Reverend Wayne A. Burt, M.Div. ’08, aged 68, earned his Masters of Arts in Christian Leadership, and Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Wayne, was born to Kenneth and Geneva Burt on November 17, 1954 in Flora, Illinois. He passed at home on Tuesday, October 10, 2023. Wayne was raised in Morganfield, Kentucky and received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Kentucky (Science), and Murray State University (Music). He was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist Episcopal Church and has been a life-long Methodist. Wayne worked for Breault Chemical Inc. for 22 years before being called to ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary as Director of Continuing Education. He became an Elder in the United Methodist Church in the Kentucky Annual Conference, then transferred to the Florida Annual Conference in 2018 serving in pastoral ministry in Pierson, Florida.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Rev. Kasey Streichert Burt; daughter, Katie Reckner (husband, Jon Reckner); son, Eric Streichert; daughter, Anna Wilson (husband, Bryan Wilson); son, Taylor Burt (wife, Courtney); 8 grandchildren; and other extended family and friends.
Ruth Ann Chester, aged 79, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2023 at the Niagara Falls General Hospital. Born in Kitchener, Ontario on July 16, 1944, Ruth Ann lived in Cambridge, until her marriage to Leonard Chester in June 1965. She is survived by her husband, Leonard, daughters Karis (Herb Farr) and Denise (Stephen) Marr, as well as four grandsons: Henry, Wesley, Adam and Ian Marr. She is also survived by sisters Elaine Cassel, Karen Cassel, Martha (Ken) Heise and Mary (Jake) Wiens, and by brothers Donald (Barb) Cassel and Robert Cassel. She was predeceased by her parents, Kenneth and Aleda (Cressman) Cassel and a sister-in-law, Phyllis Cassel. The extended Chester family will miss her warm friendship and laughter.
Ruth Ann served capably as a pastor’s wife since 1966. She was co-superintendent of Gilead Manor, Port Colborne, until she entered hospital. She volunteered for several decades at the Port Thrift Store and enjoyed travel and cruise ships. She was a woman of courage, in the face of a lifelong invisible handicap: epilepsy. She has completed the race marked out for her.
Trevor Alan Ferguson, M.Div. ’04, aged 77, passed away unexpectedly at Shady Grove Methodist Church on Wednesday September 27, 2023. Alan was born in Northern Ireland to James and Mary (Simpson) Ferguson on November 4, 1945. He was always proud of his Irish roots. He came to the United States when he was nineteen years old and joined the US Navy, serving 4 years. He was called into the ministry in 1996 and served at Chumuckla Methodist Church. Alan went to Asbury Seminary in Orlando, FL. He then served several churches in Alabama before coming to Springfield Methodist Church as pastor where he served 10 years. He was presently serving as pastor at Grand Ridge Methodist Church and Shady Grove Methodist in Grand Ridge, FL. He served as Chaplain at the Correctional Institution in Panama City. Alan was known for counseling with people in need and was passionate about the truth of God’s Word. Alan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother. He will be very missed by all his loved ones. Alan is survived by his wife, Garilyn; sister, Olive Graham; daughter, Kristen Bain; four sons, Steven, Matthew, and Andrew Ferugson and Aaron Burdon; four grandchildren, Devon, Thomas, Jordan, and James.
Thomas A. Haar, aged 74, of Vero Beach, Florida went to be with the Lord on October 8, 2023 at his home with his family nearby. He was born April 17, 1949 in Sandusky, Ohio, the son of Henry and Mae Haar, the 2nd of six children. He graduated from St. Mary’s Central Catholic School, attended Davis Business College and Bowling Green State University. At age 19 the most significant event of his life occurred at Sandusky Alliance Church when he made the decision to place all his hope and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. This changed his life forever. He then went on to attend Nyack College where he met his wife, Joan, and he received his BS in Bible and Theology. He and Joan moved to Kentucky so he could attend Asbury Theological Seminary and then went to the University of Kentucky graduating with a MSW. He worked at St Agatha’s and St. Dominic’s children’s homes in NY, and then in Kentucky worked with Joan at the Methodist Children’s Home for four years.
The Haars moved to Vero Beach in 1977 and resided here for 46 years. Thomas loved to read and study the Word and books for understanding and applying it. Most of all, he loved to tell everyone about Jesus and urge them to receive Him as Savior. He was ordained by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He took on the challenge to plant a church and became the founding Pastor of Vero Beach Alliance Church. His words weekly to the church, “Will you share Jesus with someone this week?”
