Alvilda Dickerson (1923 - 2018)

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A former longtime resident of Alaska, Alvilda Craft Dickerson, passed away on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 31, 2018, in Hilo, Hawaii, from complications during surgery.
Alvilda was born on June 10, 1923, in Pelion, S.C., to William Thomas and Maggie Blackwell Craft. Due to the untimely death of her mother in 1936, young Alvilda was eventually embraced by foster parents, Clyde and Mildred Taylor, and their family of Cayce, S.C.
She attended Furman University, graduating in 1946 with a Bachelors of Science in English. In 1949, she graduated from Columbia Baptist Hospital Nursing School in Columbia, S.C., as a Registered Nurse. She then attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for a year before marrying John T. Dickerson on Aug. 5, 1950, at First Baptist Church of West Columbia, S.C.
For years, in and out of Alaska, Alvilda taught high school English (and choir) during the school year and nursed during the summer. With endless energy, she also excelled as a pastor's wife teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir and teaching English to community members who had recently moved to the United States. English as a Second Language was a particular passion of hers.
Finally in 1995, Alvilda and John retired to upstate South Carolina. She continued to serve as a Sunday school teacher and choir member at Pickens First Baptist Church; then, later at First Baptist Church of Easley. Alvilda actively participated in the Women's Missionary Union in the local church and statewide. Alvilda and John were always happy to share stories and programs about their life and work as the first Southern Baptist Home Missionaries to Alaska.
Surviving her are daughters, Deborah Lynn Dickerson and her husband Manuel R. Marques III of Pahala, Hawaii, and Amelia Dickerson Savinova and her husband, Alexandr Savinov of Kongiganak, Alaska; her sons, John T. Dickerson Jr. of Chugiak, Alaska, and Bryan T. Dickerson and wife, Shari Sirkin, of Portland, Ore.; sisters-in-law, Edna Hamlin of Greenville and Ruth Dickerson of Easley, S.C.; and grandchildren, Carey Seward, Avery Kristiansen and Reid Kristiansen.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Jack Craft and Tommy Craft; sisters, Inez Shumpert and Elva Cox; her husband, John T. Dickerson Sr.; infant son, David William Dickerson; and grandson, Kyle Lee Dickerson-Lockwood.
The family will receive friends from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at First Baptist Church, Easley, followed by funeral services at 3:30 p.m. with the Reverend Dr. John Adams officiating. Entombment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park Mausoleum in Pickens.
Arrangements by Dillard Funeral Home, Pickens, S.C.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Feb. 13, 2018
Arrangements under the direction of:
Dillard Memorial Funeral Home
2402 GENTRY MEMORIAL HWY | Pickens, SC 29671 | (864) 878-6371
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