Services Pending for Missionary Norman Dwight

TURLOCK, CA (November 10, 2011) – Services are pending for retired Covenant missionary Norman Dwight, 86, who died yesterday. He was a resident of Covenant Village in Turlock, California.

Dwight was born January 9, 1925, in Siangyang, China. He was the son of Covenant missionaries, Albert and Elna Dwight, and spent most of his early years in China. In 1936 the family returned to the United States, and the following year war in China prevented their return to the mission field. The family settled in Hilmar, California.

Dwight married Martha Eastman on August 24, 1947. She survives.

He served in the Air Force, and after being discharged in 1945, he enrolled in Modesto Junior College in California. The next year he transferred to North Park Junior College in Chicago. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Sacramento State College and earned a master of divinity degree from North Park Theological Seminary.

He and Martha were commissioned in 1954. The couple served in Taiwan throughout their missionary careers.

In 1990, Dwight said, “I grew up in a missionary home and from an early age, associated with Chinese people. It was then that I first sensed a call of God to be a missionary. During World War II, the experience of being in a bomber that was shot down over enemy territory had a profound impact on my life.”

In addition to Martha, survivors include six sons, David, Steven, Philip, Donald, Paul, and Timothy.

A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15. Further details will be published when they become available.


News Obituary


  • We send our sympathies to Martha, David, Steven, Philip, Donald, Paul and Timothy in this time of your loss.

  • Has he (or anyone) told you the story of the miraculous way God preserved Norman’s life through that very simple statement “the experiece of being in a bomber that was shot down over enemy territory….” It is truly an amazing story and one we marvel over many times. God had a very important job for Norman to do and by golly, He kept him alive to do it beautifully.

  • Although, I never met Mr. Dwight, his good heart and kindness are reflected in his children and grandchildren. He has raised a family, true to God and themselves. I cherish the friendships I have because of him. 

  • Elaine and I are so sorry to hear of Norm’s passing. We remember with joy our 50th Sem class reunion when Norm and Martha came to be with us, and for our seminary days. How fitting that the Covenant Home Altar today reminds us that we do not sorrow as those without hope. We pray that the God of all hope will comfort you and give you peace.

  • Norm was a fine man, a dedicated man of God and exemplary missionary. We will miss him.

    I remember well Jerry and I traveling to Xiangfang with Norm and Martha in 1990, the year of Norm’s retirement. The group included his sisters Laura and Dorothy, and Ernie and Vivian Johnson. They were returning to China to find the places of their childhood.

    With Jerry’s compass the men were able to find the Covenant church (then Lutheran). As we entered the churchyard in the late afternoon, an elderly Chinese gentleman called out Norm’s name. When he didn’t hear him, he called out “Morris,” Norm’s brother’s name. They had been playmates 55 years before when Norm’s father taught there. Peace be to Norm’s memory and comfort to his family.

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