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Saturday, September 16, 2023
Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)
Dwight was born in Oakland, California to Ronald and Inez Beattie and spent his childhood between Sacramento, California and Arlington, Virginia. Dwight. had a deep interest in the family history and took all of this in and always sharing stories to everyone about his family history. When he was young his father would take him to the Supreme Court on weekends where his father worked and Dwight would slide down the spiral bannister there and sat on the Chief Justice’s chair!
He was the middle of three brothers. He graduated from El Camino High School in Sacramento. At the age of sixteen, he told his father he wanted to be a pastor. His parents supported whatever their children wanted to be.
He then attended Westminster College. During his summer there, he was one of the first group of exchange students that were allowed to visit the Soviet Union. It was a very rich experience for him. He met many people there along the way. The Russian women always wanted fatten him up with yogurt every day, and homemade delicious foods they made for him as they thought he was too thin.
After graduation from Westminster, Dwight obtained a full Danforth scholarship to Union Theological Seminary School in New York City. During one summer, he volunteered to work at the Church of the Savior in Washington, DC where he helped at nights at a coffee shop where he enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life. Another summer he worked with Chris Hartmire, who headed up the California Migrant Ministry under Cesar Chavez, providing better working conditions to farm workers.
After seminary, Dwight became a minister to the First Presbyterian Church in Whitesville, West Virginia, known as “West By God Virginia” and the Orgas Presbyterian Church in Orgas, WV. He also pastored other small surrounding churches. This was a very rich and fulfilling time for him. He fully dedicated his life to serving God. He took youths on field trips to Washington, DC to enrich their lives and to give them greater exposure to the outside world beyond Whitesville. One trip was during squirrel season and much to his surprise one of the his youths brought a slingshot and was trying to catch squirrels while in a park in DC for squirrel soup! He worked many long hours and made a big impact on some of the youths there. He kept in touch with some of them today who became successful craft designers and artists. He worked with many impoverished families, helping them with food and finances.
Dwight had two small children, Maija and Ronald at the time and enjoyed the simple life and share many stories of life there. After his time in West Virginia, he returned to Sacramento to be the youth pastor at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, the church where he grew up in. He truly enjoyed very much working with the young people there.
He then ventured into working with the Creative Initiative Foundation and People Working Together to Build a World Beyond War to safeguard nuclear power plants. However, needing to support his family, he earned a teaching credential from UC Davis. He found a temporary job, teaching a group of the most unmotivated students that the other teachers didn’t want. It was challenging, but he made it work. During that time, teachers were a dime a dozen and so a friend offered him a temporary job in elections to hold him over until he would get a permanent teaching job. He took an interest in the Election field and worked his way up to become the Assistant Registrar in Sacramento County, and then the Registrar of Voters in Santa Clara for a number of years. He returned to Sacramento and married Barbara and enjoyed 29 wonderful years together. After retiring from Sacramento County Elections Department, he became an Elections consultant mentoring Election staff in various counties. He left an indelible and treasured mark on new election managers.
After retirement, Dwight enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He especially enjoyed the wonderful shady backyard and gardening, backpacking, doing New York Times crossword puzzles, doing wordle doing on New Year’s Eve a 1,000 piece puzzles, reading lots of books, going to church and working on tracing his ancestry on Ancestry.com. He treasured having the “Beattie’s Jazz in the Park” each year with friends and family.
His faith in God and love of his family and friends guided him throughout his life. He was a very kind, thoughtful, giving, and loving husband, father, grandpa, uncle, cousin and friend. He will be immensely missed by all.