Fr. Norman J. "Norm" Dickson S.J.
1936 - 2020
A.J. Desmond & Sons - Crooks Road
2600 Crooks Road
Troy, MI
November 24, 2020, Age 83. A Jesuit for over 65 years. He was born on December 4, 1936 in Detroit, MI. He is the son of the late Charles and Antoinette (nee Heuser) Dickson. He is survived by a brother Robert, a sister Dorothy McDowell and many nieces and nephews. His sister Mary Lou Marker predeceased him. He died in Clarkston, MI. Before entering, he graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (1954). Norm entered the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1954 at Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on July 29, 1967 in Frankfurt, Germany, and professed final vows on February 2, 1979 at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. While in the Society, Norm earned a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Xavier University (1958) and a Master's Degree in Classics from Loyola University Chicago (1963). He studied Theology at Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany (1964-1968). After ordination, Fr. Norm spent 14 years at the recently established Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls. At Walsh, he taught, was director of student social services, and president (1970-1975). When Norm was President at Walsh he reserved cutting the grass on the school’s property to himself. He liked riding the tractor and the solitude it gave him. He would say that the seeming monotony of the job gave him a great chance to pray uninterrupted. Fr. Norm was missioned to work in the Detroit Province Office. He was the vocation director for the Detroit Province (1992-1997) and the Provincial Assistant for International Ministries (1995-1997). Norm was pastor of Gesu Parish in Detroit (1997-2005). In 2007, Norm -- always available to be sent where the need was the greatest -- returned to the Detroit Province Office as treasurer of the province. In 2009, Fr. Norm returned to his great love: parish ministry. He was the administrator of two parishes in Michigan: St Mary of the Woods Parish in Kalkaska and St Aloysius Parish in Fife Lake. He also did prison ministry in the area. Norm continued his administrator duties until, in October 2020, he had to get care for his cancer at Colombiere Center. When Fr. Norm was in Kalkaska and Fife Lake, he asked folks what they thought the people would like. Several folks responded "a vegetable garden". He started one at St. Mary’s and the people of the parish worked it with relish. Every autumn they would send several tons of fresh vegetables to local food pantries to distribute to the poor. Norm said that the garden did more to pull the people together than anything ever said from the pulpit, and gave them a chance to live the Gospel through feeding those most in need. He likewise loved to spend time relaxing each week at Villa Marquette in Omena, Michigan -- one of his favorite places in the world! Fr. Norm was a marvelous storyteller who loved to regale people with his stories. When telling a seemingly outlandish story, there would always be a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his lips. A Funeral Mass and burial will be held privately at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, MI. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance at the Vigil and Funeral Mass is private and can only be attended by members of the Colombiere community. The Vigil will take place on Sunday, November 29 at 7 PM. The Funeral Mass will occur on Monday, November 30 at 10:45 AM. These events will be livestreamed on Youtube. Please type in “Colombiere Center Youtube” in the Youtube search field at the webpage, click on the Colombiere Sun Circle icon, the vigil and funeral mass will be shown on that webpage or you may go to the obituary at the funeral home website for a link. Condolences may be sent to his brother, Robert Dickson, 17486 Doris Lane, Livonia MI 48152 or his sister, Dorothy McDowell, 20070 Shoals Ct, Clinton Twp MI 48038. Memorial gifts to support the Jesuits may be made to the USA Midwest Jesuits, 1010 N. Hooker St., Chicago, IL 60642. Visit to make an online memorial gift. A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, (248) 362-2500. View obituary and sign tribute wall at
Published by The Oakland Press from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29, 2020.
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In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Joan greiner
November 30, 2020
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