Rev. Jack Bartholomew, M.Div. ’78, aged 88, beloved husband, patriarch, evangelical pastor, gentleman and cowboy lived each day with courage. Jack took that last dance with his sweetheart of 65 years to the music of E.Tubbs’ “Waltz Across Texas” before he quietly stepped into paradise August 16th.
Jack was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Climax-Scotts High School in June of 1951. Almost immediately after his graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy where he was stationed on the USS SARSFIELD
(EDD 837). He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. When Jack returned to civilian life he was employed by the Battle Creek Fire Department. He was the 5th generation firefighter in his family.
Jack lassoed his “favorite girl” Mildred and they were married in June of 1956 at the Scotts United Methodist Church in Scotts, Michigan. Jack and Millie built their home, Rockin’ B Ranch, on farmland in Scotts where they raised four children for many years: Scot (Susan) Bartholomew of Allen, Texas; Tim (Beth) Bartholomew of Houston, Texas; Nancy (Ridge) Seitz of Reese, Michigan; Carla (Chris) Jackson of Saranac, Michigan. Jack graduated from West Michigan University in 1974. He then hung up his spurs to attend Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky from 1974 until his graduation in 1978. As Pastor, Jack served in several United Methodist churches before retiring in 1995 and moving to Ionia, Michigan. During retirement he studied woodcarving for several years and created many stunning carved treasures. Although retired from the church he never stopped riding for the brand; he was forever fervent in his faith and ministry.
Storyteller extraordinaire, Jack shared his love of cowboy lore and adventure with tales, poetry, jokes and exquisite stories from his own life’s adventures. Genuine in every way, Jack lived deliberately and often referred to the 10 Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen. Jack lived that way near as a man could. He was so very proud and passionate for his grandchildren and their little buckaroos: Casey (Chris) Minette, Parker and Frankie; Chris (Kay) Bartholomew and babies; Katie Allbaugh; Ethan Lee; Travis Bartholomew; Jake Bartholomew; Jordan (Brooke) Seitz, Archer, August, Atlas and baby; Danielle (Andrew) Rupp, Colt and Forest; Chris (Rona) Jackson, Aidan, Destiny and Paul; Boone Jackson; Levi Jackson; Aubrey Jackson. He shared so many words of wisdom. And as he left this rodeo he still shared who he was: Joyful. Strong. Confident. Wise. Healed. Forgiven. Cowboy.
Dewey Max Fleming, M.Div. ’71, aged 76, of Dalton, GA, passed away Friday, August 20th, 2021, at home surrounded by his family.
Rev. James Marion Frazier, Bachelor of Divinity ’60, aged 90, was born October 15, 1930 in Hallsville, Texas to parents, W.A. Frazier and Beulah Bell (Dickard) Frazier, and passed away August 2, 2021 at home in Livingston, Texas. He is preceded in death by his parents; loving wife of 48 years, Kathryn Frazier; brother, Milton Frazier; and sisters, Opal Teel and Martha Frazier. During his life, SGT. James M. Frazier honorably served his county in the United States Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged June 10, 1954. While stationed in Arkansas, James found his calling to serve the Lord and immediately following his discharge, he enrolled in the Asbury Theological Seminary College in Wilmore, Kentucky. While attending school, he met his wife, Kathryn Ann Metcalf, and they were married August 17, 1958. Just one month shy of his graduation, on July 1, 1960, Rev. Frazier was appointed as Deacon of The Methodist Church by the Kentucky Annual Conference. He graduated and received a Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Divinity the next month in August 1960. On June 7, 1962 he became an Elder of The Methodist Church as decreed by the Texas Annual Conference. He was a loyal and faithful servant of the Methodist Church for 60 years and held numerous minister positions in Beaumont, Lexington, Belleville, Livingston, Jacksonville, Port Neches and Baytown, Texas.
He is survived by his son, James Phillip Frazier and wife, Mary of Livingston; son, David Andrew Frazier and wife, Alta of Frisco; granddaughter, Claira Cantwell and husband, Morgan of Livingston; granddaughter, Amanda Frazier of Huntsville; grandson, Hostin May of Groves; grandson, Sage Elmore of Bridge City; and great-grandson, Kayson Cantwell; along with numerous other relatives and a host of friends. Pallbearers: Bob Campbell, Dr. Ralph Jenke; Dr. Jerry Wood; Johnny Frazier, Ron Lemons, Dr. Cheriparambil K. Mani. Honorary Pallbearers: Leon Bailey, Joe Morasch.
