism, which often focused on attracting minorities and women to the GOP, was honored last month with the county Republican Party’s Thomas Fuentes Award and in 2014 with the Lincoln Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Long active with the Republican-leaning, business-oriented Lincoln Club, Dykema served as the group’s president from 1996 to 1998.

His political career also included unsuccessful bids for the Long Beach City Council and the state Assembly in the 1970s, after which he focused more on helping others get elected. With his libertarian tilt, he preferred candidates who emphasized fiiscal and government-efficiency issues over social issues. He was also active with the New Majority, an Orange County-based group of wealthy business people who pushed GOP candidates and causes.

“Pretty much any Republican planning to run for office in Orange County knew that Dale Dykema was among the first people they needed to talk to,” said son Rick Dykema, chief of staff for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa.

Dykema was best known in the business world for the Orange-based T.D. Service Financial, which he founded in 1964. The company bills itself as one of the nation’s largest in providing technology-supported services to the mortgage industry in numerous areas, including foreclosures, liens and reconveyances. Dykema sold the business last year to First American Title.

But Dykema was an entrepreneur with numerous business interests, ranging from a hydroponic tomato-growing venture in the 1970s to the current Luminara business, which imports and sells electronic candles based on a Disneyland technology used in the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

“He got the most joy and satisfaction from starting new companies,” Rick Dykema said. “He also got joy from his political and philanthropical activities, which his success in business gave him the time and resources to pursue.”

His community activities over the years included advising the Discovery Science Center and serving on the board of directors for the Orange County Fair, the Orange County YMCA, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the United Way and Dollars for Scholars, which provides grants to disadvantaged youth. He also helped found the now-defunct Lincoln-Juarez Opportunity Center in Santa Ana, a Lincoln Club-backed endeavor to help working-class Latinos with business ownership and with referrals for medical, immigration and legal needs.

“You’d have to look far and wide to find someone who Dale hasn’t helped,” Lincoln Club member Al Frink told the Register in May.

Dykema was born on April 14, 1930 in Grand Rapids, Mich., the second of four children. His college years were interrupted by a stint in the Air Force during the Korean War, with him subsequently earning a B.A. in economics from Calvin College in 1956 and an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1957.

His first job with his newly minted MBA was as a clerk in the deed department of Title Insurance and Trust in Los Angeles. He worked his was through the ranks until 1964, when he hung out his shingle for T.D. Service Financial.

Dykema is survived by his wife, Sandi; sister, Nancy; sons Dean and Rick Dykema; daughter Dawn Ferrill; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

This article appears as it was published in The Orange County Register on July 5, 2017.


Posted on July 5, 2017

President's Blog

Latest tweets

  • Loading tweets...

OCBC eNewsletter

Name:

Email:

Type the characters you see in the picture below (this prevents automated spam submissions):

captcha