Rev. Keith Smith, 89, passed away June 11, 2022. He graduated from Huntington University in 1961 and from its seminary in 1965. He was ordained in 1965. Rev. Smith concluded his ministry serving on staff at First UB (now Element UB) church in Blissfield, Mich. from 2005 to 2018, most recently as Minister of Visitation.

Visitation: 6-8 pm Wednesday, June 15
Funeral: 11:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2022
Visitation and Funeral Location: Element UB church, 220 East Jefferson Street, Blissfield, Mich.

Keith and his wife Dorothy were one week away from celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

You can view the online obituary here.

Rev. Marion E. Burkett, age 100, passed away May 4, 2022. Since becoming a United Brethren minister in the 1940s, he has served as a pastor, church planter, evangelist, and missionary in Sierra Leone. Here are the funeral details:

Visitation: 10:00 – 11:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Funeral: 11:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Location: Bailey Love Mortuary, 35 W Park Drive, Huntington, IN 46750.

From the online obituary at Bailey-Love:

“Marion spent his whole life in ministry, started at the age of 16 and faithfully continued teaching bible study up until one week before his passing. His life was devoted to his family and ministry as a pastor in congregations in several states and Canada and mission work in Southeast Kentucky and Sierra Leone West Africa for the Church of The United Brethren in Christ, United Methodist and Missionary churches.”

Preferred memorials to The Gideons International, in care of Bailey-Love Mortuary, 35 West Park Drive, Huntington, IN, 46750. Or go online to www.gideons.org/donate.

Go to the Bailey-Love website for complete information.

Norma R. Murphy, 97, passed away April 16, 2022, in Fairborn, Ohio. She was both a United Brethren pastor and pastor’s wife for nearly 40 years in Michigan.

After graduating from high school in June 1942, Norma accepted a job constructing World War II amphibious landing craft at the Chris Craft boat plant in Cadillac, Mich. Two years later, she enrolled at Marion College in Marion, Ind. to study to become a teacher and athletic coach. There she met John Murphy, a World War II vet who was studying for the ministry. They were married in 1947.

After John graduated in 1951, they moved to Michigan for John’s first pastoral assignment. She served alongside him in ministry for 30 years as pastor’s wife, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, and young adult counselor. She and John had two sons.

John and Norma served the Pleasant View United Brethren church in rural Blanchard from 1966 until John’s death in November 1981. Norma was then granted a Certificate of Ministry from the Michigan Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and continued serving the Pleasant View congregation as pastor until she retired in June 1997. In addition to her pastoral duties, Norma worked as a dietician, store clerk, and cashier.

A private family graveside service will be held in Six Lakes, Mich.

Rev. Donald Merillat, 80, passed away January 29, 2022, at his home in Morenci, Mich. He cited the Munson UB church in Morenci as his home church, and was converted in 1953.

Don owned his own carpentry business from 1974 to 1982 prior to entering Huntington University to prepare for the ministry. He graduated from HU in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree, and received the Master of Christian Ministry from HU in 1989. He was ordained as a UB minister in 1989. He pastored the Victory Chapel UB church (Liberty Center, Ohio) for many years, and also served as a conference superintendent in Michindoh Conference.

The funeral service was held at 11:00 am on February 1, 2022, in Morenci, Mich.

Donald and Carol were married in 1960 in Hudson, Mich. and have three children. Condolences can be sent to Carol at this address:

Carol Merillat
301 Lincoln St.
Morenci, MI 49256

Rev. H. Dean VanderVeen, 93, a retired UB minister in Michigan, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. He was at home, with family at his side.

Both visitation and the funeral will occur on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Calvary United Brethren church in Saginaw, Mich. (2895 E. Moore Road, Saginaw, MI 48601).

Visitation: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Funeral: 1:00 pm.

Dean’s son, Rev. Gary VanderVeen, and Rev. Ted Doolittle, the current pastor of Calvary UB, will officiate.

Dean was ordained as a United Brethren minister in 1965. He founded Calvary Community Church in Saginaw in 1971 and served as its pastor until 1992.

Dean and Annabelle, who survives, were married in 1951. Her address:

Annabelle VanderVeen
4620 McIntosh Rd
Birch Run, MI 48415-8704

The memorial service for former bishop Paul Hirschy will be held at 11:00 am Monday, December 20, 2021. Location: College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind.

Visitation is 2-7 pm Sunday, December 19, at Myers Funeral Home in Huntington (2901 Guilford St, Huntington, IN 46750). Visitation will also occur one hour before the service on Monday.

The memorial service will be livestreamed on Youtube at this address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkNtTZVUvYI

Bishop Todd Fetters will give the memorial message. Former bishop Ray Seilhamer will also give some remarks.

Former Bishop Paul E. Hirschy, 75, passed away December 1, 2021. The viewing and funeral will be held December 19-20 in Huntington, Ind.

Viewing: 2-7 pm Sunday, December 19, 2021
Viewing location: Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford St, Huntington, IN 46750
Funeral: 11 am Monday, December 20, 2021
Funeral location: College Park UB church, 1945 College Avenue,
Huntington, IN 46750.

