Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Deacon Roy Dahl dies March 19 after long illness
by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register
(From the April 7, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)
Deacon Roy Dahl Jr. (IR file photo, 1999)
Deacon Roy Dahl Jr., most recently assigned to St. Peter Parish, Spokane, died March 19 after a long illness. He was 80 years old.
The vigil service was the evening of March 23, and the funeral Mass was celebrated the next morning, both at St. Peter Church.
Deacon Dahl was born in Spokane, where he attended Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University before serving with the First Armored Division during the Korean War.
In 1953 he married Carol Hein. Carol and their four children – Karen (Paul) Green, Mike (Judi) Dahl, Barbara (Bill) Hanson, and Susan Dahl – survive him.
Deacon Dahl earned a master of science degree in nuclear physics from the University of Washington and a PhD in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State. He also achieved certification as a Professional Engineer in Nuclear Engineering.
He worked at Hanford for 33 years, followed by a United Nations diplomatic post in Vienna Austria, working on nuclear non-proliferation.
In 1999 he was ordained to the diaconate for the Spokane Diocese by Bishop William Skylstad.
Deacon Dahl “was known for having a wide range of interests and a variety of expertise,” said Bishop Blase Cupich. “He was blessed with many gifts and a blessing to so many. His generous contributions to the Church and society leave us all with a wonderful example of how to use our talents as God intended. My deep sympathies to his family and friends.”
Deacon Dahl served at St. Peter Parish from ordination until 2001, when he moved to St. Francis Xavier Parish, Spokane. He returned to St. Peter in 2005.
Father Brian Mee, pastor of St. Peter Parish, said, “Roy Dahl served as a deacon at St. Peter Parish for many years. He loved his ministry as a deacon: he ministered at the Sunday Masses, would always preach on the third weekend of the month, teach in the RCIA program and assist in any other way he was asked. Even though Deacon Roy’s ministry was limited once he was diagnosed with cancer, he was a wonderful example of a man of deep faith and generous service.
“I came to a deeper awareness of the importance of Roy’s ministry to the parishioners of St. Peter during his battle with cancer,” said Father Mee. “Parishioners regularly asked about him and let me know that they were praying for him. Often they would share a personal story of how Deacon Roy had inspired them through a homily, a conversation, or an act of kindness. He was truly an exemplary Christian gentleman. May our good Lord raise up more such men to be witnesses of faith to us all.”
Deacon John Sicilia, Director of Deacons for the Spokane Diocese, echoed those sentiments.
He characterized Deacon Dahl as “a very prayerful man who accepted everyone equally. With Roy there were no barriers. He was very devoted to his wife and family and to God. He was willing to do whatever was asked of him and gave it his all. I will miss a good friend.”
Deacon Dahl spent five years as a member of the Board of Directors of Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, and later served as advisor to Deacon John Ruscheinsky, director of IHRC.
“In 2000, Bishop Skylstad appointed Deacon Roy Dahl to the Priestly Formation Council,” said Father Darrin Connall, rector of Bishop White Seminary. “Because this was a critical time in the life of Bishop White Seminary, Deacon Dahl agreed to serve for an extended term. During these years, he made significant contributions to the deliberations regarding building a new seminary, expanding enrollment, and ongoing support of our seminarians.”
“At 80 years of age and 57 years of marriage to Carol, Deacon Roy Dahl demonstrated a life of remarkable accomplishment as a good husband and father,” said Bishop William Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus of the Spokane Diocese. “In the world of nuclear engineering, his professionalism was well known. In these later years, he was ordained to the diaconate, and his qualities of kindness and gentleness served him well in that sacramental role.
“I had known Roy already when I was Bishop of Yakima,” said Bishop Skylstad. “In those days he and Carol lived in Christ the King Parish in Richland, and for several years he was an important member of our Diocesan Pastoral Council. His example as a faithful Catholic in service to God’s people should inspire us all. Our prayerful sympathy also goes to Carol and the family on the occasion of his death.”
Memorial contributions may be made in Deacon Dahl’s name to St. Peter Catholic Church, 3520 E. 18th Ave, Spokane, WA 99223, or to the American Cancer Society.