Leader: We have gathered here to celebrate the lives of those who have served faithfully through the years and now share the triumph of Christ.
People: We affirm with praise and thanksgiving the goodness of our Lord.
Leader: Let us rejoice in God’s presence with us, in death as in life, among those who mourn as with those who now see Christ face to face.
People: In the midst of our grief, we sing with joy, for God’s love is over all that has been made.
All: Blessed be God’s glorious name forever! † PROCESSIONAL HYMNS OF PRAISE
Bless the Lord
Blessed Be Your Name
Give Thanks for Life
† OPENING PRAYER
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Wake us to the wonders of our world:
starlight, sunlight, ever-changing clouds,
sounds of insects, animals and birds,
shapes and colors, patterns and designs.
Like a whispered breath.
Or a thunder-clap,
or the thumping of a drum —
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
In wonder and awe, we pause in the stillness and hear our lungs breathe, feel our hearts beat: these simple gifts of blessing. Filled with memories: we know joy that floods our being — laughter and presence, goodness and gladness. Filled with memories: we know pain and sorrow threatening our souls — encompassing sadness, aching hearts and wounded spirits. We approach the One who is all in all — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Heal, forgive, restore, refresh, renew and sustain! Hear our praise, heed our cries, help our fractured selves. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
ANTHEM Choose You This Day Whom You Will Serve Newlove Annan
Ghana Wesley UM Mission Church Choir,
P.C. Appiah, music director
PROCLAMATION PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Lord, open our hearts and minds
by the power of your Holy Spirit,
that, as the Scriptures are read
and your Word proclaimed,
we may hear with joy what you say to us today. Amen. SCRIPTURE LESSON: Matthew 6:25-34
SERMON “A Love Song for All That Will Not Die” Rev. Alex Joyner
ANTHEM Go Not Far From Me Zingarelli
Franktown UMC Choir, Judi Tracy, music director
Thanksgiving AND COMMUNION Prayer of Thanksgiving
Eternal God, you have taken us, scattered and lost people,
and formed us into a family of faith.
When we were oppressed and enslaved,
you raised up steadfast leaders to remind us of your promise.
When we were rebellious and unfaithful,
you sent us loving teachers to instruct us in your way.
When we were uncertain and afraid,
you brought forth bold, prophetic voices to speak your truth
and proclaim your good news.
We thank you for all the saints who have heard your call
to lead congregations, to serve communities,
and to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Especially, we thank you for these ministers of the gospel
who have entered the church eternal this year:
The Naming of Those
Who Have Entered the Church Triumphant
As the secretary for the conference reads the names aloud,
all are invited to stand for the entire reading of the
names of these servants.
The bell is tolled and a candle is lighted
in memory of each one named.
At the conclusion of the reading of the names,
the secretary of the conference says,
“For each of these, who having answered the call of God,
ministered faithfully to the needs of whole communities
as well as the congregations to whom they were sent,
who witnessed to the grace of Jesus Christ with their
words and actions, and who now rest from their labors,
let us praise God.”
The people respond,
“Thank you, Lord, for these your servants.”
The secretary of the conference says,
“For the call and ministry we have shared
with all lay men and women,
boys and girls of this conference
who have entered the church triumphant,
let us praise God.”
The people respond,
“Thank you, Lord, for these your servants.”
Soon and Very Soon Invitation
Leader: Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him,
who earnestly repent of their sin
and seek to live in peace with one another.
Therefore, let us confess our sin before God and one another.
Confession and Pardon
Leader: Lord, we confess our day to day failure to be truly human.
People: Lord, we confess to you.
Leader: Lord, we confess that we often fail to love with all we have and are,
often because we do not fully understand what loving means,
often because we are afraid of risking ourselves.
People: Lord, we confess to you.
Leader: Lord, we cut ourselves off from each other and we erect barriers of division.
People: Lord, we confess to you.
Leader: Lord, we confess that by silence and ill-considered word
People: We have built up walls of prejudice.
Leader: Lord, we confess that by selfishness and lack of sympathy
People: We have stifled generosity and left little time for others.
Leader: Holy Spirit, speak to us. Help us listen to your word of forgiveness.
Come, fill this moment and free us from sin.
(All pray in silence)
Leader: Hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;
that proves God’s love toward us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
People: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
All: Glory to God! Amen.
† The Peace
Leader: Let us offer one another signs of reconciliation and love.
† Taking the Bread and Cup † The Great Thanksgiving Bishop Kammerer, presiding
Bishop: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Bishop: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Bishop: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(The bishop gives thanks, remembering God’s acts of salvation, and concludes:) And so,
with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
(The bishop continues, recalling the Lord’s Supper and concludes:) And so,
in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
(The bishop invokes the present work of the Holy Spirit and then praises the Trinity, concluding:) Send your Spirit to renew our faith and transform our souls
so that we may hear your music,
work for justice, delight in heavenly food,
and strengthen one another in love and grace.
Thanks be to God.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Breaking the Bread Giving the Bread and the Cup (Our mode of Communion is that of intinction. Please proceed to the nearest Communion station. A server places the bread in your hand, after which you dip the bread into the chalice and partake. Please note that a gluten free station also is provided near the stage.
After receiving, please return to your seats for meditation and prayer. As you are led, the choir will sing an anthem, followed by the congregation singing the songs printed on the next few pages during the distribution.) Music During Communion ANTHEMThe Living Song Martin
Franktown UMC Choir, Judi Tracy, music director
The Clouds’ Veil Lawton
Jo Ann Molera and Marilyn Kellam, soloists
Fill My Cup
This is the Body of Christ Prayer After Communion Bishop Kammerer
We thank you, God, for the lives of the saints,
for the witness of your church,
and for the unity of this table.
Send us forth now to love and serve in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sending Forth † HymnShall We Gather at the RiverGhana Wesley UM Mission Church Choir
† Dismissal with Blessing
The peace of God, which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.
And the blessing of God Almighty — Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit —
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
† Postlude X X X
Worship Leaders Presiding Bishop:
Charlene P. Kammerer
Pastor, Franktown UMC
Eastern Shore District
Pastor Thrasher Memorial UMC
Pastor, Ghana Wesley UM Mission Church
Deacon assisting Bishop:
Youth Minister, Crozet UMC
Secretary of the Conference:
Robert C. Blinn
Pastor, Trinity UMC
Committee on Memoirs:
John B. Peters, chairperson
Pastor, Trinity UMC
Douglas B. Paysour
Pastor, Fincastle UMC
Franktown UMC Choir
Judi Tracy, Director of Music
Eastern Shore District
Ghana Wesley UM Mission Church Choir
P.C. Appiah, Director of Music
Ghana Wesley UM Mission Church
Soloist during gathering
Chaplain, The Hermitage
Keyboards, song leader
Associate Director of Music and Arts
Shady Grove UMC
Shady Grove UMC
Hyaets Community, Charlotte, NC
Eastern Shore District
Jo Ann Molera
Eastern Shore District
Bass, Irish whistles
Associate Pastor, Highland UMC
Worship Team Leaders:
Associate Director of Music and Arts
Shady Grove UMC, Richmond District
Associate Pastor, Thrasher Memorial UMC
X X X
Copyright Notices and Acknowledgments
Permissions have been obtained for use in this 2011 “A Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion” worship booklet. Some items showing no copyright information may have copyright protection in other countries. Every effort has been made to trace the owner(s) and/or administrators of each copyright. The Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church regrets any omission. The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) and The Faith We Sing (2000) are produced by the United Methodist Publishing House and Abingdon Press, Nashville Tenn.
On the cover: The 2011 Virginia Annual Conference theme is “Being Christ to Others: Snapshots of the Kingdom.” The logo was designed by Richard H. Jenkins, freelance graphic designer and illustrator, who is a member of St. Luke’s UMC in Richmond.
Graphics used throughout the pages of this book are from:
HermanoLeón Clipart Web site. This clipart is frequently used in parishes and Spanish religious communities. Authors unknown.
Clip Art for the Liturgical Year, copyright 1988 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc. Designs by Clemens Schmidt, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota.
More Clip Art for the Liturgical Year, copyright 1990 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc. Designs by Placid Stuckenschneider, O.S.B., The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota.
+ + +
Booklet Production Credit
A Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion booklet produced with assistance from Debbie Duty, Graphics Communicator, Office of Communications, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church.
+ + +
THE MEMORIAL ROLL
In Memory of Those Persons Related to the
Virginia Conference Who Died in the Last Year
Deceased Clergy, (Date of Birth), & Conference Status Date of Death
† James Lee Dodd (7/20/31) RE 3/8/2010
Alfred Lee Eastman (8/24/24) RE 6/18/2010
† Robert Emory Couch (8/8/27) RE 6/20/2010
Marvin C. Cook (7/25/20) RE 6/27/2010
Clifton C. Blythe Jr. (6/12/17) RE 7/14/2010
† Marshall F. Driskill Jr. (6/27/36) RA 7/29/2010
William Floyd Mahon (2/13/38) RE 8/4/2010
William Archer Wright Jr. (12/2/18) RE 8/15/2010
Marvin Dana Hunt (9/4/25) RE 8/26/2010
Elmer A. Thompson (2/28/21) RE 9/26/2010
Carleton Lee Thomas Sr. (12/11/27) RE 10/3/2010
Douglas Gordon Ebert (9/10/26) RE 10/11/2010
Eldred Cecil Gunn (4/1/21) RE 10/23/2010
Gary Raymond Bodie Jr. (3/7/30) RE 10/25/2010
Edward Turner Wright (8/17/33) RE 10/31/2010
Harry Burnett Randall III (11/10/25) RE 11/5/2010
William Archer Moon Jr. (3/2/18) RE 11/9/2010
James Mason Cosby (11/12/29) RE 11/15/2010
Earl Summeral Tyson (2/26/28) RE 11/27/2010
L. Lawson Byrd (6/21/26) RE 12/9/2010
† Herbert Pollard Hall (7/8/22) RE 12/14/2010
Walter S. Green III (11/22/24) RE 1/18/2011
Carol Rogers Thornton (11/23/45) RL 1/27/2011
Marcus Herrin Bloodworth (6/23/13) RE 3/13/2011
Joseph T. Carson Jr. (7/13/26) RE 3/15/2011
† Robert E. Taylor (8/3/19) RE 3/16/2011
Jay E. Luther (11/22/28) RE 3/26/2011
Hugh C. Paschall (3/11/26) RE 3/31/2011
William Edward Basom (2/22/15) RE 4/10/2011
† Robert James Callis Jr. (1/16/24) RE 5/2/2011
† Deborah Grindall McNeill (11/28/46) RL 5/4/2011
† Ferdinand Wagner (10/10/18) RE 5/8/2011
† Roy Carl Drake (1/17/46) RL 5/9/2011
Carl William Ulrich (9/30/44) FE 12/4/2010
Joseph W. Hagenlocker (10/24/46) PL 5/7/2011
Key to Conference Status Abbreviations:
RM - Retired Full Member RA - Retired Associate Member
RL - Retired Local Pastor RB - Retired Bishop
PE - Probationary Elder PL - Part-time Local Pastor
FL - Full-time Local Pastor RDM - Retired Diaconal Minister
† Memoir not available at press time.
