Baylor Mourns Death Of Emeritus Religion Professor

Nov. 16, 2004
News Photo 2364Dr. Eddie Dwyer

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Dr. Eddie L. Dwyer, Macon Professor Emeritus and former chair of religion at Baylor, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 16, in Waco. He was 92. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at First Baptist Church of Waco. A private burial service will follow. Arrangements are being handled by Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco.

Dwyer was born on March 3, 1912, in Chickasaw, Okla. After graduating from Chickasaw High School, he received his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1938. He then earned a master's degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1942 and his doctor of theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1951.

As he pursued his college education, Dwyer spent five years as pastor of Baptist churches in Weston, Ind., Underwood, Ind., and Fairfax, Okla. He married his wife, Velma, on June 24, 1941.

In 1945, Dwyer joined the Baylor religion faculty as a New Testament scholar, retiring in 1982 as chair of the department. In addition to the New Testament, his noted areas of research and teaching included biblical backgrounds, world religions and the biblical view of religious authority. Dwyer was the recipient of the Retired Faculty Award given by the Baylor Alumni Association. He also was honored by the establishment of the Eddie L. and Velma Rich Dwyer Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides funds to assist graduate students in religion.

"The entire Baylor community is grieved at the passing of Dr. Eddie Dwyer, who served Baylor so faithfully for nearly 40 years," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "He will be remembered not only as biblical scholar and leader in the department of religion but also as a dedicated teacher who influenced generations of students at Baylor."

Baylor religion professor Dan McGee arrived at the university in 1966, when Dwyer was a "well-established leader" in the department.

"I appreciated the way he received me as an alien from the other side of the river (not a native-born Texan)," McGee said. "He was very cordial not only to me in our professional relationship but also to my family. When our children arrived, we lived three houses down from the Dwyers, and they were constantly cheering us on as a family.

"Eddie loved his work and gave himself to it, but he was equally committed to his family and proud of his children," McGee added. "He was very loyal to his church and was constantly concerned about the welfare of the larger human community."

Dwyer was a member of First Baptist Church of Waco.

He is survived by his wife, Velma, who served as Baylor's credit manager in the financial aid office from 1951-82; a son, Paul; and a daughter, Dee Dee.

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