Rev. Lyle Geist, MDiv 1970, age 73, went to be with the Lord on October 7, 2017 at 10:48 am. He was born on September 11, 1944 in Hoven, South Dakota. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Delores Geist, and one sister, Gardenia Woehl. Pastor Lyle was a graduate of Southern Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in North Carolina and Alabama for a total of 44 years. His passion was to see people accept Christ as their personal Savior. He found great delight both in teaching and preaching God’s Word and in seeing Christians become true Spirit filled followers of the Lord. He ministered with high energy and enthusiasm and his love of the ministry fueled him. Nearly 100 people stopped by Hospice to tell him how the Lord had used him to impact their lives. He always had a unique way of lifting the spirits of those who needed it, even causing them to laugh. He led numerous people to the Lord during his life and it wouldn’t be surprising if someone is saved through his death. He was a true “people person.”Lyle was a faithful husband to his wife and a great father to his two daughters. It would be impossible to forget what an incredible Papa he has been to his seventeen grandchildren, never failing to tell a great story and serving thousands of pancakes and always ready with a pocket full of tic-tacs!!! Survivors include his beloved wife of 50 years, Carolyn of Tuscaloosa; daughters, Diana Geist of Fairmount, Indiana and Susan Norris (Stephen) of Cottondale; brother, Keith Geist of Lodi, California; and seventeen amazing grandchildren. Pallbearers will be Jim Breugem, David Martin, Larry Miles, Bud Miller, Ken Norton, and Billy Thompson. Honorary pallbearers will be the members and friends of Tuscaloosa First Wesleyan Church. The family would like to express heartfelt thanks to the staff of Hospice of West Alabama, Dr. Dmitriy Zak and The Cancer Care Center of Tuscaloosa, Dr. Geoffrey Alilonu and Reliant Renal Care as well as Dr. Garfield Ramdeen and the staff of Nephrology Associates and Home Dialysis. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the missions department of First Wesleyan Church at 1501 McFarland Blvd. North, Tuscaloosa, AL 3 5406.
Reverend Ralph R. Metheny, Sr., MDiv 1994, 98, residing at Otterbein North Shore, Lakeside, Ohio passed away October 3, 2017. He was born February 22, 1919, to Edna (Fritz) and Harry Metheny in Argos, Indiana but was raised in Wauchula, Florida. He was married for 73 years to Margaret (DeVore) Metheny of Gillette, Wyoming, who preceded him in death on June 24, 2015. Faithful servant of God and loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather, Ralph was preceded in death by one brother, Harold Metheny of Wauchula, FL and is survived by one sister, Mary Ormsby of Sun City AZ, his children Rev. R. Robert Metheny, Jr. (wife Sue) of Gibsonburg, OH, daughter Carol L. Metheny of Gahanna, OH, son Mark T. Metheny (wife Alice) of Shirley, MA., and son Philip J. Metheny (wife Sheri) of Sevierville, TN, 11 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Ralph retired from full time ministry with the United Methodist Church in 1982 after 40 years serving churches throughout Ohio: Adena, Amsterdam, Cleveland, Fremont, Sidney, Marion and Cincinnati. Ralph earned degrees at Asbury College, Asbury Theological Seminary and held a Masters degree from University of Pittsburgh. He was an avid amateur (ham) radio operator and loved sailing. Until very recently he regularly conducted devotions for the other residents of Otterbein North Shore.
Clara Jean Orander Stokes, 88, departed this life one day before her 89th birthday on Oct 4, 2017 after an extended illness. Meme Clara was born in Crumpler, West Virginia to Richard and Ethel Orander. She graduated from Northfork High at the top of her class in 1946. At the urging of her Methodist pastor, she enrolled at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, paying her first year tuition with silver dollars. Between her sophomore and junior year, the Home Economics major married on Aug 4, 1948, Luther Ray Stokes, who was also attending Asbury from Homewood, Mississippi following WW2 in the Navy, studying for the ministry. After the couple graduated in 1950, she settled into her lifelong dream of becoming a pastor’s wife in the Berry, Boyd and Vicco, Kentucky Methodist churches. Upon Luther’s graduation from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1954, they moved to Sopchoppy, Florida from Vicco in 1955 with Paula, 3 and John, 1. It was in Sopchoppy that Clara began her dual role as a pastors wife and elementary school teacher that continued to Monticello, where their third child, Lewis was born. In 1965 they returned to Kentucky for two years where she taught at Wilmore while Luther was the Asbury College Alumni Director. In 1967 they moved to Williston, Florida where she taught in Bronson and Williston elementary schools while staying busy teaching Sunday school and fulfilling the role of a pastor’s wife. In 1977 she continued her long teaching career in Lake City at Summers Elementary, completing her Masters Degree at UK,UF and FSU, before “retiring” in 1996. Words are inadequate to express the many people she touched through her cooking of countless cakes and batches of fudge for various occasions, her continual correspondence through letters, cards and notes and her visiting the sick and shut-ins while all the time teaching our children and her grand children and great grand children. Meme “Granny Go Go” Clara is survived by her children Paula Powers, John(Melanie) and Lewis(Cindy)Stokes. Granddaughters Allison Powers(John Walsh), Jessica Johnson(Eric), Lyndsy Stokes and Crystal Nicole”Nikki” Kistler. Grandsons Landon(Amber), Jordon, Nicholas and Noah Stokes. Great grandchildren Pearce and Carson Powers, Claire Walsh, Madeleine and Everett Johnson, Nathaniel Stokes and Ava Kistler.