Obituaries

Rev. Keith Warren Bingham, MDiv ’76,  beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and pastor died peacefully at home on July 22nd, 2019. He was 68 years old. His passing came as the result of complications from a stroke he suffered in February 2019. Keith was born at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC on June 28th, 1951, to E.A. “Bing” and Phyllis Bingham. He graduated from West Mecklenburg High School in the spring of 1969. During his time in High School, he worked at the McDonald’s on Freedom Drive which still stands there today. He famously made the first Big Mac in Charlotte when it was introduced. Keith and his family were members and regular attendees at St. James United Methodist Church on Freedom Drive. It was here that he was first exposed to what would become his life-long calling. Keith put himself through CPCC in Charlotte and Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC. While in college and even in high school, he worked with Campus Life, further solidifying his resolve to become a pastor. Upon graduation from Pfeiffer, Keith went to Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. While there, in the cafeteria one day, he informed a young woman that, based on his training, she was making her hamburger incorrectly. This woman was Rebecca “Becky” Kay Green and they were married on June 14th, 1975. He loved her deeply and was committed to providing her with the support and companionship she deserved during their life together. Keith and Becky shared their marriage with their two daughters, Jennifer and Kara. Regardless of the demands on him as a pastor, he made sure he was there for them at recitals, school events, and especially at home. He was dedicated to helping his daughters achieve their dreams and supported them completely. In 1976, Keith was awarded a Master of Divinity from Asbury, was ordained in the United Methodist Church, and accepted an appointment as a pastor in the Western North Carolina conference. Keith loved to preach, but he did so as a teacher, and treated his congregants as students of Christ. He was a dedicated servant, and it was not uncommon for him to work upwards of 80 hours per week. In the summer of 2018, after nearly 47 years of service to the United Methodist church, he retired from full time pastoring, but continued in a part-time capacity and preached the day before his stroke. After retiring, Keith looked forward to enjoying time for himself with his wife, daughters, and grandsons. In October of 2018, after a career that had always provided housing, he and Becky bought their first house. He was thrilled to call a house his own and relished the opportunity to be a homeowner. He loved the heavens above and enjoyed exploring them with his multiple telescopes. It was a passion that he enjoyed sharing with both his daughters and grandsons, Jack and Ben. He also enjoyed exploring the heavens through movies. Whether it be Star Trek, Star Wars, or others, he enjoyed imagining being amongst the stars. If he could have traveled there, he would have brought his favorites: oldies, beach music, and Bruce Springsteen, along for the ride. Keith lived his life according to the principles he taught and was an example for many of how to live a life for Christ. And though we miss him here, we know he is happy to finally meet his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While his family and the world lost a kind, loving, compassionate, patient, man whose life impacted so many positively, we know he was needed somewhere else more urgently. He will be remembered well and missed sorely by the thousands of lives he touched over his lifetime. Keith was preceded in death by his parents, E.A. and Phyllis Bingham. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Green Bingham, his daughters, Kara Bingham and Jennifer Bingham Tosi (husband, Gregory), both of Charlotte, NC, his grandsons, Jackson and Benjamin Tosi, his four siblings, Michael Bingham of Inman, SC, Phillip Bingham of Charlotte, NC, Judy Bingham Teague of Charlotte, NC, and Brian Bingham of Charlotte, NC.

Pastor Clint M. Evans, MDiv ’16, passed into eternal life on Monday, June 23 in Mankato, Minnesota at the age of 38. Clinton Marvy Evans was born on April 2, 1981 in Minot, North Dakota, to Charles “Chuck” and Dawn (Hurdelbrink) Evans. He graduated from Minot High School in 1999. His family moved to Minnesota after his graduation. He worked at Adult and Teen Challenge of Oregon before he earned his Bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University and two Master’s degrees in Divinity though Asbury Theological Seminary/United Methodist Church. He married Samantha Lewis on March 27, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. He began working as a youth director at Grace United Methodist Church in Pequot Lakes in 2011 and had been the pastor of Fairfax United Methodist Chu+rch and Sleepy Eye: Faith United Methodist Church since 2015. He was just finishing his two years as pastor before he would have received the title of Reverend through his Master’s of Divinity and started a new position in July. His daughters Kaylynn (8), Kelly (7) and Trinity (4) were the lights of his life and he was a devoted, loving and proud father. He was also a wonderful son, brother, grandson and nephew as well as friend to many. Clint was a generous, fun-loving and compassionate man who loved his family, his church families, and working with young people. He also loved playing linebacker for semi-pro football team the Minnesota Brawlers. In an article for KEYC, Clint was quoted a saying, “I am who I am-I’m a tattooed, traditional, football-playing pastor.” He was passionate about helping others and had a way of relating to others that made them feel valued and understood. He was an active and dedicated member of the UMC in Minnesota and made many friends that were very important to him. He will be remembered lovingly and missed dearly by all who shared his life and love him so much. Clint is survived by: his parents, Chuck and Dawn Evans of Richfield, MN; brothers Korey Evans and fiance Jackie Rees of New York, NY, and Darry Evans and fiance Yesica Gonzalez of Minneapolis, MN; wife Samantha (Lewis) Evans, and daughters Kaylynn, Kelly and Trinity of Sleepy Eye, MN; niece Brynn Evans of Jordan, MN; maternal grandmother Mary Lou Martin of Euless, TX; numerous uncles, aunts and cousins. Clint is preceded in death by: paternal grandparents Harry Garland Evans and Marvy and Elneeta Mariner, maternal grandfather William Hurdelbrink and step-grandfather Laurie Martin.