He retired as pastor after 39 years but continued teaching groups until his recent illness. He coached Little League, played Codgers Softball, went to the gym regularly, cheered for Cleveland and Kentucky, enjoyed special times playing golf with his son, grandson and friends. He also loved to maintain and beautify the church grounds and his own yard at home.
He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Joan; son, Jordan Haar (Rebecca); daughter, Leah Coon (Chris); and grandchildren Hudson, Brooklyn, Luke, Amelia and Ethan as well as his siblings, Bill Haar, Sally Haar Bienkowski, Sue Haar Zeman, David Haar (Darcy), and Cynthia Haar Petit (Rob); brother-in-law Dr. Stephen Marlett (Cathy); brother-in-law Dr. Keith Marlett (Nancy); Sister-in-law Anne O’Kelly (Steve); and many nieces and nephews.
Rev. William D. Heaton, aged 98, of Greenock, passed away on Monday, October 23, 2023 in UPMC Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh. Born August 31, 1925 in Osceola Mills, he was a son of the late Harry T. and Mary Grace (Burns) Heaton. He is survived by his loving wife, Ella Louise (Allen) Heaton, and his nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Robert E. Heaton.
William served in the South Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II with the 8th Fighter Control Squadron of the 5th Army Air Corps. Following the war, he attended Robert Morris University, earning a degree in business administration and accounting. While employed by the Crawford Furniture Manufacturing Corp. at their New Bethlehem plant, he attended the New Bethlehem First Methodist Church where he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and received his call into full-time Christian ministry. While residing in New Bethlehem, William served on the Colonel Drake Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
William graduated from Asbury University in Wilmore, KY with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and religion. He then attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore from one year, then went on to finish his theological education at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.
While in Kentucky, William served as pastor of the Hazel Green Charge of the Methodist Church in the mountains of eastern part of the state. He then served the Owenton First United Methodist Church in Owenton, KY. Also at that time he conducted revival services in Kentucky and Ohio. While there, he also pursued studies in evangelism with the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
Returning to the Western Pennsylvania Conference, he served churches at the Monongahela Circuit, the Curllsville Charge, the Mary S. Brown United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, the Highland Avenue United Methodist Church in Pitcarin, the Jenny Lind/Shoemaker United Methodist Churches in McKeesport, and the McKeesport Hope/Belle Chapel United Methodist Churches. William retired from the active ministry in June of 1992.
While a member of the Western Pennsylvania Conference, he served as Vice Chairman of the Conference Board of Stewardship and on the former Pittsburgh East Board of Evangelism, and also served on several sub-district offices. Following retirement, William served the Highland Grove United Methodist Church in McKeesport as interim pastor then as associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church of McKeesport.
Following his years of pastoral ministry, he was employed by the Country Meadows Retirement Center at the South Hills Campus in Pittsburgh as chaplain of their Alzheimer’s unit. He was then hired by UPMC McKeesport as their Director of the Pastoral Care Department. That position was held until his 80th birthday when he and his wife Ella decided to (as Bill put it his eloquent fashion) “enjoy the remainder of life’s journey at a retired pace conducive to retired persons.” William and Ella attended Central Highlands Community Methodist Church.
Joan Alice Kinde, aged 87, died on 10/5/2023 after a several-year battle with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Preceded in death by her parents, Thure & Alice, her husband, Don, and brother, Russ. Survived by her children, Mark (Sharon), Larry (Sandy), Carrie Jo (Geoff); 10 grandchildren; 7 great- grandchildren; 1 niece, 8 nephews and spouses; and friends and believers worldwide. Joan testified to the assurance of being redeemed and forgiven and spoke with confidence about the plans God has for her (Jeremiah 29:11).
Shirley Jean Stice, aged 76, passed away in the Promiseland #2 in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, October 14, 2023 – just fourteen days short of her 77th birthday – in the presence of her loving husband, Lloyd, and her loving twin sister, Sharon.
Shirley was born at Shamrock General Hospital in Shamrock, Texas, the last of eight children, on October 28, 1946. She started school in Samnorwood, and after her father had a heart attack, she moved to attend Shamrock Elementary in Shamrock. She went to Lela for her junior high years and started her freshman year of high school in Shamrock, but at the end of the first six weeks, her family moved back to Samnorwood were she finished high school on May 24,1965.
