Thursday, April 28, 2016
CHET DANIELSON - A PERSON TO REMEMBER!
Chet Danielson, was my boss and my pastor for three years in the late 1960s. He was my boss first, choosing me to fill in as office secretary at The Salvation Army Corps in Ontario, California, and then bumping me up to what we casually called welfare worker when that position opened. I just wanted to work there, and I really just did whatever needed doing. In rank, he was a Captain, and with such a small office as we had, he most of the time answered to "Cap." After about a year, my husband and I began attending the Ontario Corps, feeling that our ministry should be there, too.
I loved the "helping" part of my job, and Cap taught me a lot about christian compassion, warmth, caring, and he especially demonstrated in his own life what General Booth so had intended The Salvation Army to be. I had lots of lines drawn in my own understanding of "church" and "christians" - and it was Chet who exemplified by his life, both business and spiritual, that drawing lines are NOT what Christianity was about.
My husband and I moved out of the area in 1971, and the Ontario part of my life was over. I was pleased when in the 1990s, I got a call from his daughter Dawn asking if I would speak at his retirement celebration. I had a lot to say about the ministry of Chet and his wife Vicki. It was factual and it was personal, and I meant every word of it. Chet, by then a Major, told me afterwords that he was dumbfounded that I remembered so much and especially had learned so much. And I told him it was all true, no flattery involved.
Chet died in April of 2014. But here I am, myself at 80, still remembering the times that Chet ministered to the south end of Ontario, California with love and compassion, and remembering specifically the little kids and their families who came to church on the bus that Chet drove, learned about Christ through his Sunday School classes, and taught them how to play musical instruments, supplying the horns, tambourines and music books so they could join the little Salvation Army Band that went out on Sunday afternoons to witness at John Galvin Park. What lovely memories I have.
Chet's got stars in his Crown, for sure!