Category: Alumni/ae Deaths

Mrs. Marcia Berry, STH’60

July 10th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

Marcia Berry died on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City. She had been born Marcia Jean Lubbers on November 22, 1936, in Grand Rapids Michigan, the daughter of Clarence and Martha Lubbers. Marcia’s primary role was as mother of her children. However, she was also employed as Director of Christian Education at the Maple Street Congregational Church in Danvers (1960-62), as the program director for four day care centers operated by Inter/Serv in St. Joseph (1974-76), and as a member of the adjunct faculty at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City (1990-92). She gave private lessons in organ and piano, and thoroughly enjoyed accompanying high school students for regional and state music contests.

Marcia was a woman of faith. Her motto was “Lived with Christ; Died with Christ; Raised with Christ!”

*Note taken from Service Obituary.

Professor Dale Andrews

June 26th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths, Alumni/ae News

On Saturday, June 24, 2017, Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore sent the following email message to the STH Community:

dale-andrewsWith overwhelming sadness, I share the news of Dale Andrews’ death last night. Emilie Townes shared the note below on Facebook, and you will see that the family has requested for all communication to go through Emilie so they will not be deluged with communications. As most of you know, Dale was Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at BU School of Theology from 2005-2010. He was beloved by colleagues and students alike, and he helped to shape the school as it is. He loved his family and students and colleagues far and wide, and he was a model of a teaching scholar-pastor and pastoral scholar-teacher. Words fail in the face of such loss.

Emilie Townes’ post regarding the passing of Dr. Dale P. Andrews:

“One and all,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that Dale P. Andrews, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair and Distinguished Professor of Homiletics, Social Justice, and Practical Theology died last night, surrounded by his family, as was his deep wish.

Service arrangements are yet to be determined, but Barbara will pass along this information to me as soon as it becomes available so that I can let you all know. She writes, “We want to celebrate the life and love of a great man, father, husband, colleague, mentor, and friend.”

As requested before, please send your notes and cards to the Dean’s Office addressed to

Professor Dale P. Andrews
Vanderbilt Divinity School
411 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37240

We will be sure that Barbara and the kids receive them as soon as possible once we receive them. Please give Barbara some time before trying to call, email, or text as she has time to mourn and celebrate Dale’s life and also prepare for the future.

A great light has dimmed,”

Also, FYI, I am sharing a video featuring Professor Andrews:

Dale P. Andrews: We’re never done with the work | Faith and Leadership

Let’s keep Professor Andrews’ family, colleagues, and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

With sadness and prayer,
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth Moore
Dean and Professor of Theology and Education
Boston University School of Theology



Dr. Rev. Newell J. Wert (STH’58)

June 23rd, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

Dr. Rev. Newell J. Wert, passed away on May 25, 2017.  He was 90 years old.  He was a doctoral student at BU, graduating with a PhD in 1958.  Prior to that he graduated form Albright College, Reading, PA (B.A., 1947) and earned a M.Div. in 1950 from the Evangelical School of Theology in Reading PA.  He was assistant professor of sociology at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, from  1954-1957, and went on to become Professor of Christian Ethics and Dean of United Theological Seminary (United Methodist Church) in Dayton, Ohio, retiring in 1999.  He had a long and productive career as Dean at UTS, initiating over a dozen new academic programs (as outlined in his CV) . He was also active in his community and served in an advisory capacity with the City of Dayton.

Newell J Wert Sr obit May 2017

Reverend Dean Benedict (STH’67)

June 14th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

dean benedictWe are sorry to announce the death of Dean Benedict. Dean was not only a STH Distinguished Alumnus, he was very active for many years in the STH Alumni Association and was instrumental in planning reunions for many classes. Before his death, Dean was working on his own 50th reunion coming up in September.

Dean spent many years as a United Methodist pastor in the New England Annual Conference and was very active in the Rotary Club and was a Master Mason and a member in several Masonic Lodges and the Commandery.  Read all of Dean’s obituary online. 

Reverend David Mason (STH’ 57)

June 8th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

Reverend David died on 19th May 2017, aged 90, in St Thomas’ Hospital London. He is survived by his three children, Stephen, Deborah and Sarah, his wife Angela, and his seven beloved grandchildren. There will be a private family funeral, followed by a public memorial service later in the year.
*Obituary taken from

Rev. Norman Headley (STH’72)

June 8th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

Rev. Norman Headley passed away peacefully with his family by his side at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital on Monday February 20, 2017 at age 72. Norman, beloved husband of Kathleen for 48 years. Loving father of Jennifer (1972-2006), Deidre Stajduhar (Greg) and Enid Selkirk (Glen). Proud Grandpa of Mark, Sarah, Jenna, Alexander and Maja. Dear brother of Kay Moir (Barry) and Carol Fahn (Jerry). He will be fondly remembered by his nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, friends and colleagues. Norman was the Director of Chaplaincy for SickKids Hospital in Toronto and prior to that the Director of Chaplaincy at University Hospital in London, ON. The family wishes to thank the staff at Post Inn Village for their compassionate care.

