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Calvin H. "Cal" Dickinson

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Calvin H. "Cal" Dickinson was born Aug. 23, 1926 at Harleton, Texas, the son of Lillie Belle (Rivers) and Howard G. Dickinson. He grew up in several small Texas communities and graduated from high school in Taylor, Texas in 1944. Upon graduation he was drafted and served as a Quartermaster, Third Class, in the United States Navy Signal Corp in the South Pacific region. Honorably discharged in June, 1946, he enrolled in undergraduate studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Cal graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1953. While in college, Cal met the love of his life, Ruth Lanette Lewis. They were married on June 2, 1950. Together they shared the joys and challenges of more than 57 years of marriage. While pursuing his degree, Cal worked for the Taylor Daily Press as an advertising salesman. After graduation, Cal and Ruth moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he taught history at Northside Jr. High School for one year. He then re-entered the newspaper advertising business at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. During this time the couple became active charter members of the Aldersgate Methodist Church. It was there that Cal received the call to ministry and entered Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 1956. While attending seminary, he served as a student pastor in the small communities of Ben Hur and Chatfield, Texas. Upon receiving his Divinity degree in 1961, Cal and Ruth moved with their two children, David and Laura, to Kansas. For the next thirty years, Cal served as pastor at United Methodist churches in the following communities: Sylvia, Hutchinson, Kinsley, Fort Scott, Junction City, Sabetha, and Neodesha. He retired from full-time active ministry in June, 1991. A week later he was asked if he would serve the rural parish of Vassar. He replied "I think I have enough leather left in my shoes to do the job." The leather in those shoes lasted for 10 years! A second retirement left Cal more time to devote to personal, spiritual and community interests. He was actively involved in the First United Methodist Church of Baldwin City and served on the Kansas East Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the History and Archives Committee. As a member of the Douglas County Democratic Party, Cal served as a precinct committeeman and an election officer for a number of years. He supported the Baldwin City Arts Council, Friends of the Library and Community Theater. Cal enjoyed golfing, long walks and working in his yard. Cal is survived by his beloved spouse Ruth; two children, son David A. Dickinson and wife Sahja Cove of Lawrence, Kan.; his daughter Laura L. Dickinson and her spouse Elvyn Jones of Baldwin City, Kan,; two grandchildren, Anya R. Dickinson-Cove and Caleb R. Dickinson-Cove; one brother, Hobart Dickinson, Alvin, Texas; two sisters, Ellen Ruth Lee, Austin, and Betty Lou Hunter, Hitchcock, Texas. Cal was preceded in death by his parents and sister Eloise Clemmer. Cal was a true citizen of the world who daily lived by the creed, "To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before God." (Micah 6:8) His family and community will miss him. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4th, at the First United Methodist Church in Baldwin City. A family visitation will occur between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, also at the First United Methodist Church in Baldwin City. Inurnment will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to the Baldwin City First United Methodist Church for Missions, a lifelong passion in Cal's work.