A brief obituary notice reprinted from the conference’s official monthly
newsmagazine, the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, has been included. Without Memoir
Name of Deceased Spouse and (Related Clergy’s Name) Date of Death
Spouses of CLERGY:
Eileen R. Miller (Rev. John A. Miller) 7/6/2010
Mildred Walthall (Rev. Thomas L. Walthall) 7/30/2010
June S. Chappell (Rev. Willie A. Chappell Jr.) 9/7/2010
Evelyn W. Jamison (Rev. Lee Roy Jamison) 9/7/2010
Rosemary Corinne (Cori) Snyder (Rev. John Snyder) 10/30/2010
Violet W. Stewart (Rev. Carl O. Stewart) 2/24/2011
Teresa Williams (Rev. Herbert C. Williams Jr.) 3/5/2011
Spouses of Deceased clergy:
Ella Plunkett (Rev. Edward Plunkett) 6/23/2010
Reva A. Harris (Rev. George A. Harris) 7/19/2010
Lucile F. Burruss (Rev. Henry W. Burruss) 9/19/2010
Carolyn D. Halstrom (Rev. Lloyd C. Halstrom) 9/20/2010
Madeleine DeWolf (Rev. L. Harold DeWolf) 9/27/2010
Bernice Anthony (Rev. Victor B. Anthony) 11/2/2010
Frances L. Blankenbaker (Rev. Wilmer A. Blankenbaker) 12/23/2010
Eva P. Robertson (Rev. James L. Robertson) 1/3/2011
Louise C. Snipes (formerly married to Rev. Wm. E. Barber) 1/5/2011
Mary W. Cash (Rev. Van E. Cash) 1/12/2011
Notie C. Bunch (Rev. Harry W. Bunch) 1/13/2011
Kathryne C. Bentley (Rev. Gilliam C. Bentley) 2/22/2011
Thelma Goodpasture (Rev. Marion G. Goodpasture Jr.) 3/9/2011
Madge G. Haga (Rev. Ralph L. Haga) 4/3/2011
Mary P. Arthur (Rev. C. Ralph Arthur) 4/11/2011
Rebecca Murphy (Rev. Robert E. Murphy) 5/23/2011
of the 2010-2011 Annual Conference
Who Have Died in the Last Year
Name, (Date of Death) Church, District
Andrew Durham Harris (7/28/10) Old Bridge UMC, Alexandria
(Elected an Alexandria District member for the 2010 Annual Conference)
Marilyn “Lyn” Robeson (5/19/11) Wrights Chapel UMC, Ashland
(Ashland District member at-large)
MEMOIRS James Lee Dodd
1931 – 2010
The Rev. James Lee Dodd, 78, died March 8, 2010. He began his ministerial career in 1963 as a professor at Ferrum College. He went on to serve as a professor at LaGrange College, professor at the University of Georgia, and as the Regional Director of the Georgia Department of Mental Health in LaGrange. He retired in 1980.
Survivors include his wife, Jacquelyn Trammell Dodd.
— Reprinted from the October 2010 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Alfred Lee Eastman
1924 – 2010
Alfred Lee Eastman was born Aug. 24, 1924, in Greensboro, N.C., to Fitzhugh Lee and Thelma Dixon Eastman. He had two brothers, Robert (deceased) and Richard; and one sister, Carol Hargrove.
He graduated from Newport News High School in 1942 where he played football and was known as “Red” for his red hair. Following in the footsteps of many young men in Newport News, Va., he entered the apprentice school at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. It was not his passion, and on the day of graduation, he picked up his tool bag, quit and left.
He joined the Navy in 1943 and served three years during World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific area on the USS Sabik Liberty ship. His ship transported 15,696 troops and 28,000 tons of cargo over 56,693 miles of travel. Believe me, the family has memorized and taken pride in the stories from Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, Guadalcanal, and life on the ship. He came home with a tattoo on his arm (which caused a stir at more than one church) and, little known by anyone but the family, a pierced ear.
A few days after his return from the war in 1946, he married Dorothy Page Bell — who actually lied about her age to get him to date her. It was a match made in heaven. They both worked at NASA in Hampton, Va., where they bought their first home. Philip Lee Eastman was born Jan. 9, 1954. During that time, there were no Methodist churches nearby, so Al and Dot participated in starting a church, which is now Bethany United Methodist Church in Hampton. The initial services were held in their home on Cornwall Terrace. Heavily influenced by that experience, Al attended Randolph-Macon College to earn his B.A. and moved to Poughquag, N.Y., to serve the Poughquag Methodist Church, while attending Drew University in New Jersey to earn his B.D. During that time, Brenda Susan was born Aug. 1, 1956.
Upon graduation, a Washington state bishop urged Al to come to Washington, but as the Rev. A. Purnell Bailey said “Al was not moved by the Holy Spirit, but moved by the Holy Girl,” as Dorothy emphatically said, “I am going home to Virginia.”
Al served Christ UMC in Newport News, Kilmarnock UMC in Kilmarnock, Memorial UMC in Appomattox, Franconia UMC in Alexandria and St. Stephens UMC in Burke. He then served as superintendent for the Harrisonburg and Rappahannock districts.
During his service in Harrisonburg, Dorothy and Philip, as well as Al’s mother, Thelma Eastman, passed away with cancer. Several years earlier, he lost his brother, Bobby. These were devastating losses from which Al never fully recovered. He was truly devoted to his family and he would continue to grieve for the rest of his life.
Al was an avid visitor during his career and continued during his retirement to visit in nursing and assisted living homes. He did not want anyone to feel alone or lost.
I have always been a daddy’s girl, so in the last 25 years, Al has spent much of his time with me and his granddaughters, Amy, Debbye and Robin. He has influenced and enriched our lives beyond comprehension. He was overjoyed at the births of his great-grandchildren, Kayla, Madelyn and Alexis; and though he never saw Parker, born June 10, 2010, he was able to comprehend and be proud that he had a great-grandson. July 2010 brought one more great-granddaughter, Sophie Michelle. Al often said his “status” as a senior increased with the number of great-grandchildren he could brag about.
Alfred Eastman was an incredible man who not only preached the word, but lived it. He had a unique sense of humor and a truly eloquent way of getting his point across. It was amazing, at his funeral visitation, to hear past parishioners mention specific sermons that had touched their hearts throughout the years.
We miss him dearly, but his imprint on our lives will always be there. I truly believe you never lose a person entirely, they take a piece of your soul with them and you keep a piece of theirs in your heart forever.
Thank you for celebrating his life with us today!
— Brenda Eastman Barber Robert Emory Couch
1927 – 2010
The Rev. Robert Emory Couch, 82, retired elder, died June 20, 2010. He began his ministerial career in 1954 as a student at Candler. He served the North Carolina Conference in 1954 at Kennakeet, then 1955 at Bath. He returned to the Virginia Conference in 1956 and served Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Brucetown, Brookneal, Rock Spring, Annex-Crimora and Massanutten. He retired in 1978.
Survivors include his wife, Stella.
— Reprinted from the August 2010 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Marvin Claude “Windy” Cook
1920 – 2010
The psalmist said in Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Windy might never have thought of himself as a saint, but we all sure knew him as a faithful servant of the Lord; a shepherd of his people whom he was appointed to love and serve. He was a country kind of preacher. And he showed so many of us how to trust, how to have hope, how to be faithful and how to live. Sure, a sinner saved by the grace of God, but now most assuredly part of what we know now as “the communion of saints.” “Thou wast his rock, his fortress and his might, thou Lord his captain, in the well-fought fight, thou in his darkness drear his one true light.” A soldier for Christ — faithful, true and bold. And yes, Windy too has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. The number of lives he touched between being a medic in the U.S. Army on the second day of Normandy and during the Battle of the Bulge and serving as a pastor in the Methodist Church for over 36 years, we’ll never know. All the holy moments he spent with people in prayer, in counseling, sitting by bedsides, or across a dinner table, or on some fairway; maybe in placing water on the head of an infant, child, teen or adult, or pronouncing a couple husband and wife, or committing a member and friend’s soul into God’s good keeping.
Marvin Claude Cook was born in Flint Hill, Va., July 25, 1920. He and Danna Richardson (who survives) met in Norfolk and were married June 13, 1942, in the Oceanview Methodist Church. They have two children: Rick and his wife, Sharron; and Linda and her husband, Jim. There are four living grandchildren: Melaney, Cooper, Taylor and Austin. They lost Kevin when he was 15. There are three great-grandchildren: Janey, Shelby and Sydney.
Windy graduated from Rappahannock High School in 1938. As a medic in the U.S. Army, in some of the fiercest fighting, in the cold of winter, I’m sure Windy held onto his faith which he learned as a little boy at Flint Hill Methodist Church. You know how brave he had to be, and I’m sure those years affected his call into ministry. There was no doubt he was called. When asked, he said that God had promised him to be with him wherever he went and Windy said, “He was.”
After the war, Windy got into some lay speaking at Willis Chapel and during that time responded to the calling of God to go into ministry as a pastor. He began college at the University of Virginia for two years while he served the Nelson County Charge with four churches. He went to Duke Divinity School in the summers. He would serve four more charges over his ministry career to include eight years at Duncan Memorial in Berryville, nine years at Farmville and seven years at First Methodist in Culpeper, until retirement in 1986. In retirement, Windy was appointed to Jeffersonton United Methodist Church where he was asked to go and close the church. Someone must not have read his ministry record sheet. He not only did not close it, but it grew and added on in his three years.
He was always down-to-earth, very personable and practiced the advice he gave when he said, “Just love the people.” And he did. And because he did, everywhere he went, the churches grew in numbers, in size with expansion programs and in ministry.
Windy loved the Lord and he’d want us to as well. Windy loved people — all people — and he’d want us to as well. He wanted us to know how much he appreciated the fact that God allowed him to serve. He considered it a privilege to serve God and God’s people. And every time we have that opportunity, Windy would want us to embrace ministry as a privilege as well, until we too have finished our race and rest from our labors.
