Ruth A. Merillat, 99, passed away Wednesday, August 19, in East Jordan, Mich. She and her husband, Orville Merillat, who died in 1999, were members of Trenton Hills UB church in Adrian, Mich. In 1946, they founded what became Merillat Industries, the nation’s largest maker of kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

After retiring from active leadership in the company, they devoted themselves to philanthropy through the Merillat Christian Family Foundation. Among other things, they gave tens of millions of dollars to Huntington University, to United Brethren church building projects, to UB missions and camps, and to other UB-related causes. In 1988, the National Association of Evangelicals recognized them jointly as NAE Laypersons of the Year.

A private funeral service is being held on Tuesday, August 25. It will be streamed live at 2:00 pm via the Lenawee Christian School Facebook page and Youtube channel.

Mrs. Wardena Waldfogel passed away Saturday, August 1, 2020. She was 95 years old. She was the wife of Bishop Emeritus Raymond Waldfogel, with whom she served 50-some years in United Brethren ministry. They were married in 1945 and had five children.The family is using Myers Funeral Home in Huntington, Ind., but no public services are scheduled at this time.

Dr. Raymond and Wardena Waldfogel began their pastoral experience in 1950 in the former North Ohio Conference (northern Indiana and northwest Ohio), starting in 1950. He was fulltime conference superintendent for six years, and in 1969 was elected to the first of three terms as bishop, serving 1969-1981. They then returned to pastoral ministry. Bishop Waldfogel passed away in 2011.

Gail D. Miller (right), 89, passed away July 1, 2020, in Montpelier, Ohio. She and her husband, Rev. Robert Miller, served in the United Brethren pastorate for over 40 years. She was actively involved in children’s ministry in the church and summer camp.

Visitation: 10am on Friday, July 3, 2020.
Funeral: 11:30 am immediately following the visitation.
Location: Stryker United Brethren Church, Stryker, Ohio. Rev. Nick Woodall will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Stryker United Brethren Church. Online condolences may be offered to the family at the Grisier Funeral Home website.

Dan Paternoster (left) and UB minister Charlie Milliken greeting people at the 2011 US National Conference.

Dan Paternoster, a longtime member of Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.), passed away around 6:30 Wednesday morning, July 1, 2020. He was a member of the denominational Executive Leadership Team for 14 years, from 2001-2015. Dan worked as a veterinarian. He has regularly attended the US National Conference meetings every two years, and will be missed.

For the 2013 US National Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., a video was done about Dan and a terrible accident he was in while bike riding. It’s an inspiring story. You can watch it here.

Rev. George and Nadine Speas

Rev. George Speas, 88, passed away on June 18, 2020. Over his ministry he pastored six different United Brethren churches in Michigan, including 31 years at Kilpatrick UB church in Woodland up through 2002. He was also a hospice chaplain for ten years.

George graduated from high school in 1949 in Lake Odessa, Mich., and then spent four years in the US Navy during the Korean War, being stationed in Japan. After completing his military service, he married Nadine Louise Cook in 1955. She passed away on April 26 of this year.

There will be a private graveside service. At a later date, a large celebration of life will be held for both George and Nadine.

Memorial contributions can be sent to Kilpatrick UB church, 10005 E Barnum Rd, Woodland MI 48897.

June L. Brown, age 89, of Chambersburg, Pa., passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020. She served 35 years as a United Brethren missionary in Sierra Leone. Private graveside services will be held at Norland Cemetery in Chambersburg. No other arrangements have been announced at this time.

You can read June Brown’s obituary on the Geisel Funeral home website. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to UB Global, 302 Lake St., Huntington, IN 46750. Designed “Sierra Leone Hospital” on the memo lane. Or, contributions can be made to King Street Church Joy Class, 56 North Second St., Chambersburg, PA 17201.

Below is June’s story as told in All for Christ, Volume 2, by Steve Dennie.

