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«Part VI CELEBRATION OF REMEMBRANCE OF THESE FAITHFUL SERVANTS Name Date of Death John Birney Gross May 6, 1998 Ruth Bartlett May 9, 1998 Alda Somers ...»

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Part VI



Name Date of Death

John Birney Gross May 6, 1998

Ruth Bartlett May 9, 1998

Alda Somers Vanderwater May 14, 1998

Roy Ben Ridley May 18, 1998 Thomas Walker Obenauer May 24, 1998 Sadie Moffett June 9, 1998 Floyd Wilmer Cooper July 10, 1998 Raymond Kirk DeHainaut July 23, 1998 Donald Reynolds August 17, 1998 C. Eugene West August 19, 1998 Vivian Porter August 21, 1998 Charles William Rogers, Sr. August 25, 1998 Robert B. Chapman, Jr. September 3, 1998 Frances Sledd Blake September 7, 1998 Bryce W. Nichols September 16, 1998 Audrey Peck September 18, 1998 Guy Athearn October 4, 1998 Ruth O’Steen October 5, 1998 Gladys Hill Waller October 13, 1998 Iva Bennett October 17, 1998 Miriam Tower Wiseman October 25, 1998 Helen Corry Maxwell Jenkins November 4, 1998 Harvey McConnell Hardin November 10, 1998 Marilyn Cockburn November 14, 1998 Julia Rebecca Ashton Doggett November 21, 1998 Edna Ruth Murphy November 28, 1998 Helen Marshall Hartz December 17, 1998 Charlotte R. Gisler January 23, 1999 Frederick Earl Stinson, Sr. January 25, 1999 Laura Marie Alshire February 15, 1999 Martin Irving Phillips February 18, 1999 Lucille Moyer March 8, 1999 Carl Rupert Gay March 9, 1999 James T. Tompkins March 11, 1999 Thomas D. Ryan March 17, 1999 Harry A. Goddard March 19, 1999 James C. Charnley April 24, 1999 James M. Ratcliff April 26, 1999


Guy Starbuck Athearn was born on March 25, 1908 in Pomeroy, Ohio, the youngest child of William Issac Athearn and Margaret May Humphrey Athearn.

He died on October 4, 1998, of congenative heart failure after a short illness. Guy was preceded in death by his wife, Grace Esther Athearn (April 27, 1998.) He is survived by his daughters, Mary Elizabeth Athearn and Julia K. Draper, as well as one granddaughter and three great grandchildren.

Guy’s father was a railroad engineer which led to Guy’s life long interest in and love for trains. His father drove the first train into Key West, Florida. At an early age Guy moved to Fort Pierce with his family and later resettled in New Smyrna Beach. It was there that he graduated high school in 1927 (part of the class of 25). It was also during this time that he met his future wife.

Guy attended Peabody College in Tennessee (near Vanderbilt University) but was forced to “drop out” during the great depression. After leaving college, he worked in the hotel business. With the approach of World War II, he entered the military service and was later posted to the European Theater. He and Grace Esther Waters were married on May 22, 1942, in the post chapel at Fort Bragg,

North Carolina. Two daughters were subsequently born to Guy and Esther:

“Betsy” and Julia.

Guy received a call to ministry while he was in high school and, as he often stated, “tried to ignore it.” That sense of “call” never left him and became unavoidable after he survived a near fatal injury in battle. He always maintained that God “had to get his attention.” Because he had not completed his college education, Guy was allowed to take equivalency college exams. Dr. Thrift sent the needed exams to the New Smyrna Beach High School principal, who then administered them. Guy took all the exams over the course of three days and passed each of them with an “A”. Guy was accepted into the Florida Conference On Trial, June 10, 1954, at the age of

46. He was ordained a Deacon in 1957 and ordained an Elder in Full Connection in 1961. Guy received his seminary education through the Course of Study at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Churches faithfully and effectively served by Guy include his appointments to Port Orange in 1954, Pierson in 1956, Livingston Memorial, Daytona Beach in 1958, Orange Heights, Lakeland in 1961, Inman Memorial, Jacksonville in 1964, Orlo Vista (renamed Kirkman Road), Orlando in 1965, Hawthorne in 1969, Bronson in 1971, and Baldwin/Bryceville in 1975. He retired in 1978, though he continued to serve Christ in two churches during retirement.