Reverend Bishop Garfield (Gary) Rupert Walsh, M.Div. ’71, aged 77, passed away on the morning of August 16, 2021, surrounded by family.
Gary will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his wife of 56 years, Ellen (McFarlane) Walsh; his sons John (Jillian) Walsh, Charles Walsh, and James (Anna) Walsh; grandchildren Duncan, Liam, Finn, Natasha, Lillian, Winston, Seamus and Cormac; great-grandson Peter; siblings Grant (Roxanne) Walsh and Diane (Wayne) King; as well as numerous relatives, colleagues and friends. Gary was preceded in death by grandchildren John (Jack) Rupert Walsh and Georgia Grace Walsh.
A generational Christian leader, Gary Walsh was an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church. His journey in ministry included pastoring various congregations in both Canada and the United States; denominational leadership as the Bishop of the Free Methodist Church in Canada; inter-denominational leadership as President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada; global partnership development as President of Interdev; and global antipoverty initiatives as President and CEO of Opportunity International Canada.
Gary was a devoted follower of Jesus, and family and friends will now gather to seek His comfort and strength.
Lee Roy Jamison, Bachelor of Divinity ’52, aged 95, transitioned to his eternal reward on Aug 2, 2021, at the age of 95. He is survived by two sons, David (Kathy) of Texas, and Douglas (Deedee)of Danville; three grandchildren, Michael (Amber), Christian, and Anne (Nick); and four great-grandchildren, Rylee, Parker Lee, Jax, and Kade.
After graduating from Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary, Lee was ordained as an elder in the Methodist Church in 1952 and pastored churches in New Castle, Buchanan, Gordonsville, Barboursville, Danville, Salem, Portsmouth, Colonial Heights, Richmond, and Dayton before retiring in Roanoke with his late wife Evelyn, where he lived for 40 more years.
As the husband of Evelyn Webb, he was the last survivor of a generation of thirteen siblings and twelve spouses which began in 1905.
After graduating from Jefferson High School on D-Day, June 6, 1944, Lee began a long association with the U.S. Navy. He proudly served on the USS Lexington, a battleship in the Pacific fleet, as a signalman on deck. He later returned to Officers’ Training School and received a commission as a chaplain in the Naval Reserves, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He loved the Navy and relished his times as a chaplain.
Known for his quick wit, Lee will be missed by family, friends, nurses, and congregants alike. Well done, Dad. We will love you always.
Reverend Wayne Allen Patton, Bachelor of Divinity ’55, aged 92, of Carmel, Indiana ran enthusiastically into the arms of his Savior on Friday, July 23, 2021 after 92 years of love, laughter, and selfless ministry here on earth. We rejoice, knowing that he is at the gates of heaven reunited with his loving wife Norma, members of his family, and the countless souls he shepherded during his life.
Wayne was born on February 27, 1929 in Berea, Kentucky to Russell R. and Luella Adeline Patton. He was a loving and protective older brother to his two sisters Margaret (Therkelsen) and Edith (Stamper). As a young boy growing up in the hills of Kentucky, his adventuresome spirit led him and his young comrades into many outlandish escapades – the stuff Kentucky folklore is made of. These tales and others made their way into a rich collection of stories from Wayne’s life that he recently chronicled – his final precious gift to his family.
Wayne went on to become a talented multi-sport high school athlete with a particular passion for basketball. He attended Kentucky Wesleyan College (1947-’49), Asbury College (1949-’51, Bachelor of Arts), Asbury Seminary (1951-’53/’55, Bachelor of Divinity), Temple School of Theology (1953-’54), and Louisville Presbyterian (1960-’64, Master of Theology). It was at Asbury where he first spotted the inimitable and striking Norma Jean Hicks in a yearbook photo, and sought her out for a first date. In the months that followed, their conversations flowed easily over Coca Colas and 5-cent hot dogs (because Wayne never passed up a bargain). Their mutual love for the Lord united them and they were married on August 30, 1954. Theirs was a partnership and love story that inspired everyone they met for the next 65 years.
Wayne faithfully followed divine promptings in every season of his life. With Norma by his side, his calls to ministry included building a church from the ground up in the Appalachian mountains, trekking through the country in a tiny airstream trailer to hold countless revivals and tent meetings, and serving as a Methodist minister for numerous churches in the Kentucky and Indiana Conferences for 28 years. His remarkable career later included working with the Institute for American Church Growth and founding Outreach Ministries Incorporated. After he officially retired, Wayne served one final church – Salem United Methodist Church in Zionsville, Indiana, and the people of this congregation always held a special place in his heart.
