Guide to the Dan Dickmeyer Collection (1972 – 2009) – History

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Dan Dickmeyer (September 11, 1945-   ) was born and raised in Fremont, Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1968 (B.A. Journalism) he worked as a community organizer with Volunteers in Service to America (V.I.S.T.A) in Wheeling, West Virginia. He settled in Tucson, AZ in 1970 where he married. He moved to California in 1971, living in San Francisco and settling in Santa Cruz in 1972, where he lived until 2009.

He had various occupations in Santa Cruz, including driving buses for the Santa Cruz Metro system and actively organizing the bus driver’s union which spear-headed the first public service strike in Santa Cruz history. He was the first paid office manager of the Resource Center for Non-Violence. He worked in the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) children’s center as a cook and then in 1988 started a library career there. Obtaining a Library Science degree from San Jose State in 1992 he worked in various libraries including UCSC, Cabrillo College and the Santa Cruz Public Library system.

Shortly after coming out as a gay man in 1973 he met David Paine who has been his partner (now husband) ever since. The couple raised Dan’s son from his marriage in conjunction with his former wife. He was a cofounder of the Lesbian and Gay Men’s Union based at Cabrillo College and spent many years actively campaigning for gay rights in Santa Cruz. He also volunteered with the Sierra Club, contributed articles to local newspapers and organized community projects.