— Linda Kemp, using excerpts from her father’s eulogy,
written and spoken by the Rev. Dr. Randy Orndorff,
lead pastor, Culpeper United Methodist Church
Clifton C. Blythe Jr.
1917 – 2010
Rev. Clifton C. Blythe Jr. was born June 12, 1917, in Franklin, Va. He grew up working in his family’s laundry business in Franklin and was president of his senior class at Franklin High School, Class of 1936.
After high school, Rev. Blythe earned a business degree at Benjamin Franklin University and eventually took over his parents’ business when they retired. Rev. Blythe constructed a new more modern facility and added a new service just coming into vogue — dry cleaning.
Rev. Blythe was an active member of High Street UMC in Franklin and served in numerous leadership positions. In the 1950s, he became a lay minister serving small churches in Southampton County that did not have a full-time pastor.
When the call came to go into the full-time ministry, he sold his business and went to Duke University Divinity School, graduating in 1960.
As the first full-time pastor of Magnolia UMC in Suffolk, Rev. Blythe led the church in relocating after eminent domain took the church’s educational wing and fellowship hall. Several years later, eminent domain threatened to force the relocated church to abandon plans to expand. Rev. Blythe consulted with then Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr., the church’s former attorney, who arranged to save the church property and allow the planned expansion to go forward.
In 1966, Rev. Blythe was sent to Trinity UMC in Richmond, where he served as associate minister and minister of evangelism and used his business background to supervise the construction of a new educational wing at Trinity.
Rev. Blythe served seven years as pastor of the old, established Market Street UMC in Onancock on the Eastern Shore before being appointed to Emmanuel UMC in Amherst and later was appointed to St. Andrews (Portsmouth) in 1977 where he retired in 1986 and became “Pastor Emeritus” of St. Andrews.
Because of his lay experience, Rev. Blythe had the gift to interpret theological teaching into something the average person could appreciate and understand, and was able to create more enthusiasm, interest, activity and financial giving. He had the ability to not just encourage his parishioners, but to motivate them to do more than they had done in the past.
Rev. Blythe was the widower of Edna R. Blythe, whom he married on Christmas Day in 1938. “C.C. and Edna” enjoyed over 72 years of marriage. Mrs. Blythe passed away on April 12, 2010, and Rev. Blythe followed her to his heavenly reward on July 14, 2010, at age 93.
Rev. and Mrs. Blythe are survived by three sons, Earl, Stephen and Barry; a sister, Frances B. Holt; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
— C. Earl Blythe
Marshall F. Driskill Jr.
1936 – 2010
The Rev. Marshall F. Driskill Jr., 74, retired associate member, died July 29, 2010. He began his ministerial career in 1988 at Sussex. He went on to serve Glenwood (Farmville District) and the Bedford Circuit (Lynchburg District). He went on incapacity leave in 1997. He retired in 2002.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jennie W. Driskill, and his second
wife, Sandra A. Driskill. Surviving are his daughters, Linda D. Gysin and Sarah D.
Stenzinger; sons, David S. Driskill, William M. Driskill, the Rev. R. Mark Driskill, Paul F. Driskill and Ted E. Driskill; stepsons, Norman G. Proffitt and Russell W. Proffitt; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
— Reprinted from the September 2010 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
William Floyd Mahon
1938 – 2010
The Rev. William Floyd (Bill) Mahon began his ministerial service in 1962 as a pastor in the Virginia Conference and served for 40 years until his retirement in 2000. The son of Mary Elizabeth Harrover and William Harold Mahon, he was born in Lorton, Va. From his humble beginnings, according to his wife, Jean, of 43 years, “He felt the hand of God upon him.”
Bill had a way with people. His smile, his laughter, and attentiveness attracted people to him. His honesty and his dependable service, whether in secular work or ultimately in full-time Christian service, was “rock solid.” Following his graduation from Randolph-Macon College and Duke Divinity School, his pastoral ministry began as the associate pastor at Mount Vernon, Alexandria; pastor of Hillcrest, Alexandria; Brookville, Brookville-Shiloh in Lynchburg; Aldersgate in Charlottesville; Shiloh in Ashland; Ocran in Petersburg; Charity and St. Paul’s in Norfolk; Warsaw in Rappahannock; Lakeside in Ashland; and upon his retirement, he served as the associate pastor at Courthouse Community, Virginia Beach.
Bill had a heart for missions, to share the love of Jesus Christ. He did this through his district missionary work and his involvement in mission trips in several countries outside the United States. He had a blessed way of winning the hearts and minds of those he encountered, whether laity or clergy. He knew that “the Lord was his Shepherd,” and he sought to emulate the Great Shepherd as God gave him the ability to do so.
Reflecting on Bill’s life one is reminded of the quotation from Proverbs 10:7; “The memory of the righteous is a blessing. . .” Indeed, Bill was a blessing to his wife, his sons Cliff and Eddie, and to his larger family, and to his colleagues and friends. A good man, a good and faithful servant of the church has passed our way, but his shadow casts itself upon all who knew him. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was right:
Were a star quenched on high,
For ages would its light,
Still traveling downward from the sky,
Shine on our mortal sight.
And so when a good man dies,
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him lies
Upon the paths of men.
— The Rev. E. Thomas Murphy Jr.
William Archer Wright Jr.
1918 – 2010
The Rev. Dr. William Archer Wright Jr. passed away peacefully in Richmond Aug. 15, 2010, surrounded by his family. Dr. Wright was a descendent of Mordecai Cooke, a Virginia planter who settled in the early 1600s at “Mordecai’s Mount” (Church Hill) in Gloucester County. Starting with his great-grandfather in 1852, Dr. Wright’s ancestors and descendents have continuously served nearly 160 years as Methodist ministers in the Virginia Conference. His daughter, the Rev. Elizabeth Wright Taylor of Hampton, Va., and his grandson, the Rev. John Archer Squares, of Poynton, England, carry on the Methodist ministerial tradition.
Bill was born in 1918 at Belle Haven, Va., on the Eastern Shore. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and ODK from Randolph-Macon College in 1939, and completed his Master of Divinity in 1942 at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He and his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth Johnson Wright of Franklin, Va., were married in 1946. Of her, he wrote in his book, Recollections and Reflections, “Beth has provided the warm heart my theology needed to make it live.” (pg. 341)
In 1952, Rev. Wright went on sabbatical to New York City to work as Director of Student Affairs for the American Friends of the Middle East, a foundation for international education and cultural exchange. He was also an accredited observer at the United Nations. During this time he traveled widely throughout the Middle East. He returned to the ministry in Virginia in 1956.
Beginning in 1942, Rev. Wright served churches on the Eastern Shore, in Portsmouth, Merrifield, Smithfield, Newport News, Springfield and Clarendon. He was superintendent of the Charlottesville District, a position his father held 50 years earlier. He was the religious books reviewer for the Richmond Times Dispatch, and wrote articles for the 20th Century Quarterly, Virginia United Methodist Advocate, World Outlook, Christian Century and Christian Advocate. He served the Virginia Conference on numerous boards and agencies including the Commission on World Peace, the Board of Education as president, the Virginia Council of Churches as chair of the Division of Life and Work, the Committee on Research and Planning as chair, the Board of Pensions, the Board of Church and Society, and the United Methodist Foundation as director. Rev. Wright retired from the Virginia Conference in 1986 after serving as Executive Secretary, Board of Pensions, and Director of Ministerial Services for the Associate Council on Ministries. In 1986 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Randolph-Macon College. Dr. Wright served on the Board of Trustees at both Randolph-Macon and Ferrum Colleges.
Dr. Wright is survived by his wife, Beth; daughters, Elizabeth Taylor and Ann Dye; sons, John Johnson and W. Archer Wright III; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Bill Wright was a scholar, poet, teacher and preacher. He was a man of deep faith, quiet strength and gentle humor. He was a lover of God, family, humanity, and Creation. His grandson, John, put it this way: “He taught me the faith as Christ taught his disciples, by modeling God the best way that he could. . .”
The following is a poem that Dr. Wright wrote. Though deeply personal for him, it resonates with many as a witness to life as God’s own:
TETRALOGON WONDER coaxed me from the womb when all that is was new.
Wonder is the hunger of the mind.
In wonder I have fed at history’s cornucopia of thought, and thought my own thoughts.
In wonder I have tried to comprehend a universe without boundaries.
In wonder I have contemplated the mystery of myself: Who, What and Why;
And the mystery of death.
In TEARS and LAUGHTER, pain and joy, was I born.
Up-flowing from that deep interior well where sweet and bitter waters mix,
Tears and laughter are the converse of the soul in language pure and wordless.
I have laughed at the wit of women and men, and the antics of dogs and cats.
I have laughed in the excitement of books, and teachers, and things learned.
I have laughed and wept in the presence of beauty: sunset and storm,
canyons and peaks, pyramids, mosques and cathedrals, music and pictures.
I have wept alone in the secret closets of my mind.
I have wept for ravaged waters, snail darters and mountain firs,
And for brothers and sisters in blood stained streets of the global village.
I have laughed with God in the joy of his Creation.
I have wept with God before the Cross.
LOVE embraced me at my birth.
Father’s hands and Mother’s heart, surrogates for God.
Logos of God;
Cosmic concretion, confuter of chaos:
Ground and goal of our humanity;
Sweet mystery of man and woman joined, and joy of families;
Love is the emotion of God creating.
I love, and in loving know and am known.
Is there more than these four?
WONDER, LAUGHTER, TEARS, and LOVE.
— The Wright family Marvin Dana Hunt
1925 – 2010 The Rev. Marvin Dana Hunt died Aug. 26, 2010. Born Sept. 4, 1925, to Patsy (Garner) and Fowler T. Hunt, Dana was raised and educated in Halifax County, Virginia. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and after stateside training entered the Pacific theater as a gunner/radioman aboard a [patrol bomber] PBY Catalina, conducting patrols and cleanup operations on Guam, Peleliu and other islands until the war’s end. Dana was fond of noting that the enemy surrendered less than a year after he joined the fray.
After the war, Dana entered what was then Ferrum Junior College, later convincing his new girlfriend, Hazel, to enroll there as well. After graduation, Dana continued his education at Lynchburg College and began a long career in the ministry.
He and the former Hazel Wall were married in April 1949, and their first son, Marvin, arrived in December 1950. Another son, David Marcus, was born in September 1952.
