Marion and Frances Burkett

Marion and Frances Burkett

Frances Burkett, 91, passed away on Wednesday evening, May 10, as a result of complications due to a short illness. She and her husband of 73 years, Marion (M. E.) have been residents of Miller’s Merry Manor nursing home in Columbia City, Ind.

Visitation: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Memorial service: 11 a.m. May 13.
Location: College Park United Brethren church, 1945 College Ave, Huntington, IN 46750.

The Burketts met at Brown Corners UB in Clare, Mich.—her home church, and his first pastorate—and they were married in 1943. In 1951, the Burketts went to Sierra Leone for two three-year terms. They spent the 1960s pastoring in the States and serving with the United Methodist Redbird Mission in Kentucky.

In 1971 they returned to Sierra Leone, where M. E. took Jerry Datema’s place as Field Secretary. After that came pastorates in the Missionary Church, plus three years at the UB Laurel Mission in Kentucky. In 1985, they started a UB church in Pima, Arizona. Five years later, they were back in Ohio pastoring a UB church, and other pastoral roles followed.

It was a life of practically non-stop, tireless ministry. Two of their sons, David and Phil, became ordained United Brethren ministers and also served as United Brethren missionaries in Sierra Leone and Macau respectively.

A luncheon will follow the memorial service. Instead of flowers, donations are suggested toward the Mattru Hospital project in Sierra Leone. Make checks payable to: Global Ministries. You can see more info and give online at

Son Phil writes, “Please remember Dad (M.E.) in your prayers as he grieves the loss of his wife of over 73 years.”


Marion E. Burkett
199 West Center Dr
Columbia City, IN 46725-8604

David L. Burkett
2268 E. Mt. Morris Rd.
Mt. Morris, MI 48458

Philip L. Burkett
4393 Koepfgen Rd
Cass City, MI 48726

burkey_edmundEdmund Carleton Burkey, 96, passed away on April 3, 2017, in Adrian, Mich. He was a United Brethren minister for 29 years.

Ed and his wife, Jean, were married in 1942, and he entered North Baptist Theological Seminary that fall. He graduated from Monmouth College (Monmouth, Ill.) in 1951, and later earned a Masters in Theology from Winona Lake School of Theology (Winona Lake, Ind.).

In 1944, Burkey began his preaching ministry at the United Brethren church in Van Orin, Ill. He also served the community as a school teacher and principal.

In 1951, he became pastor of College Park Church in Huntington, Ind. During his 15-year tenure, College Park went through two major building programs, including construction of the current sanctuary.

In June of 1966, Burkey became pastor of First UB Church in Adrian, Mich. Within a year, a building program was inaugurated and the new facility was dedicated in 1969 as Trenton Hills United Brethren Church.

Burkey served the United Brethren Church in many capacities, including as senior superintendent of North Ohio Conference. In 1973, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Huntington College.

In 1979, Burkey became pastor of the Fellowship Bible Church in Adrian, and served there until retiring in 1993. His wife, Jean, preceded him in death.

The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, April 6, 2017, at Wagley Funeral Home in Adrian, Mich. Dr. Kent Maxwell will officiate. There will be visitation 9-11 a.m. prior to the funeral service.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to The Fellowship Bible Church or The Hospice of Lenawee Home.

Irene J. (Petrie) Thomas, 89, passed away on March 14, 2017. She was the wife of former Michigan pastor Earl Thomas. The funeral was held March 18 in Fishers, Ind.

Michael Soltis, pastor of Bridge Fellowship, a United Brethren church in Bowling Green, Ohio, is mourning the death of his father. Edward Soltis passed away February 28, 2017, in Erie, Pa. The full obituary is here.

The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. on March 3 in Greenville, Pa.

Cards can be sent to Pastor Soltis at: 317 N Tarr St., Baltimore, OH 45872.

rose-lehnerRose May Lehner passed away February 21, 2017, in Caro, Mich. She was 98 years old. Rose and her husband, Rev. Paul Lehner, served 36 years in ministry. From 1947-1954, they were missionaries at the Laurel Mission in Big Laurel, Kent. They then pastored United Brethren churches in Michigan Conference until Paul retired in 1983. Paul passed away in 1991.

In her retirement years, Rose continued her commitment to service by delivering meals for the Human Development Commission and volunteering for the Commission on Aging. She wrote two books and enjoyed painting China to be sold at craft shows around the state. Rose remained active at the Colwood Church as a Sunday school teacher and funeral meal cook, and was a member of the Women’s Missionary Association. She will be remembered for her kind and generous heart in a lifetime spent caring for others.

Viewing Date: 3-7pm Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Viewing Location: Ransford Collon Funeral Home, 205 W Sherman St, Caro, MI 48723
Funeral Date: 11am Monday, February 27, 2017. Viewing one hour beforehand.
Funeral Location: Colwood UB church, 1840 Colwood Rd, Caro, MI 48723

Left: Evelyn Baker with her children (l-r) Joyce, Ron, and Annette.

Left: Evelyn Baker with her children (l-r) Joyce, Ron, and Annette.