Funeral services and a celebration of Guy’s life were held at the First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie on October 8, 1998. Services were led by the church’s pastor, and Guy’s grateful friend, Tom Derrough.

Submitted by: Mary Elizabeth Athearn and Tom Derrough


Robert Bunyan Chapman, Jr. was born September 22, 1918 in Andalusia, Alabama, the son of Robert B. Chapman, Sr. and Beulah Foster. He graduated from Andalusia High School in 1936; attended Emory Junior college in Valdosta, Georgia for two years, 1936-1938; received his Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Emory University 1940 and Bachelor of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia 1942. He was admitted on trial 1942; ordained a Deacon and Elder 1943; admitted in Full Connection in 1944.

Appointments during his ministry: Webster, Center Hill, Linden 1942; Chaplain, United States Army 1944; Redland, Florida City 1946; Hialeah, First 1948;

Jacksonville, Avondale 1954; Ft. Pierce, First 1958; Fort Myers, First 1963;

Tallahassee, D. S. 1969; Brandon, First, 1975; Pinellas Park 1979; Retired 1982;

Florahome 1983; Retired 1986.

Robert married Arlyne Tarpley on August 20, 1942. They were married 56 years.

To their marriage five children were born; Barbara Kortemeier, October 31, 1943;

Mary Lynn Pierce, November 22, 1945; Robert B. Chapman, III, January 24, 1948; Esther Zissimopulos, December 31, 1951; and David Chapman, July 23, 1957.

He served on the Conference Board of Evangelism, the Committee on Urban Life and the Conference World Service and Finance Commission, where he was instrumental in developing the “fair-share” apportionment formula which is still in use today. He participated in three Evangelistic Missions to Cuba and on the last mission his interpreter was a young man, Herbert Perez, who the following year came to live with Bob and Arlyne to continue his education. Following graduation from Duke University, he returned to Cuba to help his people.

Robert passed away on September 3, 1998 and a Memorial Service was held September 6, 1998 at First United Methodist Church of Daytona Beach, Florida.

Officiating clergy: Dr. Montfort Duncan, Dr. Harry E. Mann and Rev. Donald Hughes. He was buried in Shady Rest Cemetery in Holly Hill, Florida.

“Robert B. Chapman, whose breadth of vision and understanding ministry gives to men and women hope.” Edwin R. Hartz 6/69 Submitted by: Robert B. Chapman, III, Cherie Chapman and Arlyne Chapman


Rev. James C. Charnley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Charnley, was born in Lakeview, Michigan on November 23, 1925. Rev. Charnley was a dedicated and humble servant of God for 41 years, who died on April 24, 1999.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)! Jim often began his days with these inspiring words of Scripture. He lived a life of thankfulness and joy, using each day as a God-given opportunity to count his blessings, and to be a blessing to his family, friends, neighbors, and church.

He has shown you, O Mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 5:8). These words were at the center of Jim’s life and ministry. His love for kindness was reflected in his conviction that “People are more important than things.” Born a grandson of Methodist circuit rider John Henry Cornelius, Jim trained for God’s service at the Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, and United Theological Seminary. He began his pastoral ministry in the Evangelical Covenant Church in 1950. His many meaningful associations with Methodist pastors rekindled the flame of his Methodist heritage.

He was ordained Deacon in the Ohio Conference in 1958, and Elder in 1960. His first appointment in the Methodist Church was to the Central Avenue Methodist Church of Athens, Ohio. He later served as the associate of the Monroe Street Methodist Church of Toledo and as pastor of Enon Methodist Church, Enon, Ohio. Jim voluntarily left the Enon Methodist Church in September, 1966 to serve as a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam crisis. During his military service, Jim was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon his release from active duty in 1969, Jim began his ministry in the Florida Conference. He served as an Associate at First United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Highland United Methodist Church in Tampa, St. Mark’s of St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers First (Associate), Olga-Ft. Myers Shores, Shingle Creek, Auburndale Lena Vista, and Zolfo Springs. He served God faithfully for 33 years as a clergy member of the United Methodist Church until 1991, when he became a retired member of the Florida Conference, worshipping at United Methodist Temple of Lakeland. There, he continued to serve God by offering words of encouragement and prayerful support to others whenever he had the opportunity.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Even when facing his terminal illness, his focus was on the goodness of God and the wonderful life he had been given. His heartfelt joy was not based on circumstances, but on faith. His first wife, Violet, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Thelma, son Stephen M.G. Charnley, Augusta, Michigan;

daughter Kathleen Stanley, Kalkaska, Michigan; stepson Asbury Riley II, Land O’Lakes, Florida; Gordon Charnley, LaPeer, Michigan; sister, Josephine L.

