Obituaries

Devin Stanley Chisholm, DMin ’81, aged 63, passed on to his reward on December 27, 2019. He was born in Big Rapids, MI on October 14, 1956, to Dwight and Diane Chisholm. Devin spent most of his youth in Saginaw, MI, where he attended Arthur Hill High School and met his future wife Yvette R. Horton. He was a graduate of Michigan State University and Asbury Theological Seminary. Devin served as Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Rochester, MI for two years before moving to Standish, MI, in 1983 where he pastored the Community United Methodist Church for almost 30 years, Saganing Indian Church for more than 30 years, and Divine Shepherd Community Church for five years. Devin was a lover of music-singing, playing piano and guitar, composing, and performing. For many years he and his wife Yvette wrote and recorded their own music, but he will also be remembered for his love of John Denver, Anne Murray, and the Canadian Tenors. For many years, he sang with and later directed the Arenac County Choraleers, with whom his rendition of “Be Not Afraid” became a Christmas tradition. He frequently sang at local events including the annual SSC Christmas Assembly where his song “Glory” was beloved by the staff and students. Devin was known for his basket-weaving, woodworking, his love of the Shakers, and his affinity for collecting McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. He will be remembered by many for his contagious laughter, his storytelling abilities, and his diverse collection of hats. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and avidly purs ued developing a robust genealogical understanding. He wanted his children to know that “the world is big” and encouraged them and others to pursue and never settle for less than the best the world had to offer them. Devin loved to see beauty in the world around him. It brought him joy each spring to fill his gardens and his hanging baskets with flowers. He loved the Upper Peninsula, “His” Mackinac Bridge, and making regular trips with his family to both state and national historic landmarks. He also loved to invest in the beauty of people around him. Under his leadership, the Kiwanis Student of the Month award was formed which he took pride in coordinating for many years. He frequently helped with Christmas for Kids (Toys for Tots) as well as the local 4H program. Devin was known throughout the community for his pastoral care and compassion. As a pastor, he was always ready to serve those who needed him. There are few families in Arenac County that did not at some point h ave Devin baptize, marry, or bury one of their family members. He will be missed by many. Devin is survived by his wife of 41 years, Yvette R. Chisholm (Horton) and his seven children: Jeremy (Teresa), Adam (Diane), Hannah Kamau (Collins), Micah (Stephanie), Eva-Elizabeth, Keturah Johnson (Alex), and Matthew (Rachel) as well as eighteen grandchildren: Maria, John, Isaac, Ella, James, Miriam, Ian, Lily, Luke, Joel, Peter, Esther, Simeon, Lydia, Madelene, Elijah, Ezra, and Emma along with one much loved chihuahua Sonador. Also surviving him are his mother Diane J. Chisholm and sister Darci Hillert (Skip) as well as numerous extended family members. Devin was preceded in death by his father Dwight L. Chisholm and brother Derek Chisholm.

Reverend Dr. Oscar William (Bill) Cooper Jr, DMin ’88, aged 90, passed away on November 11, 2019 at his home in Fort Collins, CO. He was born to Oscar and Leatha Cooper on May 24, 1929 in Ecorse, Michigan. In June of 1953 he married Ruth Zimmermann in Schooley’s Mountain, New Jersey. Bill was an insatiable student. He received a Bachelor of Theology from Nyack College, a Bachelor of Art from Wayne State University, a Master’s in Divinity from Biblical Seminary in New York City and his Doctor of Ministries from Asbury Theological Seminary. Bill served as a Lieutenant in the Salvation Army, in ministry for one year. He was a pastor in the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Michigan for 29 years. During that time, he served the following churches: St. Matthew’s MC in Ypsilanti, Manchester MC/Sharon MC, Elkton UMC, Port Huron First UMC, Warren First UMC, and Ames UMC in Saginaw, Michigan. During his retirement, he served Eagle Valley Evangelical Free Church in Colorado for three years. After his retirement from the United Methodist Church, his ministry took an international turn. He served seminaries in 6 different countries: Ukraine, Moscow, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Haiti. He taught classes and guided them through the process of transferring seminary leadership from American citizens to the nationals, hiring academicians, designing curriculum, equipping students for a life of Biblically based ministry in challenging situations. In Haiti he started and built the Emmaus Biblical Seminary. Over the course of his career, Bill wrote 20 books, most centered around Inductive Bible Study. These books made the blessings and guidance of the Scriptures available to everyone. In 1989 he founded the non-profit, Logos Ministries, to ensure that these books made it into the hands of new believers in third-world countries. He is survived by his wife (Ruth) of 66 years; by his brother, Dr. Terrence Cooper (wife Dr. Martha) and his sister, Corliss Mick (husband Rodney). He is survived by his two children, Dr. Ruth Mannschreck (husband The Reverend Dr. Jack) of Waterford, MI and Kiel Cooper (wife Tauna) of Marietta, Georgia. He is survived by 6 grandchildren (Joshua David, Caleb William, Jeremiah John (wife Sara), Benjamin Joseph, Sarah Marie, and Jonathan Paul) and 2 great grandchildren (William Joseph and Amos Daniel). He was preceded in death by his parents Oscar and Leatha and his granddaughter Chava Norah Cooper. 