Bishop Todd Fetters will officiate at the funeral service, which will be streamed online on Youtube.

Paul graduated from Huntington University in 1968, and from the HU Seminary in 1972. In 1968 he began ten years of pastoral ministry–initially in Convoy, Ohio, followed by nine years at Park UB church in Bluffton, Ind. He managed the denominational printshop 1978-1981, and then was elected by General Conference to the first of five terms as Director of Church Services at the UB national office.

In 2001, Paul was elected bishop of the US National Conference. He served in that role until 2005. He worked the next seven years as a development officer at Huntington University, and since 2012 has been associate pastor at College Park UB church in Huntington.

On October 1, 2021, Huntington University awarded Paul the Distinguished Alumni Citation, which recognizes exceptional service over an extended period of time. “Service” is, indeed, what Paul is most known for—a man with a true servant’s heart.

Paul is survived by his wife Barbara, to whom he was married in 1969, and their three children: Jason Hirschy (Thornton, Colo.), Heather Gonzales (Washington, D. C.), and Amber Kaushik (Alexandria, Va.).

Condolences can be sent to Barbara Hirschy at:

Barbara Hirschy
5493 N Goshen Road
Huntington, IN 46750-8940

Memorial donations may be made to Huntington University or College Park UB Church, both in care of Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford St., Huntington, IN 46750.

You can read the official obituary on the Myers Funeral Home website.

Former Bishop Paul E. Hirschy, 75, passed away December 1, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. Funeral arrangements are being made through the Myers Funeral Home in Huntington.

Paul graduated from Huntington University in 1968, and that year began ten years of pastoral ministry–initially in Convoy, Ohio, followed by nine years at Park UB church in Bluffton, Ind. He managed the denominational printshop 1978-1981, and then was elected by General Conference to the first of five terms as Director of Church Services at the UB national office.

In 2001, Paul was elected bishop of the US National Conference. He served in that role until 2005. He worked the next seven years as a development officer at Huntington University, and since 2012 has been associate pastor at College Park UB church in Huntington.

On October 1, 2021, Huntington University awarded Paul the Distinguished Alumni Citation, which recognizes exceptional service over an extended period of time. “Service” is, indeed, what Paul is most known for—a man with a true servant’s heart.

Condolences can be sent to Paul’s wife, Barbara, at:

Barbara Hirschy
5493 N Goshen Road
Huntington, IN 46750-8940

Randy and Toni Fennig

Randy Fennig, 67, passed away November 11, 2021, at his home in Portland, Ind. He had served as a UB pastor for ten years, as a UB missionary in Sierra Leone for three years, and as a member of the UB Global Leadership Team.

Visitation: 4-7 pm Monday, November 15, at Williamson-Spencer and Penrod Funeral Home in Portland, Ind.
Funeral: 11:00 am Tuesday, November 16.
Funeral location: Westchester United Methodist Church, 4487 E. 400 N. Portland, Ind.

Randy grew up on a farm in Indiana and earned a degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. He and Toni had served for a time with Africa Inland Mission in Mozambique.

Randy was senior pastor of Prince of Peace UB church (Springfield, Ohio) from 1998-2008. He was ordained as a United Brethren minister in 2002.

In 2008, Randy and his wife, Toni, moved to Sierra Leone. Randy taught at Evangelical College of Theology in the Freetown area, a seminary which trains many of the UB pastors in Sierra Leone Conference, and also engaged in agricultural development.

The Fennigs concluded their ministry in Sierra Leone in 2011, and returned to the States in August of that year.

Rev. Thomas L. Brodbeck, 85, passed away on November 9, 2021. He served 19 years in United Brethren ministry in Indiana, Ohio, and Idaho.

Viewing: 9:00 am Saturday, November 13, 2021.
Funeral: 10:30 am Saturday, November 13, 2021.
Location: Glancy-H.Brown & Son Funeral Home, Warren, Ind.

Brodbeck graduated from high school in 1953 in his hometown of St. Mary’s, Ohio, served in Korea with the US Army, and worked for the city of St. Mary’s until sensing God’s call to the ministry. He was 35 when he moved his family to Huntington, Ind., so he could enter college. He graduated from Huntington University with a bachelor’s degree, and in 1975 received the Master of Christian Ministries. He was ordained in 1975.

Brodbeck served 19 years in United Brethren ministry: 1927-1979 at the UB church in Van Buren, Ind.; 1979-1983 as director of Camp Cotubic in Bellefontaine, Ohio; 1985-1988 as pastor of Log Cabin UB church in Boise, Idaho; and 1988-1993 as pastor of Third Street (now Anchor) UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. He then served a Wesleyan congregation in Waldron, Mich., until 2017.

At the time of his death, Brodbeck was living with his wife Cathy in Van Buren, Ind. (609 E 3rd St, Warren, IN 46792-9410). He is the father of Rev. Thomas M. Brodbeck, who served 27 years in United Brethren ministry, including as fulltime superintendent of Central Conference.

Memorial contributions should be directed to Camp Cotubic, 2158 Road 25 North, Bellefontaine, OH 43311.

You can read the online obituary here.