Abma, Muskegon, Michigan; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Rev. James Charnley passed away on April 24th at Good Shepherd Hospice due to cancer. His funeral was held on April 29th at United Methodist Temple in Lakeland, Florida. Services were conducted by Rev. Paul Bauer, the Rev.

Donald Padgett, and Rev. David Moenning. Burial was held at the Sylvan Abbey Cemetery in Clearwater.

Well done, good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21). Jim now lives in his heavenly home, and will always live in the hearts of all those who were touched by his love.

Submitted by: Kathleen M. Stanley, daughter; Rev. Charles K. Stanley, son-inlaw


The Rev. Floyd W. Cooper entered his Heavenly home on July 10, 1998. He passed away at East Pasco Medical Center in Zephyrhills. He had been in ill health for several years, and was unable to recover from the trauma of hip surgery necessitated by a fall in late June. Rev. Cooper’s last active ministerial appointment was as pastor of First United Methodist Church, Zephyrhills, from 1967 to 1970. He and Helen Cooper, his wife of 62 years, then made that community their home in retirement.

A Memorial Service was held on August 11 at Zephyrhills First United Methodist.

The Rev. Alva Brock, a fellow graduate of Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, presented the eulogy. The Rev. Dan Gill shared personal remembrances, and the Rev. Craig Ford officiated. District Superintendent, the Rev. Aldo Martin, represented the Bishop and the Conference and paid tribute to Rev. Cooper’s 34 years of active service, especially noting his missionary activities in Cuba. Rev. Ford conducted a private interment service earlier at the Bell Tower of Chapel Hill Gardens, Dade City, Florida.

Rev. Cooper entered the ministry in 1936 in the St. Johns River Conference, which later became the Florida Conference, Southeastern Jurisdiction, the United Methodist Church. His entire ministry was in Florida, except for military service during World War II, and a brief supply pastorate in St. Ignace, Michigan, immediately following the War. Florida churches he served include Hollywood First; Mount Dora First; Tamiami Temple, Miami; Fort Pierce First; Calvary, Lake Worth; Sarasota First; Rader Memorial, Miami; Sebring First; and Zephyrhills First. During the mid-50’s he participated in a preaching mission in pre-Castro Cuba.

He served his country for three-and-a-half years during World War II as a Chaplain in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Central and South Pacific and retired in the Air Force Reserve with the rank of Major. During a Communion meditation in Zephyrhills in 1993, which was his last time in the pulpit, he recalled an experience in the South Pacific during which he used the wing of an airplane as an altar and served Holy Communion to soldiers and airmen about to go into battle.

Rev. Cooper, born May 31, 1904, in Camp Hill, PA, was the sixth of nine children born to Wilmer Lee Cooper and Jessie Florence Myerly. He often credited his mother’s deep Christian faith with setting him on the path of service to the Lord.

Rev. Cooper worked on the family farm after having completed only an elementary education. As a young man he moved to Chicago and pursued his dream of a formal education. During that time he also felt the call to the ministry.

In Chicago he received a B.A. degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology; a B.D. and an M.A. degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois; and completed one year of graduate work at Northwestern University. He was also a graduate of Moody Bible Institute.

During his active years he served on a number of Conference and District Boards, some of which were: Conference Board of Ministry, two terms;

Conference Board of Missions, two terms; District Board of Directors, Biscayne Home, Miami; District Board of Directors, Asbury Towers, Bradenton; and Board of Missions and Church Extension, West Palm Beach and Sarasota Districts.

During his retirement, he served Zephyrhills First as Assistant Pastor; member of the Administrative Board; member of the Commission on Missions; Chaplain, United Methodist Men; assistant teacher and devotional chairman, Bethany Fellowship Class; Lector; and he assisted in Holy Communion, preaching and visitation. He was a loyal member of the men’s interdenominational prayer breakfast. He was instrumental in securing a site for Trinity United Methodist Church on Highway 54.

First of Zephyrhills honored him by dedicating its large social hall as “Floyd W.

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