Erno Joyce Dahl

Erno Joyce Dahl, 90, died peacefully in his home in San Antonio on March 12, 2019, with his wife of 65 years at his side. He was born in Waco, TX, on Nov. 11, 1928 - Armistice (Veterans) Day - and grew up in nearby Clifton. He was preceded in death by his parents Sylvia and Hans B. Dahl and his stepmother Clarice Nelson Dahl.

In 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served one year in China and one on Guam. He was a graduate of Clifton Junior College, Luther College in Decorah, IA, and Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

In 1953, he married Suzanne Preus. They spent two years in England, where he earned his PhD in British religious thought at Durham University, concentrating on the writing of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  

He began his career in academia teaching religion at Texas Lutheran College (now University) in Seguin and was proud to be named “best lecturer.” In 1964, he became Dean of the College.  While there he was ordained into the ministry of the Lutheran Church.  

Four years later the family moved to Springfield, OH, where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wittenberg University. Other positions included Chairman of the Clark County Bicentennial Committee and President of the Council for International Educational Exchange. From 1977 to 1986, Erno was President of Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. He also acted as President of the Wisconsin Foundation of Independent Colleges. He was always a champion of independent liberal arts colleges, and the three in which he served were associated with the Lutheran Church, ELCA. He received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Luther College and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Carthage College.

In 1987, the couple retired in San Antonio and became members of Shepherd King Lutheran Church. He occasionally served as supply pastor for Lutheran congregations in the area and volunteered at Christian Assistance Ministry.

Erno is survived by his two sons Jeremy Dahl (Bo Wang) and Jeffrey Dahl (Suzanne Rostomian); five grandchildren Anna Dahl (Christoffer Hjalmroth), Elliot Dahl (Florence Navarro), Natalie Ann Dahl, Nathan Dahl and Bergen Dahl; and two great-grandchildren Henry and Edith Hjalmroth; brother Alton J. Dahl (Beverly Barnett), sister-in-law Mary and husband Jonathan Preus and beloved nieces and nephews.

Erno was adventurous and loved to travel. He and Suzanne traveled extensively. He was also passionate about nature and spending time in the summer at the lake cabin he built in northwest Wisconsin, where his great joy was fishing with his sons while floating the St. Croix River in a canoe.  

The family is grateful for the loving care provided by the nurses and caregivers of Abiding Home Health and A Comfort Care.

A memorial service will be held at Shepherd King Lutheran Church, 303 W. Ramsey, San Antonio, on Tuesday, April 9, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Texas Lutheran University, CAM, the Nature Conservancy, or the charity of your choice.

You are invited to sign the Guestbook at Arrangements were made by Porter Loring Mortuary North, San Antonio, 210-495-8221.

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