*Obituary taken from:


Metropolitan Iakovos (STH’57)

June 5th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

Metropolitan Iakovos grew up hiding Jews in his home during the Axis occupation of Greece, sparking a life of interfaith and unifying work.

The first to hold the position of Metropolitan of Chicago in the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Iakovos died Friday after an unexpected illness and surgery.

The 89-year-old was the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in six Midwestern states, and a well-respected member of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, an interfaith organization.

In World War II, “He grew up seeing what hatred and division can do to people,” said the Rev. Stanley Davis Jr., co-executive director of the council. “One of the major things in his life was to fight against that.”

Born in 1928 in Athens as Michael Garmatis, Metropolitan Iakovos moved to Boston as a young clergyman, earned his doctorate from Boston University and was elected a bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in 1969. He then served as an auxiliary bishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, overseeing parishes in Detroit and New England, the church said.

Metropolitan Iakovos was elected and enthroned as Bishop of Chicago in 1979 and then elevated to the honorary rank of Metropolitan in 1997. He became the first Metropolitan when the Diocese of Chicago was elevated to the status of Metropolis in 2002.

A funeral service is planned for 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 9, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Chicago, with Archbishop Demetrios of America presiding. The Divine Liturgy, set to begin at 7:30 a.m., will precede the funeral.

The Archbishop will also hold a Trisagion service at the cathedral the night before, on Thursday, June 8, at 7 p.m.

*Obituary has been re-posted from the following website:

James McCobb (STH’58)

May 18th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

James E. McCobb, 89, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marilyn (Mack) McCobb; 6 children; 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, colleagues, and many dear friends. He is pre-deceased by his son Thomas McCobb and sister Elizabeth Lazzaro.

A former Methodist minister, James went on to 50-year career as an attorney. He was an avid hiker and outdoorsman and also wrote and self-published several books of poetry. He was an active member of Rotary International. A celebration of life will be held Sunday, April 30, 3:00 P.M. at St. Mark’s Church in Southborough.


*Obituary has been re-posted from the following site.

Susan Kelley Shaffer (STH’02)

May 8th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths


We are sad to report that Susan Kelley Shaffer (STH’02) passed away on May 3rd unexpectedly in a car crash. Susan had been working on the topic of nature in religion, and was truly an amazing woman.

Click here to read the news story.

Wonwha Ryu (STH’85)

May 8th, 2017 in Alumni/ae Deaths

Rev. Wonwha Lee Ryu

(June 16, 1927 – February 12, 2017)


Wonwha was born during the Japanese colonial occupation of Korea in a mountain village near Gapyeong to a slash-and-burn farming family. At a time when girls were not encouraged to receive education, she went to Ehwa Woman’s University in Seoul, because her Christian parents insisted that their ten children, both boys and girls, all receive a college education.


She received her BA in Christian Social Work in 1950 as the Korean War broke out and, herself a war refugee, became a residential teacher at The Orphans Home of Korea in Jeju Island. Upon returning to Seoul, she became the Y-Teen Program Director at Seoul YWCA. In 1954, she was selected to participate in the International YWCA Leadership Project in New York, This nine-month sojourn in the USA opened her global horizon.


She got married to Ji Shik Ryu in 1955, back in Korea, and gave up her full-time position at the Y to raise their four children, but continued to volunteer at Seoul YWCA, serving in many key committees, later becoming a board member and Vice-President.


She received a certificate in counseling at Seoul National University in 1971, translated Psychology of Middle School Students by Hadana Isoko from Japanese to Korean (1972), and wrote The 50 Year History of YWCA in Korea (1975).


In 1977, at the age of 50, she immigrated to the USA with her husband and four children, became a member of Glendale: First UMC, and began her immigrant life as a day-care center aid and an operator of a dry-cleaning drop-off shop.


At the age of 55, she finally responded to her call and enrolled at Boson University School of Theology, receiving an M.Div. in 1985. She was ordained Deacon at the age of 60 (along with her second son, Charles). She served as Associate Pastor at North Hollywood UMC (2 years), and as the Pastor of the First Korean UMC of Los Angeles (8 years). She was the first woman pastor-in-charge appointed to a Korean congregation. She retired in 1997 continuing to support and encourage younger women pastors.


Throughout her long life’s faith-journey, she traversed great socio-economic-geographical-cultural distances and overcame many limiting situations imposed on women. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, four children and four grandchildren with her first great grandchild expected.


–Rev. Charles Ryu (New York Annual Conference)