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Fay Dickerson - January 12, 2012


Fay Dickerson was born Jan. 18, 1920 to Reid Cyrus and Emma Peterson Dickerson on a small farm near Inavale, Neb. She died on Dec. 2, 2011 in Elgin, Ill.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Eloise Herrick, and a nephew, Robert Dickerson.
The family moved to the Crete community southwest of Champion in 1930, and farmed there until 1961 when they moved to Imperial.
Fay took great pleasure in learning, from rural Crete school through the University of Colorado (BA), McCormick Theological Seminary (MA), and Rutgers University (MLS).
After high school she was a rural school teacher. While working on her undergraduate degree she was fortunate to find a full-time job with the Weather Bureau, at a time in history (1942) when women were being hired to fill the vacancies left by men entering the armed services. It was hard work, exacting, much detail, but satisfying.
After receiving a MA from McCormick Seminary she was a Director of Christian Education for the Presbyterian Church in Eugene, then Salem, Ore. In 1957, she accepted a teaching position at the American School for Girls, Baghdad, Iraq later becoming principal during the chaos of the coup d’etat.
She enjoyed a restful summer with her parents before taking a position with the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), located at Princeton Theological Seminary and then at the McCormick Seminary in Chicago. Fay worked at the ATLA for 27 years before retiring in 1990 as general Editor of the ATLA Religion Indexes.
She remained in her beloved Chicago, the city of neighborhoods, theaters, museums and the symphony. Fay was an active member of the Presbyterian Church for 69 years where she held many positions, volunteer and staff. She loved to travel and had a curiosity about the world and it’s many cultures, but kept her loyalty and love for her home state of Nebraska and adopted state of Illinois.
She is survived by a brother, Reid, three nephews and four nieces. The sons and daughters of Reid and Phyllis Dickerson are: David, Anne Pate, James and Kathryn Lowe; and of Eloise and Maurice Herrick: Emily, Philip and Rebekah. There are also 10 grand-nieces and nephews: Elizabeth, Dehnia, Janna, Emma, Russ, Keith, Jacob, Sam, Neal and Reece. Fay remained close with cousins in the Chicago area, David and Jan Miller and Franklin and Connie Lee. Family was very important to Fay and she loved showing them her home, the city of Chicago. She leaves them a legacy of love.
“The lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still
waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.” Psalms 23