Charles Cameron Dickinson III
June 13, 1936 – November 7, 2019
Charlie’s family and friends would like to celebrate the life of a husband, a father, and a friend: Charlie Dickinson.
Charlie was born to Frances Ann and Charles C., II, in Charleston WV, a city where he was raised and to which he returned several times as an adult to live and teach in.
Charlie spent most of his life in an around academia, both as a student and as a teacher. He studied at Phillips Academy (Andover), Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Kirchliche Hochschule, Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität, the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D. ’73), Yale University Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary, Oxford University, and the Sorbonne. He taught or served as a scholar for L’Ecole de Théologie Kimbaguiste (Zaire), The Union Theological Seminary, Morris Harvey College/University of Charleston, Christ Church (Oxford), The American College of Rome, Harvard Divinity School, Hebei Teachers’ University (China), Harvard University, Andover-Newton Theological School, and Beacon Hill Seminars. As a scholar, he was widely published. His works include: The Pre-existence of Christ in Karl Barth, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and the New Testament; One Thing Necessary: The Word of God in Preaching; and The Dialectical Development of Doctrine: A Methodological Proposal.
A long-time resident of Boston, Charlie was active as a supporter, donor, and board member of a number of educational and artistic organizations, including: Harvard University, The Boston Athenaeum, The Massachusetts Bible Society, The Boston Symphony, The Lyric Opera, The Lyric Stage, The Boston Conservatory, and the Isabella Gardner Museum. He was a generous benefactor to all.
A polyglot, Charlie spoke at least six languages and read several others. It was often commented on, while he lived in Germany and France, that locals could tell he was a foreigner because he spoke the languages far better than any native speaker ever could.
Charlie loved the arts. One of his passions was music. The more obscure the style or the composer, the more Charlie enjoyed it and the louder he played it. He was probably more at home with his many books than he was with most people. However much he might have preferred his scholarly pursuits, he always had time for his extended family and friends. He was loving and generous to a fault.
Charlie was much loved and will be greatly missed by his immediate family —wife JoAnne; son Jere-John; stepsons Peri (and wife Lydie), John (and fiancée Evelyne), and Ted (and wife Silviya); and grandchildren Julie and Christopher—his extended and far-flung family in West Virginia and Texas, and his many friends from the U.S., France, Italy, Germany, and China.
As your mother-in-law always said: “Thank you, Charlie.” We love you. Go with God.