Dana’s ministry took the family to rural Christian (Disciples of Christ) parishes throughout Virginia, including Beaver Dam, Green Bay, Emporia and Red Oak. In 1958, he entered The Divinity School at Duke University and, while serving churches in Burlington and Stokesdale, N.C., pursued his seminary degree. After graduating from Duke with a Master of Divinity, he served congregations in Durham and Greenville, N.C. While in Greenville, Dana earned a master’s degree in Counseling at East Carolina University.
Dana and Hazel returned home to Virginia and The United Methodist Church. In 1976, Dana was ordained a deacon by the Virginia Conference and was appointed to Williamsburg (Peninsula District) as the Associate Pastor. In 1977, Rev. Hunt was ordained an elder.
Subsequent appointments took the Hunts to Chase City (Farmville District); Forest (Lynchburg District); Main Street (Danville District); and Bethlehem (Lynchburg District). He retired in 1991. During his retirement, Dana served part-time appointments at Hyco (Farmville District) and Schoolfield (Danville District). He also found great satisfaction serving as a trustee at his beloved Ferrum College.
In a ministry spanning nearly 50 years, Dana touched the hearts and minds of thousands through his powerful preaching and private counseling. It truly can be said that Rev. Hunt left the world a better place through his service to so many congregations and communities. Near the end of his life, Dana proclaimed that “there is no greater life than the life lived in ministry.” He is sorely missed by his family and friends, who take consolation in knowing that he fought the good fight and has been rewarded for his dedication in the pulpit and in his daily life to Christian principles.
He is survived by his wife, Hazel; his son, Marvin, and daughter-in-law, Robin, of Durham, N.C.; his grandchildren, John Miles and Alexandra Outland of Raleigh, N.C.; and his sister, Thelma Bagwell, of Stuarts Draft, Va. He was predeceased by his parents, a brother and sister, and several half-siblings, as well as his son, Marc.
— Marvin Hunt
— Rev. Michael Reaves
Elmer A. Thompson
1921 – 2010
Born into a church-going family in rural Maryland, with a father who would later become a local preacher and a mother who loved her boys equally, Elmer A. Thompson was a servant of the church and a friend to many within, as well as beyond its walls. His beloved wife, Helen, was by his side in marriage for 57 years and was, in Elmer’s words, “such a positive influence on my life.” Elmer and Helen had a special relationship with their nieces and nephews, taking them on individual summer trips as each one turned 12 years of age. In addition, Elmer and Helen had what Elmer called his “extended family” of friends who were like children and grandchildren.
Elmer was granted a Local Preacher’s License in 1938 and was ordained an elder on Oct. 17, 1948. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Randolph-Macon College in 1942 and from Boston University with a Master of Divinity in 1948. Elmer’s studies focused on Christian education and Bible, and with his brilliant mind and phenomenal memory, he became quite a theologian as well as an exemplary Christian educator. In honor of his outstanding leadership in the church, in 1972, Randolph-Macon College conferred upon Elmer the Doctor of Divinity degree.
Elmer spent the first 10 years of his ministry serving as a rural pastor while studying at both college and seminary. During the war years, Elmer couldn’t serve in the armed forces due to his bad hip, but he filled pulpits at home so that others could serve as military chaplains overseas. He even taught math and chemistry in the Caroline County schools when there was no one else to teach those subjects at the high school.
At the request of his bishop, Elmer served for four years as the Dean of Ferrum Junior College, helping to stabilize the college by closing the high school and enabling a focus on the junior college. Elmer made quite a mark on not just the college but also its students, as well into retirement he kept up with some of those students.
Again, at the request of his bishop, Elmer served for 10 years as the Director of the Local Church for the General Board of Education of The United Methodist Church. Elmer traveled across the country designing and leading laboratory schools for ministers and local church teachers.
Yet again his bishop called, and Elmer spent 20 years on the Virginia Annual Conference Council on Ministries staff. He traveled widely around the conference, teaching ministers to become more effective educators, leading local churches in goal setting and program planning, and training both professional and lay church workers. Elmer identified with and supported the Christian educators and diaconal ministers of the annual conference. He was an early champion of clergywomen and cross-racial appointments. Elmer represented Virginia at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences of 1976, 1980, and 1984. Elmer helped to develop the Youth Engaged in Service (YES) summer mission program, and so guided at least a dozen young people to hear their call to ordained or diaconal ministry. Elmer retired in 1984, but his ministry would continue on in the local church which Helen had joined in 1973, Skipwith UMC in the Richmond District, and then finally at The Hermitage, teaching and preaching as long as he was able and pastoring and theologizing right up until the end. Elmer died with a clear mind, a warm heart, and a love of the Lord that shone through him in his love for others.
— Kathryn F. Talley
Carleton Lee Thomas Sr.
1927 – 2010
On Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, Carleton Lee Thomas Sr. went to be with the Lord that he so lovingly and faithfully served all of his life. He was born in Roanoke, Va., Dec. 11, 1927. He was the son of Clarence Wilson Thomas and Lilly Kidd Thomas. He graduated from Jefferson Sr. High School in Roanoke in 1946. He joined the U.S. Navy and served in Sasebo, Japan, from 1946 to 1948. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 1952. He was an avid sports fan and at the University of Richmond, he played football and tennis. Carleton graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., in 1955. He was ordained to ministry in 1955 and also became an educator serving in private and public schools. Later, he served God through The United Methodist Church at Rockbridge Charge, Staunton District; the Charlotte Charge, Farmville District; and North Fluvanna Charge, Charlottesville District; and Anderson Memorial UMC, Lynchburg District. After retiring in 1993, he served the New Hope/Trinity Charge in the Lynchburg District.
Carleton leaves to cherish his memories to his wife Jackie of 54 years; two
daughters, Wanda Lee Thomas and Robin Lynn Rowland and husband Gary; a son,
Carleton Lee Thomas Jr. and wife Bethel; and three grandchildren, Dara Rowland,
Kaley Thomas and Jordan Thomas.
A true disciple of Christ, Carleton lived what he preached. He lived with JOY,
which he often said stood for Jesus first, others second, and yourself third. He had
a tremendous knowledge of the Bible and his teaching was often spontaneous
and unique, making each person think for themselves. He often compared lessons
learned in the Bible with our modern day living. Through the knowledge of Carleton’s teaching, we felt we knew Jesus and his disciples on a personal level. Carleton
loved music and sang in the choir; he harmonized to every hymn and song. He
would often begin singing his favorite hymns during family gatherings and
encourage his family to chime in. Carleton loved people and he never met a
stranger, because of his radiant smile and welcoming personality. We miss him
daily, but have peace knowing he graduated to his home with the Lord.
A memorial service was held Oct. 7 at New Hope United Methodist Church in Rustburg with the Rev. Charlie S. Haley Jr. officiating. Full military honors were presented by the American Legion Post 16.
— Jackie, Wanda, Robin and Carl Jr.
In the 15th chapter, 14th verse of John’s Gospel, Jesus said to the disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” I believe Rev. Carleton Thomas did what Jesus commanded, and he was a friend of Jesus.
I met Rev. Thomas in 1977-1978; when he was the minister at Anderson Memorial United Methodist Church in Gretna, in the Lynchburg District. My life at that time was somewhat out of order. There was a situation in my life that I did not know how to deal with. I wanted it to go away. I shouted about it, cried about it, cursed about it. One Sunday morning before the sun had risen, I was lying in bed. I asked God to help me.
A light appeared in the corner of the bedroom (no one was awake to see it except me).
The light was there only a second or two and disappeared. I felt a peace come over me that I hadn’t experienced in many years. For the first time in years I knew what I was going to do. I got up; made a pot of coffee; was polishing my shoes, when my wife, Jackie, came into the room and said, “Where are you going?” I’m sure she was surprised when I said, “I’m going to church.” The greeter that day at church was an old friend. He greeted me as if I had never left the church which I attended as a boy. The greeter introduced me to Rev. Thomas; he reached out to me, shook my hand and welcomed me.
Rev. Thomas baptized our youngest daughter and me during worship one Sunday.
My wife, Jackie, moved her membership from another denomination to Anderson Memorial. We were together in a way we had not been as a family. We became friends with Rev. and Mrs. Thomas (also named Jackie). I was asked to serve as lay leader and lay member to Annual Conference. Later, I became a local lay speaker and a certified lay speaker.
Jackie and I attended Annual Conference for many years with Rev. and Mrs. Thomas, and we have some fond memories. One year we were returning from Annual Conference in Virginia Beach. It was around 4 p.m. when we arrived in Norfolk. The military was leaving their duties for the day. The traffic was heavy (being from Gretna there was a few more cars than we were accustomed too). Rev. and Mrs. Thomas were following Jackie and me. We were watching the traffic and for the Thomas’ behind us, when all at once they were not there. We didn’t know what had happened. After we went through the Hampton Roads Tunnel, we stopped and waited, but they didn’t come. We journeyed on, always watching in the mirror for them. About two hours after we had arrived home, the phone rang. It was Mrs. Thomas. She was laughing and said they had gotten on an off ramp and the Marines stopped them at the entrance to the Naval Base in Norfolk.
During Annual Conference the next year again in Virginia Beach, Rev. and Mrs. Thomas’ first grandchild was born. Rev. Thomas and I went that year together. Our wives stayed home. The day after their granddaughter’s birth, at about 4 a.m., Rev. Thomas said, “Are you awake?” I replied, “Yes.” Then he said, “Let’s go home.” He had gone as long as he could without seeing his first grandchild.
We were at Annual Conference at Norfolk, visiting the Cokesbury section. Rev. Thomas bought some books. A couple was standing there that knew him and ask him if he was buying those books for himself? He handed me the books and told the couple “I’m buying them for him to get him started in the ministry.”
I don’t know if it was a shock to the couple, but it was a pleasant surprise to me. Rev. Thomas was very instrumental in guiding me in worship and into the ministry. I was blessed to serve after him on the New Hope/Trinity Charge (currently New Hope/Sharon).
Some years ago, Rev. Thomas asked me if I would conduct his funeral when the time came. He also requested that Mr. Steve Stadtherr have a part. Some years later Rev. Thomas’ health continued to worsen and he became bed-ridden. We all were saddened at his death on Oct. 3, 2010.
Rev. Thomas’ life was one of faith in God, the Father; Jesus, the Son; the Holy Spirit and the Inspired Word of God — the Holy Bible. A life that was dedicated to serving God through ministering to all of God’s children. His was a life of leading through teaching not only by word; but also through deed. Teaching by preparing individuals for a life as a Christian, a follower of Jesus. Teaching us to love God and our neighbor. Rev. Thomas’ life was one of preparation to live our earthly life to the fullest. Preparing himself and us for the day of our departure from our earthly life.