Wayne was the type of Reverend who always answered the phone (even at 2 AM for a parishioner in crisis), and always answered the door (even for a couple who wanted to be married on the spot – which he did). He was particularly passionate about the importance and power of prayer. If you knew Wayne Patton, chances are you have been specifically prayed for by him. Wayne also made a profound impact on the spiritual lives of many through his writing, most notably in his book entitled “The Divine Visitor,” now in its second printing. Wayne was both scholar and servant; he balanced impressive theological intellect with genuine childlike faith. But don’t get us wrong, he never missed an opportunity to mention that he was a man of the cloth if it might merit a discount on a haircut, dishwasher or dessert.
When it came to his family, nothing brought Wayne more joy than his three children – Russell, Nancy and Eva, and his three grandchildren – Kara, Laura and Liz. He was fiercely protective and proud to be a Dad and a “Papaw.” His love for his children and grandchildren spilled over into a love for less-fortunate children. He was known for bundling up his three granddaughters at Christmas and taking them on his excursions to find children in need that he could surprise with an envelope of cash, as he told them with his warm smile, “God loves you.”
His commitment to Christ only deepened and his spirit only sweetened as he lived this last season of life. When his beloved Norma Jean entered heaven in January of 2020, he rejoiced that she had received her eternal reward. During the past year and a half, he has been a magnificent example of faith and resilience to all of us in his family as he navigated the strange and often solitary days of the pandemic without her by his side, and he did so with unyielding grace, kindness and positivity. He never stopped reaching out to others; he loved his caregivers at Sunrise on Old Meridian like family and he was known for stopping them on their rounds to ask them how they were doing, and to pray for them.
We will miss his booming laugh around the dinner table and how he wove the phrase ‘lo and behold’ into every story. We will miss traveling with him to the Holy Land, Myrtle Beach (heaven on earth according to Wayne), and Brown County. At Christmas, we will miss the conviction with which he always sang “The First Noel” a few stanzas too early at the Christmas Eve service, his signature pecan brittle, and his sacrosanct telling of the Christmas story complete with Santa hat and his own improvisational details.
We will miss him terribly. But we do not grieve without hope, because we know that we will walk the shores of glory – together with him – someday too, and in the meantime, he has been greeted with the warmest heavenly welcome: Well done, good and faithful servant.
Wayne’s spirit lives on in his son Rev. Russell Patton (Kim); daughters Nancy Palmer (Bill), and Eva Patton; granddaughters Liz Erb (Brock), Laura Graham (Jeffrey), and Kara Bender (Peter); and great granddaughter Nora Lyn Bender.
Thomas (Tom) Ellerson Tarpley Sr., M.Div ’01, aged 79, passed away at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ypsilanti, MI on August 15, 2021 at 3:55 p.m. Thomas is predeceased by his father, Thomas Tarpley, Mother, Mattie Tarpley, and brother Carlyle Tarpley. Thomas is survived by his loving wife Gloria of 45 years. They were married in Pontiac, MI, on September 27, 1975. They had no children between them. Thomas is lovingly remembered by his Sisters, Denise Tookes (Leo), of Lake Orion, MI, Karen Tarpley of Farmington Hills, MI, and brother, Robert Tarpley (Lavinia) of Lansing, MI. His children; Thomas E. Tarpley Jr, (Hetty) of Detroit, MI, and Makeba (Dwayne) Bradford of Southfield, MI. Grandchildren; Britiney Walker Tarpley of Detroit, MI, Helena Vassar of Ypsilanti, MI, Cayla Hooks of Detroit, MI, Troy Tarpley, Detroit, MI, Makene Culpepper, and Javen Culpepper, and Kira Tribble. Great-grandchildren Jordan Phillips, Kalani Phillips, and Giya Roze Culpepper. Thomas was born in Lebanon, TN, on July 2, 1942. He attended Pontiac High School in Pontiac, Michigan. After being away from school for several years, he enrolled in the accelerated degree program at Cleary College, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1997. Two months after graduation, he entered Asbury Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2001. Thomas was also a proud Veteran who served two years in the US Army from 1964-1966. Thomas worked for 16 years in real estate management, 14 years as a Life Insurance Registered Representative, and served the United Methodist Church for 15 years as a church pastor. After his retirement in 2015, he attended the United Brethren in Christ Church, where he served as the Care Pastor until his death. Thomas enjoyed reading, traveling, fishing, and visiting with friends. His main goal in life was to bring others into a relationship with Jesus Christ.