—————–

“It Took Love”

Beginning around 1973, Edward Morlai, the Sierra Leone Conference director of Church Services, worked with June Brown in the Bumpe office. He was a big fan, but by no means the only fan. “She is not a stranger; she is one of us, and we like her. She is readily accepted, not only in our church, but in our culture. We bring many problems to her, and she helps us a lot. She knows what to do at what particular time. Anywhere you go, people know Miss Brown.”

When Mr. Morlai visited the United States in 1985, he told June Brown, “Now I know what you’re giving up to come to Sierra Leone.”

June didn’t view it that way. “When I come home on furlough, I almost feel guilty being here. Everything I touch and feel and eat, everything reminds me of what I don’t have over there, and what they don’t have — and probably won’t get for years to come, no matter how hard they strive for it….I’m not giving up anything. It’s a call, a desire to do the Lord’s work.”

Mr. Morlai smiled. “I don’t think she has convinced me. It took love to leave a church like King Street and go to Sierra Leone, and stay all those years. It is a big sacrifice for her. It takes a lot of love.”

June Brown grew up in Pennsylvania. She accepted Christ at age eight, and at age 15 sensed God calling her to the mission field. She enrolled at Huntington College in 1948, but left to spend four years in the Women’s Air Force. While stationed in San Antonio, Texas, she taught math and science classes, and played on the base softball and basketball teams, both of which won the Women’s Air Force World Championship. She returned to Huntington College in 1954, graduated in 1956, and became a public schoolteacher in Rockford, Ill. But the call to missions remained. In 1957, she began 35 years as a United Brethren missionary in Sierra Leone.

June’s missionary service included six years as a teacher at Centennial Secondary School, followed by 29 years at Bumpe High School, where she taught math and Bible. She also served stints as boarding home manager, bookstore clerk and acting principal, and could ably step in when the school needed an electrician, plumber, or diesel mechanic.

During her furlough in 1966, June returned to Huntington College to teach physical education and coach basketball, volleyball, and tennis. In 1985, June took on the role of Director of Missionary Affairs. She remained in Sierra Leone until 1992, when all missionaries were evacuated from the country because of a military coup. She took the opportunity to retire from missionary service. June returned to her hometown of Chambersburg, Pa., and to her home church, King Street.

During Commencement services on May 18, 1993, Huntington College recognized her with the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The citation began:

“June L. Brown has built a life of excellence everywhere she has invested her talent and energy. In education, in service to country, and in missions, she has always held to the highest standards in her personal life and professional endeavors.”

Rev. Ernest Belella, an ordained United Brethren minister, passed away May 15, 2020, at age 94. Friends and family are welcome to leave their condolences on this memorial page.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 30, at the Oakwood Cemetery in Stryker, Ohio. Social distancing will be recommended. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ernie’s name to the Stryker United Brethren Church.

Rev. Richard E. Mose (right), 92, passed away Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Sharpsburg, Md. He was a United Brethren pastor for 40 years, and was ordained in 1979. His pastorates were all in Pennsylvania: Lurgan (Lurgan, 1973-1974), Mongul (Shippensburg, 1974-1981), Franklintown (Franklintown, 1981-1985), Ebenezer (Greencastle, 1985-1988), Criders (Chambersburg, 1988-1995), associate pastor at Ebenezer (1997-2003), and Lurgan (2003-2013). At the time of his death, he was a member of King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

Rev. Mose’s first wife, Ilene, passed away in 2006. He is survived by his wife Janet Mose, whom he married in 2007, along with three children, ten grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. There are also the families of five step children.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rhodes Grove Camp, 7693 Brown’s Mill Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202.

You can read his online obituary here.

Nadine Louise Speas, 88, passed away April 25, 2020, in Grand Ledge, Mich. She is survived by her husband, George, to whom she was married in 1955. George was ordained as a United Brethren minister in 1987, and they served in the pastorate for many years in Michigan, including 30 years at Kilpatrick UB church (Woodland, Mich.). A private burial will take place in the Woodland Memorial Park Cemetery, with a public celebration of Nadine’s life to be held at a later date.

Condolences can be sent to Rev. George Speas at:

Rev. George Speas
c/o Jeff Speas
4173 Brown Road
Lake Odessa, MI 48849

You can read Nadine’s full obituary here.