In The New Testament Scriptures from 2 Timothy 4:6-8, the Apostle Paul was writing to his beloved Timothy, advising him of his death — perhaps at any time. To advise all that would read his writings that he had fought the good fight, had finished the race and had kept the faith. That to me is the life that Rev. Thomas had lived. He wanted to leave a message for his family members and to those of us who had been blessed to know him that this is the life we too should live.
Rev. Thomas loved music and singing, especially the hymns and Easter and Christmas cantatas. Some of his favorite hymns were sung by Ms. Chapple Skillman, with others being sung by the congregation. I believe each of the hymns were a reflection of his faith and the life that he lived. Once when Jackie and I visited with Rev. and Mrs. Thomas, he would talk for a while and then become silent. Mrs. Thomas placed her hands on each side of his face and said, “Honey, is there anything you would like to say?” He smiled, said yes, and began to sing “I Love to Tell the Story.” I told him, “You have always been a minister and you always will be a minister.”
Rev. Thomas talked about graduating — that he was going to graduate. Rev. Thomas has now graduated from a life that is temporary to a life that is eternal; and he is still singing his beloved hymns and telling the story.
I am proud to say Rev. Thomas was my minister, my teacher and my friend.
To God be the Glory; for the life of His servant.
— Rev. Charles Haley, pastor of the New Hope/Sharon Charge
Douglas Gordon Ebert
1926 – 2010
Douglas was born Sept. 10, 1926, in Winchester, Va. He was the fifth of six children born to Isaac and Mary Ebert. He attended schools in Winchester and graduated from Handley High School in 1944.
He was drafted into the Army during World War II and, after the war ended, served the remainder of his duty in Korea. Upon completing his military service, he enrolled in Potomac State College in West Virginia. He completed one year there, before transferring to the University of Virginia school of electrical engineering. Two years into the program he decided to study religion and received a bachelor’s degree in 1951.
That September, he entered the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. In December of 1953, he received his Master of Divinity.
January 1, 1954, he arrived at McGaheysville UMC in the Harrisonburg District. Six years later, Doug was transferred to Virginia Beach to organize Foundry UMC. During his six years at Foundry, there were three building programs. The third structure, a multipurpose facility, has since been named “Ebert Hall” in honor of Doug.
Doug’s next appointments were Marquis Memorial in Staunton, St. Andrews in Alexandria, Fairview in Roanoke, as Associate at Calvary in Arlington, then as pastor of Chesterbrook in McLean, Del Rey in Alexandria, Shady Grove and Mt. Olivet in Spotsylvania. Doug retired in 1993 and moved to Lake of the Woods in Orange County. In 1994, he accepted an appointment to Antioch and Falmouth in Spotsylvania, where he served for three years. He continued to serve Antioch for an additional eight years before again retiring in 2005.
Doug is survived by his wife, Mary Catherine; his brother, Lewis; his son, Stephen; daughter-in-law, Andrea; and grandchildren, Aaron and Stephani. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Pamela, in 2004.
Douglas died Oct., 11 2010, two weeks after heart bypass surgery.
He touched the lives of many and made the world a better place. Throughout his 51 years of service, Doug truly was a humble servant of God.
— Mary C. Ebert
Eldred Cecil Gunn
1921 – 2010
Eldred Cecil Gunn served The United Methodist Church from 1942 to 1968 and from 1982 to 1996. During his first period of service, he served numerous churches in northern Virginia and was instrumental in the groundbreaking and building of Graham Road UMC. Together with an active congregation, Cecil led a successful membership drive and fundraising campaign. As a result, there were three worship services every Sunday morning. Cecil was also dedicated to camp ministry. During his early years, Cecil became a camp director of High Road Camp, which grew and expanded under his leadership.
From 1982 to 1996, Cecil served several small-membership churches in the Petersburg, Farmville, and Harrisonburg Districts. Whenever he had the opportunity, he would assist and encourage other candidates to enter the ministry. He would provide them with invitations to preach in his churches. He enjoyed being a pastor, promoted church campaigns, and followed the annual appointment process with much anticipation. Cecil enjoyed being with people, entertaining them, and he had many friends, old and new, throughout the conference.
— Alda V. Gunn
Gary Raymond Bodie Jr.
1930 – 2010
Born to a career Navy father, Raymond spent most of his childhood in Norfolk, Va. After his father’s retirement, the family moved to South Carolina, where Raymond graduated from Greenville High School and then from Furman University. While at Furman, he was asked by the district superintendent to serve as a supply pastor for the Salem/McBee Charge.
After graduating from Furman University, Raymond and his bride, Martha Ellen Bailey, moved to Atlanta, Ga., to enroll in the seminary at Emory University. They continued to travel to Greenville each week to serve the two churches. Salem built a new sanctuary under his leadership.
Upon graduation from Emory, and the birth of their first child, the family went to Lynn, Mass., to serve the Lakeshore Park Methodist Church, and Raymond enrolled at Boston University to continue his studies in Pastoral Counseling.
In 1955, the family moved to Norfolk, where Raymond was assigned to a vacant lot in the Little Creek area to organize and build a new church. St. John’s was organized, and the first stage of the building was completed. After seven years of service there, he was transferred to Falls Church to Graham Road UMC.
His next assignment was as co-pastor with Dr. Wilmer Blankenbaker at Annandale UMC. This was a unique idea and probably the first of this sort of assignment.
Following Annandale, Raymond was transferred to Aldersgate UMC in Hampton, Va. These were turbulent years with a lot of social issues such as the Vietnam War, school integration, fair housing, etc.
In 1970, Raymond took early retirement and started a second career as a businessman in Hampton. He owned and operated Peninsula Homes, and was active in the development of downtown Hampton, served as Chairman of the Board for Low Income Housing, and actively participated in the Assisted Housing Development, the Newport News Homeowner’s Association, and in the development of Great Oak Apartments for the Elderly in Newport News.
In 2000, Raymond took his second retirement from the business world to move to Georgia and become a full-time grandfather after his daughter adopted 38 children.
In 2008, he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, and he died Oct. 25, 2010. He is survived by Martha Ellen, his wife of 58 years; daughter Cynthia of Bogart, Ga.; sons Gary R. Bodie III of Hampton, Va., and James C. Bodie of Tallahassee, Fla.; and 43 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. His daughter, Ellen, preceded him in death.
Raymond was a faithful servant in all aspects of his life.
— Sarah Beam, granddaughter
Edward Turner Wright
1933 – 2010
The Rev. Dr. Edward Turner Wright was born Aug. 17, 1933. He was the son
of the late Ralph Parrish and Margaret Moore Wright of the London Bridge area of Virginia Beach, Va. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Peggy Wood Wright; one son; three daughters; one daughter-in-law; three sons-in-law; and eight grandchildren.
He graduated in 1951 from Oceana High School (Virginia Beach), in 1955 from Randolph-Macon College (Ashland), in 1958 from Duke Divinity School (Durham, N.C.), and in 1989 he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Theological Seminary (Richmond).
He served for 48 years as a pastor in the Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, serving churches in Virginia: Blairs, Edinburg, Fort Valley, Mt. Solon, Churchville, Annex, Gretna, Ettrick, Achilles; and in Nashville, Tenn.
During his 48 years, he also taught at Randolph-Macon College and in public schools in Virginia and Tennessee.
Dr. Wright died Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. His funeral service was Sunday, Nov. 7,
2010. It was conducted by his son-in-law, the Rev. T. Todd Smith. Burial was at Signal Hill Cemetery in Hanover County.
— Peggy W. Wright Harry Burnett Randall III
1925 – 2010
Harry Randall lived a full and interesting life. He would probably say he lived a blessed life as well. He was born to Harry and Aleda Randall on Nov. 10, 1925, in
Washburn, Wis. His childhood was spent in Washburn, where he graduated from high school before joining the Marine Corps. He later graduated from the University of
Wisconsin in Madison.
Harry served in the Marine Corps for 24 years and retired in 1969 with the rank of major. He served during three wars — World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Upon retiring from the Marine Corps, Harry answered the call God had placed on him earlier in his life to become a minister, and attended Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Col. He was ordained a deacon in 1970 and an elder in 1973 in the Rocky Mountain Conference. He served churches in Colorado, Wyoming and Virginia (Brookneal UMC) for 22 years before retiring and moving with his wife, Louise, to Oklahoma in 1992.
Harry was a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs and the Wisconsin Badgers. He enjoyed playing golf, bridge and loved to challenge family members to games of cribbage and chess.
Harry Randall died Nov. 5, 2010, in his home at Epworth Villa in Oklahoma City, Ok. Surviving are his wife of 55 years, Louise; daughters, Jane, and husband,
Jim Fowler, of Katy, Texas; and Jennifer and husband, David Price, of Alvin, Texas; and son, Jonathan, and wife, Michelle Randall, of Lakewood, Wash. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Emily, Hannah and Andrew Price; Derek and Daren Fowler; and Shae and Alexis Randall. A granddaughter, Danielle Randall, preceded Harry in death. Also surviving is one brother-in-law, Beryl Covington, of Appomattox, Va.
Harry will be remembered as a beloved pastor, a loving husband, a caring and supportive father, a respected father-in-law and a never-to-be forgotten grandfather.
— Louise C. Randall William Archer Moon Jr.
1918 – 2010
William Archer Moon Jr., was born March 2, 1918, in Spout Spring, Va., a son
of the late William Archer Moon Sr., and Mattie Ethel Martin Moon.
Bill attended the public schools of Appomattox County where he was active in 4-H
and FFA [Future Farmers of America] clubs. He went several times to Kansas City for National FFA Conventions. Once he came within one-tenth of a point of earning two firsts in livestock judging.
Bill went on to earn degrees at Ferrum Junior College, Randolph-Macon College
and Candler School of Theology, and Emory University, Atlanta. In the summer of 1945, Candler sent him to Cuba for six weeks to work with a missionary couple, John and Hazel Stroud. As a result of his observations, Bill said he was not surprised by the Cuban Revolution.
In 1944, a mutual friend introduced Bill and a young graduate student at Emory.
They reconnected late in the school year. Courtship was largely through mail and very occasional meetings. On June 14, 1946, Bill Moon and Wise Spigner were married in Washington Street Methodist Church, Columbia, S.C.
