THE STORY OF AMARYLLIS “Amie” DUNGER
Attention Due to the Forecasted Blizzard, The Memorial Service has been postponed until Monday, January 18, 2021. Same times, Same location!
June 18, 1946 ~ January 10, 2021
(meaning of Amaryllis is “Greek shepherdess”)
Amie Dunger, 74, Sioux Falls, formerly Brandon, died Sunday, January 10, 2021, at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, after an extended illness.
Memorial Services will begin at 2pm, Monday, January 18, 2021, with a short time of visitation with Daphne beginning at 1pm. Masks are required and social distancing will be followed. The location will be Trinity Baptist Church in Sioux Falls with live streaming available at tbcsiouxfalls.org by clicking on the live stream button. Amie’s final gift to this world was the gift of donation of her body to the USD Body Donation Program. Amie will eventually be placed in the Bluffview Cemetery in Vermillion, SD, with her parents.
I was born to my missionary parents, George and Louise Dunger, on June 18, 1946, in Hartford, Connecticut. My father immigrated from Saxony, Germany to the United States and met my mother in the Immanuel Baptist Church in New York City, during the Depression. After working, schooling, marriage, ordination, and commissioning, they left for Cameroon, West Africa, to serve as missionaries sent by the German Baptist Churches of North America in 1938. Our family included Daphne, my older sister, who was born in Cameroon. Because of the Second World War, my family served seven years on the field, before being able to come home for a year of furlough in 1945. Then when I was at the age of 2 months, our family returned to Cameroon, West Africa. When I was about two years old, it was discovered that my father had a rare form of tumor in the base area of his spine. He left almost immediately for treatment at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, ahead of my mother, Daphne, and I. About six months later, we finally were able to get booking by ship, to join my father.
From 1948 to 1950, we lived again in Hartford, CT, where my father earned his PhD at the Hartford Seminary Foundation. We then moved to Rhode Island, where my father taught as a Professor in the Missions Department, of the Barrington Bible College. During this time, we attended an American Baptist Church, in Warren, RI. It was here, that I first remember being in Sunday School. Each Sunday at the start of Sunday School class, we would march in a circle, carrying the American flag, as we sung the National Anthem.
Then, after only one year, my father received a call to come to the North American Baptist Seminary as Professor of Missions and Librarian, in Sioux Falls, SD. As a family, we moved here in 1951. I started Kindergarten and went through 6th grade, at Jefferson Grade School (1951 – 1958).
In the Spring of 1957, at a “God’s Volunteer” (NABC sponsored) evangelism team program, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior, at the age of Eleven years old. The following year, on Easter Sunday, in April 1958, I was baptized in the first baptismal service held in this Trinity Baptist Church sanctuary. Previously, for 2 to 3 years, our congregation had been meeting in the original chapel of the Seminary and holding the Sunday School classes in the classrooms until we built the Trinity Church building.
In 1957, Daphne left home for Nurses Training in Rochester, MN. Then in 1958 (after my father had successfully initiated the Sabbatical system at the Seminary), it was his turn for a Sabbatical year, so we (my father, mother, and myself), went to Ghana where he served as an exchange Professor in the Divinity School of the University of Ghana, located in Accra. I did not want to go, and fought my parents, as I did not understand why I could not instead stay with my Aunt and Uncle in Washington, DC for that one year. I ended up losing my fight and went along to Ghana. On the way, we visited my father’s family in Germany. My Aunt Hanna, lived in West Germany after escaping from the East Germany, and my Grandparents could come for one free visit to West Germany each year. This was the first time I met them. In Ghana, I attended the 7th level at the International School of Accra. The teachers were the wives of the British Embassy staff. The students were of different countries and some upper-class Ghanaians. (The classes were from Level 1 to Level 7) I now know how important that year was to me. This gave me an understanding of intercultural relationships which has helped me to this day.
We returned to Sioux Falls in 1959, and I started 8th grade at Edison Junior High School, and then also 9th grade there. 10th through 12th grade was at Washington High School. I then went to Sioux Falls College (now University of Sioux Falls) for one year.
From the summer of 1965 (when my parents spent a semester in Cameroon), to January 1966, I went to Washington, DC, and while staying with my Aunt and Uncle there, worked at Sears in the Credit Department.
Back in Sioux Falls, I did many temporary jobs until I entered Nettleton Business College and did a two-year Junior Accounting program there. I then started employment at Electric Supply Company.
From 1964, through 1979, I served in the Nursery and taught the preschoolers in the Sunday School and sang in the Choir at Trinity Baptist Church.
In 1978, a Church Extension project was begun in Brandon, South Dakota, as an offspring of Trinity. I began being involved there on Wednesday nights, and then on January 28, 1979, I became a charter member. I taught Sunday School, sang in the Choir, served as Church Clerk, was on the Board of Christian Education, and worked on the Building Committee. Also, during this time, I was the Statistical Recorder for the South Dakota Association.
In 1973, when my father retired from the Seminary, I bought a piece of land in Brandon, SD, and used that as collateral to build a house. With the “sweat” equity of myself and my parents we built the house. This was a BIG learning experience for me.
In 1979, I started being a facilitator for the Older Senior Adults, back at Trinity, with a noon meal and short program once a month. I was also visiting with them in their homes.
On January 16, 1995, I returned my membership back to Trinity Baptist because I felt it very important to be helping the Senior Adults here on a steadier basis.
In 1989, (for 5 weeks) and in 1993, (for 6 weeks) I was a Short-Term missionary in Cameroon. On the first trip, I joined Daphne on trek in the LAP program to help in their clinic and support visit to one village. Then in the second trip, while on my way down some steep stone steps to get my assignment at Banso Baptist Hospital, I fell and broke my lower leg. So, my job became encouraging and witnessing to the Cameroonians that came to visit me at Daphne’s house from morning to night.
In February of 2003, I left my job of 34 years at Electric Supply Company, and since then have had several temporary jobs. I am still searching for full time employment. I know that God is leading.
I have grown up in a strong Christian personal family and in a strong larger Christian family, this being the Church background of the North American Baptist Conference, the North American Baptist Seminary, Trinity Baptist Church, Brandon Valley Baptist Church, and the fellowship of believers worldwide. I was a Missionary Kid, a Professor’s Kid, and even though in my fifties, also an Archivist’s “Kid”.
My mother passed on to her higher calling on October 29, 1984, at the age of 75. My father passed on to his higher calling on May 9, 2002, at the age of 94.
As I see it, in my relationship today with Christ, I am to bring His encouragement to those around me in who they are and in what they are doing.
Signed: Amaryllis Dunger
Date: February 12, 2006
Amie and Daphne moved from their home in Brandon to Sioux Falls, in 2018. More recently, they both moved to the Good Samaritan Village in Sioux Falls; Amie in the Nursing Home and Daphne in the Assisted Living apartments where she still resides.