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Dwight Victor Ericsson
Born January 11, 1931; Married September 14, 1968
Children: Joel Carl Ericsson, June 10, 1972; Neal Arthur Ericsson, July 16, 1975
I was born in 1931, in the midst of the Great
San Diego, California.
San Diego happens to be the only place where more than one Anderson settled, so I
had the blessings of an uncle, an aunt and two cousins. I remember Sunday dinners
with them and especially Christmas Eve at Uncalornce's house. The tree was always
magnificent, and the wait to open presents while the old people cleared the table
and washed dishes was always intolerable. I remember Dorothy as church pianist at
the little Evangel Baptist Church (when a hymn was announced I would race to find
it in the hymnal before she did - she was very fast!). I remember Thelma as my
Sunday school teacher. I remember a jolly uncle and a laughing aunt.
I remember my father smelling of ammonia when he
from work at the
ice plant. I remember my mother ironing every evening while we listened to Amos and
Andy. I remember playing Tidiley winks on the living room floor with our two
boarders. I remember tramping with my brother down into the canyon behind our house
and returning hot, sweaty and tired (why was the return trip always uphill?) with a
vow that we would never go down there again, only to be off again next Saturday.
I remember snow as a thing which we could occasionally see 40 miles away on Mount
Cuyamaca - if you wanted snow you went to it; it never came to you.
I went through public school in San Diego. I spent
at Bethel, then
came back to take a degree in elementary education at San Diego Stat. I felt called
to foreign missions and that seemed to me a useful major. I returned to Bethel for
seminary, which took four years. Most summers I spent working for Uncle Lawrence or
with my dad at the ice company. I also took backpack trips into the Sierra and
developed a lifelong attachment to wilderness.
During my years at Bethel Seminary I came to feel
God really wanted
of me was not missions but teaching. It was one of the most difficult decisions
I have ever made because it meant turning my back on what many considered God's
highest and noblest calling.
I graduated from Bethel in 1956 and enrolled at
University of Chicago.
I received a Ph. D. in New Testament Studies in 1961.
Bethel Seminary called me back to teach for two
1960-62, and then I moved
to Frederick College, Portsmouth, Virginia, where I spent seven of the next eight
years. I spent four years at Frederick College, then spent a year at Pendle Hill,
a Quaker study center. I returned to Frederick, but a year later the college became
a state-supported, two-year community college. I remained there two more years as
head of the learning laboratory.
In 1968 I was married. I had met Ann Lundahl at
the St. Paul
camp, Camp Widjiwagan, in 1961. Romance sputtered a bit in 1965, started burning
more steadily in 1966, and culminated in our wedding in 1968.
The first half of the Seventies saw four different
three states. I
taught Religion at a small Quaker boarding school in Iowa. Then I was head of the
Middle and Upper Schools at Friends School in Detroit. From there I went to an
assembly line and helped build headrests for Ford cars for two years. Then came a
year in Ohio managing a small retirement home.
Those years also saw the birth of our two
Carl was born in Detroit,
and Neal Arthur was born while we were in Ohio. "Carl" was my father's name, and
"Arthur” was Ann's father's name. Both are the fourth consecutive generation to
bear those names.
For the past eight years I have been a full-time
After eight years,
I still regard these little creatures with both awe and fascination. Opening a
beehive is still a spiritual experience for me.
As of last fall (1984)
left beekeeping. Opportunities seem to lie all
around me just now, more opportunities than I have time to capture. I am doing
some teaching, some writing, and working with a local arts council. I do not know
the future, but I know:
'Tis grace hath
brought me safe
And grace will lead me home.
- Dwight V. Ericsson,
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