In the spring of 1946, Bill was appointed to the Halifax Circuit, then to the
Moneta Circuit, Gretna Circuit, Peakland (where he built the first unit), Franktown-Johnsons, Charity, Luray, Cokesbury, Fairmount Part, and Forest Road, from which he retired in 1983. After retirement, he served as Visitation Minister at Fort Hill UMC between pastoring Meade Memorial-New Hope and Madison Heights.
Bill enjoyed growing vegetables and always had a garden, whether large enough
to help fill the freezer or just a tomato plant for salads. Picture framing was another
activity he enjoyed.
Travel to visit family and friends and an occasional trip out of the country enriched Bill’s retirement.
Bill’s death on Nov. 9, 2010, was not unexpected, as he had been in declining health for some time. He was 92. The Revs. Philip M. Waltz and Janet D. Hawkins led his memorial service on Nov. 13, 2010, at Fort Hill UMC, Lynchburg, Va.
Bill is survived by his wife of 64 years, Wise Spigner Moon; a daughter, Margaret
W. Moon; three sons, the Rev. William A. Moon III, Dr. Edward T. Moon and Charles S. Moon; three grandchildren, Emily M. Brownlee, William A. Moon IV, and David A. Moon; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Margaret A. Moon; and a brother, Roy A. Moon.
— Wise S. Moon and Edward T. Moon James Mason Cosby
1929 – 2010
The Rev. J. Mason Cosby was born the sixth of seven children to Hugh and Sallie Cosby of Bon Air, Va., on Nov. 12, 1929. Growing up, he and his family attended Bon Air Methodist (later Bon Air UMC). One of his early responsibilities at the church was to arrive early on Sunday morning to stoke the coal furnace.
He was educated in Methodist institutions, graduating from Ferrum Junior College in 1957 and Randolph-Macon College in 1959. He attended the Divinity School at Duke University, graduating in 1962, and received an M.A. in evangelism from Scarritt College in 1972.
Mason served as a pastor in the Virginia Conference for 42 years, starting as a student associate to the Rev. Joseph T. Carson Jr. in the Louisa Larger Parish. Later, as pastor of the Daleville Charge in Roanoke, Va., he presided over the consolidation of that charge, and the building of St. Mark’s UMC. He also served as associate pastor of Dulin UMC, and as pastor of Watson Memorial UMC, Herndon UMC, Dunn Loring UMC, Warrenton UMC, Burke UMC, Leesburg UMC, Great Falls UMC and Arlington Forest UMC.
After his retirement in 2000 at the age of 70, Mason and his wife, Clair, moved to Midlothian, Va., where they attended Mt. Pisgah UMC. He continued to preach, teach, and preside over Communion until prevented by complications from multiple myeloma. He passed away at home on Nov. 15, 2010, and was interred at Providence UMC in Richmond.
Mason is survived by his wife of 38 years, Clair. Other survivors include his son James M. Cosby, who with his wife, Adriane, and son, Oliver, reside in Baltimore; daughter, Sallie Hess, who with her husband, Josh, and son, Philip, reside in San Francisco; and daughter, Sarah McGiverin (pastor of the Newsoms UM charge from 2005-07), who with her husband, Brian, and daughter, Hannah, reside in Durham, N.C. He is also survived by two sisters: Alma Pope, of Bon Air UMC, and Margaret Higham, of New Life UMC.
Mason felt some of his greatest life accomplishments were directing district evangelism programs and leading building programs for churches and parsonages. He is remembered as a loving and wise pastoral counselor and as an inspiring preacher. He loved to sing, and knew many hymns by heart. In his last days, he enjoyed having hymns sung to him, especially the resurrection hymn, “Joy to the World.”
— Sarah McGiverin
Earl Summeral Tyson
1928 – 2010
Earl S. Tyson was born Feb. 26, 1928, in Ayden, N.C. The fourth of Jack and Irene Tyson’s 10 children, Earl followed in the footsteps of his preacher father, as did his five brothers. Together they formed a unique and dynamic team of servants not only within The United Methodist Church, but reaching out to and impacting the world beyond.
In 1953, Earl married Betty Jo Benfield, the daughter of a Methodist preacher. After graduating from Guilford College, Earl took his theological training at Duke Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va. He served churches in the North Carolina Conference until his transfer in 1957 to Virginia, where he pastored the Surry Charge and, as an associate pastor under the leadership of Dr. A. Purnell Bailey, at Centenary in Richmond. He also served Collinsville, Huguenot Road, and West End in Roanoke before answering in 1970 a call into the ministry of evangelism. In 1967, Earl and Betty were drawn into a ministry to girls with special needs. Known as Emmaus, the ministry was established in King George, Va., and continues to offer to a troubled world the love and transforming power of Jesus.
After receiving an appointment as Conference Evangelist, Earl and his family settled in Scottsville, Va. Their home, Snowdon, on land once owned by the Jeffersons and situated along the James River, became the hub of Earl’s ministry and a place of joy and renewal for him. The Lord graciously honored Earl’s walk in faith as He provided for the family through the years. Earl and Betty’s four children, Tony, Teresa, David and Tina and most of their 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren live nearby. Earl’s love of family was interwoven into his sermons and best remembered through his “Papaw stories.”
Earl’s parish spread across the world, as he ministered through the international retreat movements of both the Camps Farthest Out (CFO), founded by Glenn Clark, and the Christian Ashram, founded by Methodist Evangelist and Missionary E. Stanley Jones. Several times a year, Earl joined North Georgia Conference Evangelist Rick Bonfim in his mission to Brazil and traveled there with him proclaiming the Resurrection power of the Lord. Through his great love for the Holy Land and the desire to share it with others, Earl developed a ministry of pilgrimages which began in 1974 and continued until 2000. Many years ago, the Earl S. Tyson Evangelistic Association established in Williamsburg an annual board retreat that has been a place of joy and renewal in Christ.
While preaching a revival in the spring of 2002, Earl suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and massive stroke, which left him disabled until his home-going on Nov. 27, 2010. During those sad years, Earl’s presence, the memory of this great man of God, and the miraculous love and support of friends helped to sustain and undergird the family throughout this tragic period. We continue to share wonderful stories of the love of Jesus experienced and of lives transformed through the life of this one man. He left to all an inspiring legacy of love and faith.
How he loved to preach and to sing of the greatness of our Lord! We rejoice that at last Earl has been released to speak and sing forever God’s praises. The Kingdom has been expanded, the church strengthened, and the world made a brighter place because a man named Earl Tyson lived.
— Betty Jo Benfield Tyson, Jim Radford
L. Lawson Byrd
1926 – 2010
The Rev. L. Lawson Byrd, retired elder, died Dec. 9, 2010, at age 84, following several years of declining health with Alzheimer’s disease.
While pursing a career in education as a teacher, school administrator and college professor, he attended seminary at Duke Divinity School. He was ordained a Methodist minister and served churches in Virginia for 16 years, retiring in 1988.
He began his ministerial career in 1972 with the Gretna Circuit. He went on to serve Chatham Heights, Danville District; High Street in the Petersburg District; Asbury in Newport News; Zion in the Peninsula District; Brookville in Lynchburg; Providence-Woodland and then at New Hope in the Rappahannock District.
He served as a volunteer with Industrial Ministries and as a volunteer chaplain at Riverside Hospital, Newport News, Va., when a minister in the Peninsula and Rappahannock districts.
As a member of the Tidewater Chapter of Submarine Veterans of World War II, Rev. Byrd was the Chapter Chaplain for a number of years. He was appointed National Chaplain of the Submarine Veterans of World War II serving from 1997-2000.
Survivors include his wife, Ann; daughter, Laurie Ann Flowers; son, David William Byrd; grandson, Ross Flowers. Also surviving him are an adopted brother, H.D. Byrd of Darlington, S.C.; three sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.
— Ann Byrd
Herbert Pollard Hall
1922 – 2010
The Rev. Herbert Pollard Hall, retired elder, 88, of Irvington, died Dec. 14, 2010. He began his ministerial career in 1947 with Gordonsville. He went on to serve Melfa-Keller-Locustville, Pocomoke, Whaleyville, Bethel-St. Matthews (Richmond District), Atlantic, McCanless Memorial, New Hope (Fredericksburg), Lebanon (Ashland District) and Memorial (Richmond District). He retired in 1987.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Roberta Dunaway Hall. Survivors include three sons, Herbert Pollard Jr., Rev. Wesley Hall and Kenneth Hall; and five grandchildren.
— Reprinted from the January 2011 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Walter S. Green III
1924 – 2011
Born Nov. 22, 1924, in Wilmington, Del., the Rev. Walter S. Green III was the son of the late W. Smithers Green Jr. and Virginia Conwell Green. He died in the Newberry County (S.C.) Memorial Hospital on Jan. 18, 2011.
Rev. Green was valedictorian of his high school class and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Dickinson College. He attended Westminster Theological Seminary and graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Pastoring his first church in 1942 at the age of 18, Rev. Green was under episcopal appointment for 65 years. He was a member of the Ohio Conference from 1945-1951. Rev. Green served 10 appointments in the Virginia Conference: Design-Mt. Olivet (Alexandria District), 1951-1954; Bruen Chapel (Alexandria District), 1954-1959; St. Paul (Woodbridge), 1959-1962; Hinton Avenue (Charlottesville), 1962-1966; Larchmont (Norfolk), 1966-1969; Welborne (Richmond), 1969-1973; Granbery Memorial (Covington), 1973-1976; Messiah (Springfield), 1976-1980; District Superintendent (Staunton), 1980-1985; and Fort Hill (Lynchburg), 1985-1987. Rev. Green retired in 1987, but remained a member of the Virginia Conference, where he had served on numerous conference boards and agencies. He then moved to Newberry, S.C., where he served as a retired supply minister for another 21 years under three different appointments.
Walt met his partner in ministry, Marjorie, when he was attending Westminster and decided right away that if he wanted to hear her musical talents the rest of his life, he needed to marry her. Together, they served 18 appointments including seven with building projects. The chapel in his last building project at Messiah UMC in Springfield, Va. — where 976 people joined the church during his four years of ministry there — bears his name.
As a minister, Rev. Green was known for his many talents including his ability to remember names and make all persons feel welcome. He made visiting church members — those who were regular in attendance and those who were not — a personal commitment. He was a great storyteller and often incorporated humor into his sermons. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, pastor and friend.
Walt often said that if he had to fail as a minister or as a parent, he would rather fail as a minister. He failed at neither.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marjorie Strickland Green; daughters, Rebecca Joyce Green of Silver Spring, Md., and Mary Anne (Howard) Byrd of Lugoff, S.C.; sons, Ted T. Green of Garrett Park, Md., Dr. John W. (Mary Sue) Green of Newberry, S.C., and Joseph H. (Janet) Green of Sequim, Wa.; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by four grandchildren.
