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Joshua Dickerson passed away on [DATE], the victim of a tragic fire at his store in Florence, NC. He is survived by his wife, [NAME], and his two daughters, Elsie [AGE] and Anna [AGE]. A memorial service will be held this coming Sunday at High Hopes Unitarian Church. Joshua Dickerson was born in a small town in Northeast Georgia, the youngest of five children. His family owned a pecan farm, where he spent his formative years. In High School, Joshua was active in the marching band and school newspaper, where he first discovered his interest in social justice.

He started an A. A. program at High Vale Community College, but after a few semesters decided to put school on hold in favor of volunteer service. For the next five years, Joshua worked with several volunteer programs in third world countries, including a brief time with “Jackals without Borders” (a wild-canine rescue organization), and a long stint with the Peace Corps. His experiences in Africa and South America left him deeply fascinated with the history and religious culture of indigenous peoples.

Upon returning to the States, Joshua was accepted into the University of Iowa’s folk studies program, where he graduated with honors. After graduation, Joshua spent a few years pursuing graduate studies before realizing that his place was not in academia. Driven by a desire to return to the field, he took a long sabbatical in India, where he met his future wife. The two studied together under several gurus before returning to America to get married. They eventually settled in Florence to be near [NAME]’s parents.

After the birth of their first child, Joshua began one of the first online exotic imports store. Here he combined his love for travel and native cultures with the need to support his growing family. His wife remembers these as happy years, in which the three of them would spend many months traveling and collecting exotic museum-quality pieces for sale in the States. However, after the birth of their second daughter, Joshua decided to take a more home-oriented approach to life. In 2001, Joshua opened one of the first New Age/Pagan oriented stores in Florence.

The brightly painted storefront of “Trickster Moon” has since become a landmark in the historic downtown area. Though Joshua initially faced some resistance to his store’s opening, his good humor and vast cultural knowledge quickly won him friends in the area. When several years later the family added a small coffee shop and bakery to the store, it quickly became a popular haunt for the county’s alternative youth culture. Joshua’s friendly presence and exceptional soups earned him the loyalty of his customers, many of whom came to know and love him as a mentor in addition to a shop-owner.

He was widely known among his regulars for his ready advice and his tendency to suggest a hearty curry lentil soup as the solution to any problem. His kind nature, along with his aggressive matchmaking tendencies, earned him the affectionate title of “Auntie Josh. ” Two years ago Joshua was awarded the Silver Wolf Award, an honor offered by the CAPE (Carolina Association of Pagans & Eclectics), for unique contributions to the community. Following this award, he was the subject of 15-minute documentary produced by students at Blue Ridge Community College.

This film includes historic footage taken by Joshua on his early explorations prior to his time at Trickster Moon, an exploration of the store’s development, and also interviews with Joshua about his passionate commitment to the survival and transmission of ancient religious culture. The film, entitled “Moon Signs: The Joshua Dickerson Story,” will be shown in its entirety at his memorial service. All those who have been touched by Joshua’s life or the existence of Trickster Moon store are welcome to attend this final celebration of his life. Refreshments will be served.

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