 Betty Jane “B.J.” Bush-Ellis, MDiv ’14, aged 61, passed away peacefully into the loving arms of her Savior, Christ Jesus with family and friends at her side, on Oct. 13, 2019, at Milford Hospice Center, after a long, courageous battle with breast cancer. B.J. was born on September 26, 1958 in Milford. She graduated from Milford High School (1976), Mount Vernon College, Mary Mount College, Wilmington University, and attended Asbury Theological Seminary. B.J. resided in Seaford. She retired after 32 years of teaching from the Laurel School District (2013), as a Special Education Teacher and Reading Interventionist.B.J. was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church for 19 years, leading and facilitating countless ministries including youth events, women’s ministries, as well as participating in the leadership of the church. She loved being a prisoner for the Lord (Ephesians 4:1) and was a long-time member of the Chesapeake Emmaus community. A licensed Local Pastor with The United Methodist Conference, she was appointed Pastor of Galestown UMC and Wheatley Methodist Protestant Church (2015). Throughout her teaching and ministry, B.J. was an advocate for the broken and hurting in our world. She knew of brokenness and was a true Overcomer. B.J. was an advocate for addiction awareness and a member of Acoholic Anonymous for 32 years. Her many passions included: family; friends; travel; teaching children; The Fresh Air Fund; and American Cancer Society. She was preceded in death by her parents, Captain William B. Bush and Florence E. Plummer Bush; and a sister, Linda A. Bush Bunting.She is survived by a loving family: best friend and husband of 31 years, Stephen K. Ellis; son Claude James “CJ” Ellis (Kara); precious grandson Karter James Nicholas Ellis; brother Rob Bush (Joanne); parent-in-laws Avery L. Ellis (Louise E); brother-in-law Gregory L. Ellis (Celeste); sister-in-law Deanna L. Collins (Brad); and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a wealth of close friends.

 Carolyn Ruth Fraley, aged 86,  was reunited in heaven with Douglas, her husband of 60 years, on December 21, at age 86. Cherished mother of Wendy (Alfredo) Cintron, Michael Fraley, Sarah (Charles) Faupel, and Philip (Giuditta) Fraley. Grandmother of 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Dear sister of Kathleen Bergman and Dorothy Ann Bergman. Sister-in-law of Donald (Phyllis) Fraley and Kathryn Fraley. She will also be lovingly remembered by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Along with Douglas, Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Karen, Elizabeth and Renee. After graduating Wayzata High School in 1951, she followed her heart and with the help and guidance of her future brother-in-law Robert, she attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, where she met Douglas, who was attending Asbury Seminary at the time. She shared her husband’s ministry of 41 years with the United Methodist Church, serving as choir director, prayer group and bible study leader and counselor. Carolyn loved music, playing both the piano and saxophone. She was a fabulous homemaker, cook and gardener who loved flowers. We’re sure she enjoyed conducting her first Christmas cantata in heaven. A special thank you to all of mom’s loving caregivers for all the love they showed her at Azura Memory Care. 

Esther L. Luttrull Hoffman, Master of Religious Ed ’52, aged 94, passed away at 10:29 am on Friday, November 22, 2019, at Marion General Hospital. She had been living at Wesleyan Health Care in Marion. She was born in Guam on October 15, 1925, to Amon and Ruth (Leverich) Luttrull. On September 6, 1976, she married Philip A. Hoffman, and he preceded her in death on August 9, 2014. Esther graduated from Evansville University in 1943, Yale School of Nursing in CT, and Asbury Seminary in KY, where she received her Master in Religion. She had also studied Tropical Medicines in Antwerp, Belgium, and received a Certificate of Midwifery in Brussels, Belgium. Esther served for many years as a missionary nurse in Burundi, Africa. Together, Esther and her husband served for several years with World Gospel Mission until 1985. After returning to the States, she served alongside her husband in the pastorate at Back Creek Friends Church in Fairmount. Esther was actively involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship for over 20 years, she volunteered as a piano player at Wesleyan Health Care Center for over 20 years, taught Sunday School to children for many years, and attended Church Women United. Survivors include her two brothers, Paul (Late Betty) Luttrull of Dale, IN, and James (June) Luttrull of Marion, as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Esther was preceded in death by her loving husband, Philip A. Hoffman; sister, Katherine Baresic; and brother, John Luttrull. 

