This website is dedicated to showing how the Bahá'í Faith can impact an individual's life and service to humanity, in the hope that my example might inspire others. I was raised in a Bahá'í family, so our origins are outlined here. We were four boys, with each choosing a different path of service. My older brother Keith lived most of his life as a Bahá'í pioneer in American Samoa, my brother Roger is in Illinois and has been the Archivist in the National Bahá'í Archives for decades, and my brother Gregory and his wife Emi are between Bulgaria and the Czech Republic  for the moment after many years of service to Bahá'í communities across Africa and in Europe. I have not documented the stories of my wife, our two children and many grandchildren in these public pages out of respect for their privacy, but they are rendering great services to the Bahá'í Faith and to society.

For a much more complete family history as well as a summary autobiography, see My life in pictures including past generations and where we have lived and served the Bahá'í Faith around the world. A parallel story of my professional life and service still needs to be illustrated.


My mother, Joyce Cowling Lyon, shared a room at Stanford University with her best friend, Marion Holley (later Hofman), whose mother was a Bahá'í, and they went together to the first Bahá'í summer school at the Bosch ranch in Geyserville, California, north of San Francisco in 1927. After my mother graduated, she went to Paris for a year and attended Bahá'í gatherings at the Scott studio. She was given some of Bahá'u'lláh's writings to read on the ship going back to America in 1931 that convinced her of the truth of the Bahá'í message.

My mother was active in the San Francisco area in the 1930s, organizing children's classes for Leroy Ioas' children, taking May Maxwell around for her appointments, and serving with Marion as the youth on the National Teaching Committee in the first Seven-year Plan. She married my father, Arthur Ludwig Dahl, Jr., at the suggestion of May Maxwell. He took seven years to finally become a Bahá'í as well. We lived in Palo Alto near Stanford University, where both my parents studied.

My mother focused on local Baha'i activities while raising her children, but in later years she was Auxiliary Board Member for southern California and Nevada, and made various international Baha'i teaching trips. My father served for eleven years on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, including ten years as Treasurer. He often spoke at Baha'i public meetings. We were thus immersed all our lives in Bahá'í activities and met many prominent Bahá'ís.

Mother at 97

My mother
Joyce Lyon Dahl
in August 2005 age 97

Mother with Becky 1967
Pebble Beach 1967
Mother reading
My parents
Arthur L. and Joyce Dahl
Arthur L. and Joyce Dahl

Joyce Lyon Dahl
Joyce Lyon Dahl

Dad, Mother, Keith 1985
Dad, Mother and Keith 1985

Joyce Lyon Dahl
My mother Joyce Lyon Dahl
in 1949
Arthur L. Dahl Jr.
My father Arthur L. Dahl Jr.
ca. 1960

Dad and Keith 1967
Dad golfing with Keith 1967
My mother Joyce Lyon Dahl
passed away in March 2006
at the age of 97

My father Arthur L. Dahl
passed away in June 2005
at the age of 91


My older brother Keith was born in 1940, me in 1942, the next brother Roger in 1946 and Gregory in 1948. We had a happy childhood in Palo Alto, with Bahá'í children's classes and attendance every year at the Bahá'í Summer School in Geyserville. One high point was when Keith and I attended the dedication of the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, and the associated teaching conference in 1953. In 1954, when Bahá'ís were encouraged to move away from the cities to establish the Faith in more rural areas, we moved down to Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula, where we attended the Stevenson School. Keith and I studied at Stanford University, where we had a Bahá'í Club. In 1964-69 I studied for my Ph.D. in marine biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where our Bahá'í Club was one of the most active on campus, and we also formed a Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly in Goleta near the university.

AD as baby . Arthur Lyon Dahl
Arthur (me) ca. 1943; Me (today)

See also a much more detailed album of My Life in Pictures
and a professional perspective on My Life of Service

Keith Dahl
My older brother Keith
lived for 37 years in American Samoa
as a Baha'i pioneer, businessman and avid photographer. He left 780,000 photos of the people of Samoa to the photo archives of American Samoa

Keith 1967
Keith golfing 1967

Roger and Keith Dahl
Roger and Keith

Keith Gordon Dahl
My brother Keith passed away in Samoa on 9 December 2012 at the age of 72

Keith Dahl 2008

My younger brother Roger
lives in Illinois, USA.
He is Archivist Emeritus in the National Baha'i Archives

Roger Dahl

Roger Dahl 2000

Greg is the only brother with a family
His wife Emi is Bulgarian
Emi, Joyce and Mina
Emi Dahl with Joyce and Mina 2007

Mina Greg 2013
Mina and Greg 2013

Mina, Gregory and Joyce
Mina, Gregory and Joyce at my chalet 2014

at my chalet 2014
Mina, Gregory and Joyce 2014
My youngest brother Greg
retired from a career in the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and lives in Bulgaria and Czech Republic with his family
Greg Dahl

April 2013
April 2013

May Lake 2013
in the High Sierras 2013

Chalet August 2014
Dahl family at my chalet, August 2014

Gregory married Merle
in August 2020
Gregory and Joyce are twins
Mina is 18 months younger
Gregory Dahl
Greggie 2007

Greggie Joyce 2013
the twins Greggie and Joyce
April 2013

Joyce on school calendar
Joyce in her school calendar 2013

Gregory and Joyce at 16
Gregory and Joyce on their 16th birthday

Carrie and twins
Carrie and her twins

Mica and Cami 2013
Cami and Mica 2013

I also have a
niece and nephew from Greg's previous marriage:

Carrie Smith-Dahl
and her twins Cami and Mica
live in Oakland, California, USA.
Carrie teaches film-making

Ian Smithdahl, his wife Stephanie Wagner and sons Gabriel and Samuel
live in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Ian is a web site designer, artist
and stay-at-home father.
Stephanie is a lawyer

Dahls in California 2014
back: Mina, me, Carrie, Cami
front: Greg, Gregory, Emi, Joyce, Mica
California August 2014

Carrie Smith-Dahl

Ian Smith-Dahl
Ian Smithdahl

 From left to right:
 cousin George Herbert †
 Keith Dahl †
 Dr. Steinmetz (Baha'i friend)
 Roger Dahl
 Gregory Dahl
 Arthur Dahl
 Nora Steinmetz (Baha'i friend)
 Ian Smithdahl

 Carrie Smith-Dahl and
 her twins Mica and Cami

Family gathering after Mother's funeral, Monterey, March 2006
Family gathering

See also My Life of Service from a professional perspective
My My Life in Pictures as a more complete personal album

Return to personal home page
Page last updated 30 January 2021

Photographs © Copyright by Arthur Lyon Dahl