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.
Joyce Lyon Dahl
in August 2005 age 97
Pebble Beach 1967
|My parents |
Arthur L. and Joyce Dahl
Joyce Lyon Dahl
Dad, Mother and Keith 1985
My mother Joyce Lyon Dahl
My father Arthur L. Dahl Jr.
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.
Arthur (me) ca. 1943; Me (today)
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 golfing 1967
Roger and Keith
|IN MEMORIAM KEITH DAHL |
My brother Keith passed away in Samoa on 9 December 2012 at the age of 72
My younger brother Roger
lives in Illinois, USA.
He is Archivist Emeritus in the National Baha'i Archives
|Greg is the only brother with a family |
His wife Emi is Bulgarian
Emi Dahl with Joyce and Mina 2007
Mina and Greg 2013
Mina, Gregory and Joyce 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
in the High Sierras 2013
Dahl family at my chalet, August 2014
Gregory married Merle
in August 2020
|Gregory and Joyce are twins |
Mina is 18 months younger
the twins Greggie and Joyce
Joyce in her school calendar 2013
Gregory and Joyce on their 16th birthday
Carrie and her twins
Cami and Mica 2013
I also have a
niece and nephew from Greg's previous marriage:
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
back: Mina, me, Carrie, Cami
front: Greg, Gregory, Emi, Joyce, Mica
California August 2014
From left to right:
|Family gathering after Mother's funeral, Monterey, March 2006 |