— Marjorie S. Green and family Carol Martha Rogers Thornton
1945 – 2011
Early on the morning of Jan. 27, 2011, Carol began the final part of her journey home, fully expecting the one more surprise her Lord promised her long ago. Carol had a very difficult year with many hospitalizations and much suffering. She made the decision to come home, and with the help of her family, church, friends, and hospice sought God’s complete healing. Shortly after making this decision, Carol told her husband, Jim, that she had fought the good fight and was now ready to meet her Lord, Jesus Christ. She died very peacefully two days later.
Carol was born Nov. 23, 1945, in England at rural Whitheather Lodge at the foot of Woolly Hill. She was a “war baby” born to her father, Arthur, a U.S. soldier, and her mom, Ruby King, a British citizen, and member of the British army. Carol came to the United States on Easter Sunday in 1946, a U.S. citizen. She is survived by her mother, Ruby A. Rogers; her husband, the Rev. James W. Thornton Sr.; their children, James Jr. (Jay) and Julie Hull; five grandchildren: Sarah, Delaney, Rachel, Macauley, and Zachary; a sister, Susan Gauthier; an aunt and uncle; several nieces, nephews, and cousins both in the U.S. and in England.
Carol grew up in Richmond, Va., graduated from John Marshall High School, and attended college in Richmond. She worked as a secretary, an administrative assistant, and a medical assistant. After completing the Course of Study at Wesley Theological Seminary, Carol became a local pastor in The United Methodist Church. She served churches on the Eastern Shore, Albemarle Co., and retired from the Mineral-Mt. Pleasant Charge after an 11-year appointment. She was an effective minister as a lay person in her church, a pastor’s spouse, and a clergy person.
Carol’s entire adult life was devoted to helping others, and both preaching and living the message of God’s love found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. She will be missed by all who knew her. Carol would want you to believe the amazing truths found in Isaiah 43:1-5.
Carol had hoped to author a book titled Say Words Over Me, which would include both humorous and poignant stories drawn from her experiences in ministry. The title was taken from the words of an elderly church member who was opposed to having a woman in the pulpit. After hearing Carol preach a few times, he told her as he was leaving the morning worship service that she wore her robe very well, and that he would like for her to say words over him at his funeral.
— Jim Thornton Marcus Herrin Bloodworth
1913 – 2011
The Rev. Marcus Herrin Bloodworth, 97, of the Hermitage on the Eastern Shore in Onancock, Va., passed away Sunday, March 13, 2011, at his residence.
Born in Rocky Point, N.C., on June 23, 1913, he was a son of the late William Ennet Bloodworth and Emma McLendon Bloodworth. Reared in the Brambleton area of Norfolk, he graduated from Maury High School, of which he remained very involved. He had many friends and attended many reunions over the years. He was also a 60-year Masonic Veteran.
Rev. Bloodworth was a graduate of Randolph-Macon College, and attended both Duke University and Boston University for graduate studies. He began his ministerial career in 1939 with the North Carolina Conference, serving for a brief time before transferring to the Virginia Conference. He then served Virginia Beach (as its first full-time minister), Cheriton, Richfield, Blackfoot, as associate at McKendree (Norfolk), then served Accomac, LeKies, and again Accomac. He also served in Idaho, Cape Cod, Mass., and London, England, before retiring to the Eastern Shore. Although “retired” in 1978, he continued to serve on the Eastern Shore; remaining very active until the 1980s. During his retirement, he served the Cokesbury-Mears Memorial Charge and Melfa.
While in Accomac, Marcus resided in historic “Bloodworth Cottage,” which dated back to the latter 1700s. He beautifully and lovingly restored this cottage, where he made his home for more than 40 years, until moving to the Hermitage. Rev. Bloodworth was well-known for his quick wit, sense of humor and love of laughter. He was an avid gardener, dog fancier and bird watcher, and enjoyed opera music and listening to many choirs throughout his lifetime.
Survivors include a son, Mark Bloodworth Moses and his wife Janet of Roanoke, Va.; eight nieces and nephews: Jimmy Bloodworth, Kaye Shaw, Faye Walker, Jeffrey Bloodworth, Sharon Driscoll, Debbie Everton, Roy Meekins and William “Bill” Meekins; and many great-nieces, great-nephews and special friends. Other than his parents, he was predeceased by two sisters, Evelyn B. Jones and Elizabeth Meekins; and four brothers, William “Buddy” Bloodworth, Hunter Bloodworth, Robah Bloodworth and Jesse Bloodworth.
— Janet Brown Joseph T. Carson Jr.
1926 – 2011
The Rev. Joseph Thomas Carson Jr. died March 15, 2011, at his home in Richmond. He is survived by his wife, Bernice Smith Carson; son, the Rev. Joe T. Carson III (Regina); daughter, Bernice Ann C. Jones (Gerald); grandchildren, Alan and Sara Jones, Joseph and Susanna Carson; brother, the Rev. Louis E. Carson (Geneva); and many nieces and nephews.
Born on July 13, 1926, in Campbell County, Va., to Joe and Annie Texas Martin Carson, his home church was Mt. Olivet Methodist Church. After serving in the U.S. Army during WWII, he opened a country grocery store and operated it until he responded to the call to preach.
Joe held degrees from Ferrum [Junior] College, Randolph-Macon College, and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. While in college at Randolph-Macon, he served as a student pastor to Mineral, Mt. Pleasant, and Macedonia churches in Louisa County. As a student at Candler, he served student appointments in the North Georgia Conference. After becoming a member in full connection of the Virginia Conference in 1956, Joe returned to Louisa County, Bernice Virginia Smith’s home county, where he served the Louisa Larger Parish and Louisa Church. Bernice and Joe married on Dec. 27, 1956, and lived in the county where they began their family. During this time, he served two terms as mayor of the town of Louisa, followed by two years as County Coordinator. He gave leadership to the Louisa County Planning Commission, Memorial Hospital Medical Service Center, and Industrial Development Corporation.
His following appointments were Rappahannock District Superintendent, Fort Hill Church in Lynchburg, Charlottesville District Superintendent, Director of the Conference Council on Ministries, Shady Grove Church in Mechanicsville, and in retirement, Fairmont Church in Richmond, along with United Methodist Family Services (UMFS). He was Rural Pastor of the Year in 1964 and gave longtime service as: the Director of Golden Cross and the Preacher’s Relief Society, the founding Director of the United Methodist Foundation of the Virginia Conference, and conference Trustee. He was the group administrator of the Ministers’ Hospitalization and interim director of Virginia Methodist Homes, Inc. He served on the Committee on Supplemental Benefits, the Minimum Salary Commission, the Board of Health and Welfare Ministries, the Virginia and Southeastern Methodist Agency for the Retarded and the Committee on the Episcopacy. He was an alternate delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 1968 and 1992, and a delegate to the five meetings of that body between 1972 and 1988. A General Conference delegate in 1972, 1976, and 1980, he was a director of the General Council on Finance and Administration from 1984-1992.
He believed in giving opportunities, the joy of apportionments, being kinder than necessary, and meeting World Service commitments on Easter Sunday. He often said the place of the minister, was, “to really stick with those facing hardship, sickness or death.” He lived what he believed.
Funeral services and fellowship luncheon were conducted on March 18, 2011, at Saint Andrew’s UMC in Richmond under the leadership of Al Lynch, pastor, Norman Chattin and Bob McAden. Interment was at Hillcrest Cemetery that afternoon, followed by a reception at Louisa UMC. During one of their last times together in worship at Saint Andrew’s in July of 2009, my parents heard “Gentle Voice,” an anthem by Susan and Lee Dengler. It was offered again by the St. Andrew’s choir as a final tribute to my father.
Do you hear the voice of Jesus Gently calling, “Come unto me”?
Gentle voice so full of love, Gentle words so rich in mercy.
“You are my beloved child. Come to me. I will give you rest.”
— Joe T. Carson III Robert E. Taylor
1919 – 2011
The Rev. Robert E. Taylor, 91, retired elder, died March 16, 2011. He began his ministerial career in 1961 at South Amherst. He went on to serve Bethlehem in Roseland, the Gloucester-Mathews Charge, and Henderson. He retired in 1985.
Survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Taylor Morris; two granddaughters; three great-grandchildren; and a niece and nephew. He was predeceased by wives, Geraldine Vandegriff Taylor, Arlene Whisnant Taylor and Mae Dodson Taylor.
— Reprinted from the May 2011 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Jay Earl Luther
1928 – 2011
Jay Earl Luther, 82, died on March 26, 2011 in Fredericksburg, Va. Mr. Luther was an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, having served 29 years after ordination in 1971 by Bishop Kenneth Goodson of the Virginia Conference. His appointments included Antioch and Grace churches in the Fredericksburg area; associate at Fredericksburg; Locust Grove in the Roanoke Valley; Fishersville in the Shenandoah Valley; and Zion Church in Spotsylvania, after retirement in 1994. Jay most recently was Minister of Visitation at Fredericksburg UMC.
Before his ordination as clergyman, Jay served two years in the enlisted ranks of the U.S. Army, having reached the rank of sergeant. He then attended the Academy of West Point and after graduating in 1952, reached the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1970.
Perhaps because of his early United Brethren and Mennonite beginnings, or his assignments throughout the world which allowed him to work with missionaries, Jay’s favorite hymn has always been “In Christ there is no east or west; in Him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.”
Jay is survived by his wife of more than 58 years, Ruth Searle Luther, as well as three children and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first child, Dennis Jay Luther.
— The Luther family
Hugh C. Paschall
1926 – 2011
Hugh Carlton Paschall was born March 11, 1926, in Richmond, Va., and died March 31, 2011, at his home in Ruther Glen, Va., following a lengthy illness.
Rev. Paschall graduated from John Marshall High School, where he served as captain of the cadets of E. Company. He earned his undergraduate degree from
Richmond Professional Institute and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World
War II in the South Pacific. Rev. Paschall was ordained as an elder in full connection in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1961 and
faithfully served congregations throughout the annual conference for 35 years. He retired from active ministry in 1991. Appointments that he served include Mt. Pisgah UMC, Midlothian; Shady Grove UMC, Henrico County; Watson Memorial UMC, Chatham; Trinity UMC, Smithfield; Epworth UMC, Falls Church; Farmville UMC; Franconia UMC; and Central UMC, Arlington.
