Doris ‘Dori’ Bjorkman
SANTA TERESA, N.M. — Doris “Dori” Mae Bjorkman was born May 8, 1930, in Niagara, Wis., to Ethel and Elof Bjorkman as part of a large Swedish farming family. She received the gift of eternal life with her Lord and Savior on June 18, 2021, from her home in Santa Teresa, N.M.
After graduating in 1954 from National College of Education, Evanston, Ill. (the first person in her family to attend college), Dori had a brief career in elementary education, teaching literacy to little learners. It would serve her well as she sensed God’s call to Bible translation work as a missionary. After completing her master’s degree course work at Columbia Bible College, S.C., she began a 48-year career with Wycliffe Bible Translators, formally graduating from Columbia in 1968 as well as the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
With Moody Bible Church, Chicago, as her sending church, Dori served with Wycliffe in Papua New Guinea as a linguist and Bible translator. Her crowning professional achievements included the completion of two dictionaries for the Guhu-Samane and Kunimaipa languages. Her giftedness in teaching literacy, and then in training and mentoring others for literacy leadership, were her legacy in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Upon her retirement, Dori made her home in Big Bear, Calif., where she continued ministry through teaching Bible study classes to women’s groups. The depth and care in her preparations for discipling women in the faith were legendary. She brought to each lesson her deep knowledge of the Word and desire to impact those within her sphere of influence as she had in her younger days.
Dori spent the last years of her life in Santa Teresa, with her Big Bear friends Vicki and Darrell Johnston, who lovingly cared for her during her final battle with dementia. The family also thanks Tom Gleaton for his many years of faithfully managing Dori’s affairs on the home front as she served overseas, and then upon her return to the states.
Preceded in death by her parents and six siblings, Dori is survived by her brother Bill Bjorkman of Quinnesec; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and beloved colleagues in the ministry of Bible translation throughout the world. A memorial service celebrating the life of Doris Bjorkman will be held at Judson Church, 1406 Pacific St, San Bernardino, CA, on Sept. 25, at 10 a.m., with a reception to follow.