Rev. Dr. Leonard Woodson Mann, aged 105, cherished husband, father, grandfather, pastor and author, died Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Brunswick, Ga. On Aug. 17, 1914, in the Mann family’s ancestral log house outside Greenville, W,Va., Leonard Mann was born to Frank and Emma Belle (Miller) Mann. Growing up among the people and in the hills he loved so much, young Leonard worked farming, carpentry and other odd jobs during the Depression, eventually matriculating as a special student at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He graduated from Asbury College in 1942, and in 1946 earned a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University. In 1943, Leonard Mann married fellow Asburian Esther Lutz of Amanda, Ohio. With Esther as his beloved helpmate, Rev. Mann went on to a 33-year ministry in the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. Parishes served by the Manns include Kingston, Columbus Thurman Avenue, Richwood, London First, Springfield High Street, Lima Trinity and Chillicothe Trinity. Throughout his career, Rev. Mann was respected as an inspiring preacher, youth leader, spiritual counselor and church builder. Leonard Mann served as a trustee of Ohio Northern University, from which he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1974. A prolific author, Leonard Mann shared his faith and his love of story in about nineteen books, among them Stars for Your Sky, Treasures Found in Passing, A Bird in the Hand, and The First Ten Days: A Novel about the Birth of Christian Faith. The latter was published in his 99th year. Leonard Mann was preceded in death by his brother, L. Franklin Mann. In 1995, Esther Mann died after a brief illness. Rev. Mann married the second love of his life, Sallie (Miller) Mann in 2001. She passed away on Aug. 2, 2019, just after her 100th birthday. Surviving are Leonard and Esther’s son, Stephen Leonard Mann of Hawaii and partner Clear Englebert; and daughter, Susan Elaine (Mann) Hendrix and husband Gary Hendrix of Texas. Missing their grandpa are granddaughters Laura Elizabeth (Reams) Gruntorad with husband Matt of Nebraska, and Elaine Nicole (Reams) Vinas with husband Patrick of Texas. Great-grandchildren are Austin Leonard Vinas, Henry Dean Vinas, Rose Eleanor Gruntorad and Luke Woodson Gruntorad. Also surviving are Leonard Mann’s stepchildren, Janice (Bill) Halderson, David (Angel) Wright, Jonathan Wright, and their families.

Rev. Ruben Vance Riggins, MDiv ’89, aged 69, passed away surrounded by his loved ones on October 26, 2019, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His life is celebrated by his wife, Vicky Melton Riggins, and their children, Reuben Grady Riggins (and Ashley Sears), Jonathan Ross Riggins, and Mary Hannah Riggins Samples (and Justin Samples), and grandson, Benjamin Samples. Vance was in the first graduating class of Flint River Academy in 1968. He graduated from Auburn University in 1973 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. In 1986, he experienced a call to the ministry that led him to Asbury Theologica l Seminary, where he graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 1989. He served as a United Methodist Minister for 29 years and was a member of the South Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to Ministry, Vance followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a peach farmer and raising cattle. He also owned and operated a propane gas company and worked in other agricultural pursuits. He was raised in Woodbury, GA by his late parents Grady and Doris Riggins, along with siblings Valeta Riggins Mills (Mike Mills), Valton Riggins (Pam Riggins), and Vicki Riggins Anglyn (Derry Anglyn). He was an uncle to several nieces and nephews that he loved dearly. Vance loved God, his family, Auburn football, music, television, peaches, and ice cream.

Harold Wayne Hunter ObituaryRev. Harold Wayne Hunter, MDiv ’86, aged 63, passed peacefully into eternal rest Monday at the Hospice House of Southern Kentucky. Born to the late Harold and Louise Hunter of Fultondale, Alabama, Wayne was the Greenwood Campus Pastor at Broadway United Methodist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He was a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary. An avid Alabama fan, he tolerated Big Blue Country with the humility of a true winner. He was a teller of bad jokes, but not a bad joke teller. Wayne was many things, from tree surgeon to funeral director, from uncle to friend. Above all he was a man in possession of a distinctive combination of humility, humor, strength, and peace. Wayne was preceded in death by two nieces, Dr. Jalaine Cosby Brzytwa and Hannah Hunter, and great nephew Gavin Johnson. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Melinda; their three sons, Justus, John-Seth, and Jordan; daughter-in-law Ellen; four grandchildren, Justus II, Miles, Lucy, and Rose; four sisters and one brother, Elaine, Aileen, Ann, Kathy, and Don; nieces, nephews, and myriad friends whom he loved as family. Wayne’s Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 23 at the Melrose Campus of Broadway United Methodist Church at 5:00 PM. Visitation will be before the service from 1-4 PM. Arrangements have been entrusted to J.C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of Southern Kentucky.


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