Hugh Paschall is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jayne Paschall; two daughters, Gloria Runyon and husband Rex, and Jayne H. Caudlel; two sisters, Marjorie
P. Younger and Elizabeth P. Brenner; a brother Jack F. Paschall and wife Joyce; six grandchildren; six nieces; one nephew; and one great-grandson. He was preceded
in death by his parents Clyde and Ethel Paschall.
Rev. Paschall was an avid tennis player and in retirement developed skills as a home builder. Rev. Paschall served the annual conference as a member of the Board of Church and Society. He was involved with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the Fifty Plus Club in the Lake Land ’Or Community.
The family asks that memorials be directed to Rehoboth United Methodist Church, Habitat for Humanity or to an organization of their choosing.
— Jayne H. Paschall
William Edward Basom
1915 – 2011
William Edward Basom was born Feb. 22, 1915, to Edward C. and Carrie (Bordlemay) Basom. He and Ruth Nash married on Aug. 25, 1939. They would have celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary this year. Bill graduated from Albright College in 1935 and the Evangelical School of Theology in 1938. He pursued a year of graduate study at Union Theological Seminary, NYC, 1938-39, and further study at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.
From his roots in Central Pennsylvania, he went on to serve for a half century in the Washington, D.C., area, where his influence continues. As his friend Eric Sevareid said, “When we talk about the cement that holds society together, we are really talking about the Bill Basoms of the world. . . He is a one-man conspiracy of goodwill.”
Reconciliation was the focus of his 42 years of ministry at the Beverley Hills United Methodist Community Church (BHC) in Alexandria. From BHC’s beginning in 1938, Basom welcomed all comers with “Bring the best you know from your background and share it.” He was skillful at bringing together people of differing backgrounds and perspectives, helping ease tensions across ethnic, religious, and ideological lines. This was the heart of his life’s work.
Basom applied his conciliatory skills to key issues of 20th-century America: racial justice, education, religious ecumenism, and medical ethics.
In the area of racial justice, Basom had both the courage to lead and the humility to work quietly behind the scenes. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., when a riot was brewing a few blocks from BHC, Basom helped calm the scene. Earlier that decade, Alexandria’s mayor had tapped him to head a commission to desegregate the city’s lunch counters and other public accommodations. By collaborating with business owners and the African-American community, the commission accomplished this without fanfare or violence.
Education was important to Basom as a means of interrupting the cycle of racism and religious mistrust. In 1939, he founded the Beverly Hills Church Preschool. In 1945, he and his wife, Ruth, joined Kathryn and Harold Stone to found the Burgundy Farm School in Fairfax, Va. Burgundy was the only racially integrated school in Virginia for over a decade. To promote ecuminism and relax religious tensions, Basom invited other clergy to join in dialogue. Following Vatican II, this interaction led to joint projects and pulpit exchanges, first among Catholics and Protestants, and later expanding to include Jews. When Alexandria’s Temple Beth El was awaiting completion of their new synagogue, BHC invited them to use their sanctuary for services. Bill’s confirmation classes included visits to Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist, Mormon, Quaker, and other places of worship.
As a board member of the Alexandria Hospital, Basom initiated and chaired one of the nation’s first bioethics committees. Its purpose was to foster the compassionate use of increasingly complex medical technology, including in end-of-life decisions. When he moved to Lewisburg in 1990, he started a bioethics committee at what is now RiverWoods Senior Living Community, and served on another at Evangelical Hospital.
Throughout Bill’s life, his ability to foster open conversation was a mark of his ministry. He didn’t let his own beliefs limit the circle of his caring. Rather than impose his thoughts on others, he invited all to participate in an ongoing process of exploration. Bill was a man of warm heart and spacious mind, with room for the beliefs and concerns of others.
When Bill and Ruth moved to Lewisburg, he began leading a group at Beaver Memorial United Methodist Church to wrestle with life’s fundamental questions. This “Genesis Class” welcomed (and still does) all who are interested in sharing the quest for understanding.
At 96, Bill died peacefully on Sunday, April 10, 2011, surrounded by his family. His last days were filled with gratitude, curiosity, and humor. When told by a Genesis Class member that he would always be in “Genesis,” he responded with a little smile, “But now I’m in Exodus.”
Bill is survived by his wife, Ruth, their four children and seven grandchildren. They all remember him as the man who, despite his extensive involvement in the broader community, put family time on his calendar first and built other commitments around this core.
— Kit Basom Robert James Callis Jr.
1924 – 2011
The Rev. Robert James Callis Jr., 87, retired elder, died March 2, 2011. He began his ministerial career in 1948 at Claremont-Surry. He went on to serve Philadelphia, South Brunswick, Gladys, Mead Memorial, Powhatan, as the associate at First in Newport News, Norview, Fieldale, Mount Clinton in the Harrisonburg District, and Lawrenceville. He was placed on incapacity leave in 1985. He retired in 1991.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, the Rev. Beatrice Simmons Callis. Survivors include a daughter, Deborah Callis Old; a son, Robert James Callis III; three grandsons; and two great-grandchildren.
— Reprinted from the June 2011 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Deborah Grindall McNeill
1946 – 2011
Deborah Grindall McNeill, 64, retired local pastor, died May 4, 2011. As the former Deborah Facer, she served as full-time local pastor of the South Brunswick Charge in the Petersburg District from 1987 to 1992 and of Mineral UMC in the Charlottesville District from 1992 to 1994. Later, as Deborah McNeill, she served as full-time local pastor of Eastland UMC in the Ashland District from 2007 to 2010, when she retired.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas McNeill, and a son, Larry Facer Jr. Survivors include two sons, Michael Facer and Mark Facer; four grandchildren, Larry III, Kaitlin, Christina and Alexander; a brother, Emerson Jon Grindall; and two sisters, Janet Taylor and Emily Dame.
— Reprinted from the June 2011 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Ferdinand “Ferd” Wagner
1918 – 2011
The Rev. Ferdinand “Ferd” Wagner, 92, retired elder, died May 8, 2011. He began his ministerial career in 1942 at Wesley (now Arlington Forest). He went on to serve Christ (Arlington), Lakeside, Belmont (Roanoke), Noland Memorial, Central (Staunton), Dulin, First (Martinsville), as superintendent of the Peninsula District, then pastor of Trinity (McLean). He retired in 1986. During his retirement, he served First (Martinsville).
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara Arndt Wagner; his second wife, Dorothy “Dottie” Huey Wagner; and a daughter, Cynthia Louise Wagner Carter. Survivors include a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Wagner Smucker; two sons, Ferdinand L. Wagner and John Wesley “Wes” Wagner; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
— Reprinted from the June 2011 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Roy Carl Drake
1946 – 2011
Roy Carl Drake, 65, retired local pastor, died May 9, 2011. Roy served as associate pastor of the Wakefield Charge and was the first pastor of the Rocky Hock-Ivor Charge, all in the Portsmouth District. At his death, he was serving as pastor of Burton’s Grove Christian Church, UCC, and was named their pastor emeritus on April 24, 2011. He taught at Eastern Carolina Christian College for more than 12 years.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Margaret Bradshaw Drake; three sisters and three brothers. Survivors include his wife, Evelyn Barlow Drake; her sons; two daughters, Nancy V. Beale and Wendy V. Twisdale; two grandchildren; a sister; a brother; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
— Reprinted from the June 2011 Virginia Advocate newsmagazine
Carl William Ulrich
1944 – 2010
Carl’s life was a journey toward the Kingdom of God, toward community. The only son of immigrant parents who soon divorced, he grew up in an orphanage. He learned self-reliance and many times throughout his life he felt very alone. Nevertheless, he liked people and nurtured friendships wherever he went. He had an intuitive knack for understanding other people quickly, for seeing what really mattered to them. When, as an adult, he discovered the love of Jesus, it gradually became clear to him that he could share that source of strength and comfort with others. What had been a professional concern for ethics and fairness during a long career working with corporations became a deeper concern for helping individuals find spiritual fullness.
Carl grew into faith at Calvary UMC and Beverly Hills UMC in Arlington and Alexandria. He entered Wesley Seminary and as graduation approached, he closed his law practice and devoted himself full time to his new calling. He liked to say that he never looked back once he “crossed the bridge” from Washington, D.C., and took up his new life as a minister in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. With the help of his faith, he changed not only his career, but himself. His famous impatience with the shortcomings of others fell away, he developed tolerance and compassion and humility. He committed himself to serving all God’s people.
His first appointment as a student pastor was to Silverbrook UMC and Accotink UMC in Fairfax County, where he facilitated the transition of that two-point charge to two independent churches. After graduation, Carl was appointed to Central UMC in Mathews, Va. He spent seven years there before coming to Belmont UMC in Richmond in 2009.
He often spoke of the influence of people he met in the Methodist connection, and he sought out opportunities to learn from them. As the years in the ministry went by, he welcomed invitations to be a teacher and mentor to others. He served in leadership positions on the Rappahannock District, with the Society for Wesleyan Studies, and on the board of the United Methodist Foundation of the Virginia Conference.
Carl was born in 1944 in Mt. Vernon, New York. He graduated from high school in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1963. Upon graduation from Rice University in 1967, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. He earned a law degree from Georgetown University and practiced in the field of energy law for almost three decades. He married Christine Rowland in 1967 and during 43 years of marriage acquired two daughters, Susanna and Catherine, two sons-in-law, David Corey and Pawel Nazarewicz, and one grandson, Cassius Corey. Carl enjoyed good health all his life, liked to sail, loved music, sought out challenges that helped him learn and grow, and made it a priority to keep in touch with friends old and new. His death at age 66 after surgery to repair a damaged heart valve was an unexpected and sad loss for all who knew him.
— Christine Ulrich Joseph W. Hagenlocker
1946 – 2011
The Rev. Joseph W. Hagenlocker died of cancer on May 7, 2011, in his home at the age of 64. Joe was diagnosed on January 5, 2011, and was given only a short time to live. The first thing he said to his wife after the diagnosis was “It’s OK, I am ready.”
Joe entered the ministry later in life after a career in the military for 32 years and in Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections for 33 years simultaneously, which gave him life experiences to bring to his ministry.
Pastor Joe, as he was called, loved the Lord with all his heart. He worked very hard as a part-time local pastor to unite the church with a goal to serve the Lord by helping others and making disciples for Christ. Pastor Joe always responded when someone tried to give him credit for something by always saying “Give God the Glory.”
Although Joe will be missed by his wife and family, there is that assurance that we will see him again. “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant.”