Ruth Evelyn Baker passed away on Friday, January 20, 2017, in Huntington, Ind. She was 98 years old. Evelyn and her husband of 57 years, DeWitt, served 26 years as missionaries in Sierra Leone, 1949-1965. Evelyn then became the First Lady of Huntington College, while DeWitt served as president 1965-1981.

Visitation: 6-8 pm Friday, January 27, 2017.
Visitation location: Deal-Rice Funeral Home–Huntington Chapel, 338 E. Washington St., Huntington, IN 46750.
Funeral: 10:30 am Saturday, January 28, 2017. Visitation one hour preceding.
Funeral location: College Park UB church, Huntington, Ind.

Evelyn graduated from Huntington College with an elementary education teaching certificate, and then taught first grade in Wren, Ohio. She and DeWitt were married August 16, 1942, while he was serving as a Navy pilot during World War 2.

They moved to Sierra Leone in 1949 with sons Ron and Norman. They were first stationed at Bonthe, where Evelyn was the head matron at Minnie Mull Girls’ School. They were later stationed in Gbangbaia, then Mattru, and later Bumpe. While in Mattru, eight-year-old Norman was killed in a boat accident during a school excursion. Daughters Joyce and Annette were born during their years in Africa.

DeWitt was elected president of Huntington College in 1965, and they both spent the rest of their years in Huntington. DeWitt passed away in 2000. Evelyn was a member of College Park UB church. She played the piano for Rotary Club and at local nursing homes, was an avid bird watcher, and loyally supported Huntington University basketball.

Evelyn is survived by son Ron (Berrien Springs, Mich.), daughter Joyce Hewitt (Brazil, Ind.), and daughter Annette Shepherdson (Longwood, Fla.). There are ten grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Preferred memorials are to Huntington University or United Brethren in Christ Global Missions, designated to Mattru Hospital. Contributions can be sent c/o Deal-Rice Funeral Home, 338 E. Washington St., Huntington, IN 46750.

Pastor Charles Simmons (right) passed away October 17, 2016, at age 77. He served 21 years as senior pastor of Liberty UB Church (Stockport, Ohio) before retiring in 2015.

Longtime member Michael Turner wrote, “He shared God’s love with abandon. All who knew him could see Jesus in him. He will be missed.”

Visitation time: 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm on October 20, 2016
Visitation location: Stone-Matheney Funeral Home, Chesterhill, Ohio
Funeral time: 11 am on Friday, October 21.
Funeral location: Liberty United Brethren Church, 470 Sheets Road, Stockport,OH 43728

frank-strine-200obitRev. Frank Strine (right) passed away at 10:30 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2016, in the hospice wing of Huntington Parkview Hospital in Huntington, Ind. He was 91 years old. Rev. Strine attended Huntington University, was ordained in 1968, and pastored several different United Brethren churches–including congregations in Coldwater, Camden, and Montgomery, Michigan–before retiring in 1986.

Funeral time: 2 pm Saturday, October 8, 2016. Visitation one hour prior to the service.
Funeral location: Union Church, 3688 E 400 N., Huntington, IN 46750.

Frank Strine was born in Goshen, Ind., in 1925 and served in New Guinea and Australia during World War 2. He and Phyllis, married in 1951, had four children, all of whom graduated from Huntington University. Bruce and Devon became ordained United Brethren ministers and served UB churches in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana (Bruce began pastoring in another denomination in the 1990s). Daughter Donalynn Strine was heavily involved in leading UB Bible quizzing. Another daughter, Maddie Grubbs, lives in Florida.

Memorial donations can be made out to the Strine family in care of Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford St., Huntington, IN 46750.

Condolences can be sent to the following addresses:

Phyllis Strine
745 Church St
Huntington, IN 46750

Devon R. Strine
100 S Church St, PO Box 38
Kunkle, OH 43531

Donalynn Strine
745 Church St
Huntington, IN 46750

Lois Marie Loewen, 88, passed away July 23, 2016. She was the mother of Rev. Craig Loewen (right), pastor of the Heidlersburg and Mt. Olivet UB churches in Pennsylvania. She and her husband of almost 70 years, Rev. John Loewen, who survives, served 32 years in ministry with the United Methodist Church. (Read full obituary)

A memorial service will be held 10 am on Saturday, July 30, 2016, at the Fogelsanger-Bricker Funeral Home, Shippensburg, Pa.

Condolences can be sent to:

Pastor Craig A. Loewen
2725 Heidlersburg Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325-7618

Dale and Elaine Haupert

Dale and Elaine Haupert

Dale Haupert passed away June 17, 2016. A member of Emmanuel UB church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Dale was a faithful and generous churchman. He was serving as chairman of the denominational Investment Committee, and was a longtime member of the Huntington University Board of Trustees. The new agricultural program was named after Dale and his wife, Elaine, who provided the lead gift–the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies.

Wrote Bishop Todd Fetters, “I for one am grateful for the legacy of generosity and faith that he leaves. He certainly lived out the value of one who trusted God more.”