Fred R. Schreffler, BDiv ’58, passed from this earthly life on November 31, 2017 just one-half hour before his 92nd birthday. He was born December 1, 1925 in Oil City, PA where he graduated high school. He continued on in his education attending Roberts Wesleyan College in 1955 and then Asbury Theological Seminary in 1958. Before college, he worked for the U.S. Post Office and was two and a half years in the army air corps. While a senior in Roberts Wesleyan College, he married Esther Lambert who was a public school teacher before joining her husband in pastoral ministry. They had a daughter, Lorene, who died in infancy and is buried in Wilmore, Kentucky. They also had three sons, Andrew, Peter, and Daniel, and a grandson, Thomas. He served the Lord in the Pittsburgh Conference of the Free Methodist Church for 31 years. His appointments included: Follansbee, WV; Rochester, PA; Butler, PA; New Brighton, PA; and East Liverpool First, OH. He retired in 1989 to North Chili, NY where he and his wife Esther were active in Pearce Memorial Free Methodist Church. In late 2015, they moved to Gainsville, Florida to be near one of their sons. Unable to walk, he spent his last couple years in Rehabilitation and Specialty Care in Gainsville. Known respectfully as “Mr. Fred”, he was a blessing to residents and personnel with words and attitude. His life was devoted to the Lord Jesus, and now he is with Him.

George K. Varghese, MTh ’71, was born October 13, 1937 in Anicadu, Mallappally. He was born to Mathai Varghese and his mother Achiamma. He was one of 4 brothers and one sister. He attended college in India completing a bachelor’s degree in Theology. During his college years in India he met, who would be, long time family friends and mentors who encouraged him to pursue his higher education in the United States. On scholarship, he attended Asbury Seminary located in Wilmore, Kentucky completing his Masters in Theology. Afterwards he attended the University of Kentucky completing Master degrees in Philosophy and Education. Between December 1971 and May 20th, 1972, he met and married Gracy Kuruvilla. September of 1973, they moved to St. Louis. George entered a Ph.D theology program at St. Louis University. In 1974 he decided to end his studies and completed a certificate in social work and counseling. George began his career with the State of Missouri Department of Family Services. He was a social worker there for 20 years, retiring in 1994. George was very involved with the Mayalayee Community in St. Louis. In 1978 he was one of the founders of the Ecumenical prayer group which met monthly. In the early 1990s George and several others wrote to the Mar Thoma Church governing body to have a consistent Mar Thoma priest administer Mar Thoma worship services. Once established, he along with a few others were instrumental in establishing the St. Louis Mar Thoma Church for all the local Marthomites to worship. He served as vice president and committee member to the Mar Thoma Church, Ecumenical prayer group and Mayalayee Association. Outside of his church activities, George had many interests. He was a gardener, tennis and table tennis player, handyman, investor, world traveler, avid reader, news and political enthusiast. Despite his varied interests, his children’s interests were the most important to him. He was very present and involved in his children’s lives. He always put God first in his life and passed on that legacy to his children. June 20, 2019, He was called home to the Lord. He is immensely missed by his wife of 47 years Gracy Varghese, his two children Betty and Ebby Varghese, his daughter in law Lisa Varghese and his three grandchildren, Phoebe, Zoe, and Basil. He is survived by one brother Thomas Varughese.

Donna Jean Young, MDiv ’01, aged 83, died Tuesday July 9, 2019 at Barnwell Rehab & Nursing Center after a short illness. She was born June 15, 1936 in California. As a child, she was adopted but later met her birth mother and sisters(her daughter and son also met them). She had six children, 2 (Vicki and Debbie, 2 oldest) predeceased her. Her family gave her a great deal of credit as she went to college as her husband and six children were living on a Navajo reservation, visiting her family on weekends only. In 1969, the family moved to NY where as a teacher, she taught at Roeliff Jansen, Ichabod Crane, and for many years on the Onondaga Nation, near Syracuse, NY. She was part of an exchange with the New Zealand Maori teachers while working in Syracuse. When she retired, she went back to school in Kentucky at Asbury Theological Seminary and became a Methodist minister, and eventually an Elder of the church. She pastored churches in upstate NY and eventually Montana. She traveled to Russia, organized church trips to Israel, and spent time on a commune in India. Her seminary internship was in Cornwall, England. Mama Llama, as she was called, loved to travel. She wasn’t a snuggly, at baseball game kind of gramma but she was absolutely without judgement, generous without a fault, and a 4 foot 11 half a tornado. Her second husband called her the bobcat. She is survived by her children Lori Simpson, Kathy Downs, Pamela Ray and Danny Garvansites; 22 grandchildren.


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