Upon graduation, Shirley went to work at Marie Foundation Garments in McLean, Texas. During that summer, her high school sweetheart Lloyd asked her to marry him. Lloyd Stice went to West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas and completed the 1965 fall semester. With the threat of being drafted into the Army for Vietnam, Lloyd went home for Christmas break and told Shirley he was going to quit school and join the Army and he wanted to get married before he went into the Army. On February 4, 1966, Shirley and Lloyd were married in the Glen Davis Memorial Methodist Church in Dozier, Texas. They spent almost 58 years together experiencing the adventures of life, enjoying being together and raising two sons, Will and Justin.
During Shirley’s life, she enjoyed several jobs, but her favorites were working in the daycare at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church and at the Kentucky Veteran Retirement Home Child Care.
Shirley grew up in the Panhandle area around Shamrock on Interstate 40 (Route 66), never thinking she would become the wife of an Army officer in Georgia and spend three years in the Army stationed in Oklahoma. Shirley and Lloyd then moved to Amarillo for six years, then moved to the DFW area living in the North Richland Hills area of Tarrant County for six years, then back to Amarillo.
The next nine years were some of the most eventful in Shirley’s life, especially in her spiritual life and learning to trust in the Lord. It was amazing the challenges she faced as an individual and that she and Lloyd faced together. The Lord was preparing and calling them to change their direction in life. The changes became real in February 1988 when Lloyd said yes to the Lord’s call to pastoral ministry. Lloyd went back to school to finish his undergraduate degree in preparation to go to seminary. In January 1991, the family packed up and moved to Wilmore, Kentucky for Lloyd to start at Asbury Theological Seminary on February 4, 1991, the day of Shirley and Lloyd’s 25th wedding anniversary.
After three and half years in Wilmore, Kentucky, Lloyd graduated on May 24, 1994. They received their first appointment as pastors of the First United Methodist Church in Fritch, Texas. Over the next twenty years, she and Lloyd served four more appointments, retiring June 2014 and moving to Wolfforth, Texas. Shirley was an awesome partner in every phase of the 57 – almost 58 – years of marriage. Even in the last phase as she was stuffing from dementia, Shirley was always a bright light in the darkness. She never lost the smile and laughter, and her welcoming smile will be one of the things Shirley will be best remembered for.
Shirley is survived by her husband and constant companion, Lloyd Stice of Wolfforth; son Will Stice and wife Mandy Stice of Krum, Texas; son Justin Stice and wife Jamie Stice of Lubbock, Texas; granddaughters Tatum Stice, Emery Stice, and Addy Stice of Lubbock, Texas; a step-granddaughter Hailey Golden of Denton, Texas.
She is also survived by one brother Bill Mayberry and wife Dorothy “Dot” Mayberry of Whitefield, Oklahoma; four sisters Ruth “Pug” Overcast of Claude/Washburn, Texas; LaDon Blasingame of San Angelo/Grape Creek, Texas; Pat Breeding of Shamrock, Texas; and her twin sister Sharon Pardue of San Angelo/Grape Creek, Texas; as well many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews who all loved their Aunt Shirley.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, William Tatum Mayberry and Laura Belle (Hinchey) Mayberry; her brother Clarence Dean William and wife Inez William; Oreta Graves; and nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Sean Mark Wade, M.A. in Counseling ’05, aged 55, loving husband of Kimberly for 31 years and devoted father of Nicholas and Gabrielle Wade, entered into eternal rest on Oct. 1, 2023, at his home with his wife beside him. Sean was a native of Fresno, California, born Oct. 13, 1967, to the late Rayford and Gayla Lynn Wade, being one of their three children. He was a member of the Wilmore Anglican Church and a graduate of Asbury University where he obtained his Bachelor’s in philosophy and then a Master’s in Counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary. Sean loved to read and learn, which gave the ambition of becoming a life-long student, and was an avid debater concerning politics and religion, giving their home lots of interesting topics to explore. In addition to his wife Kimberly and son and daughter, he will be fondly remembered by his grandson Leland Worthington, brothers Darren Wade, wife Susan, and Brian Wade, nephews Delaware and Bennett Wade, and niece Reyna Wade. He was preceded in death by a sister-in-law Sylvia Wade.
Myrna Kay Westfall, aged 80, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, September 25, 2023. Myrna was born on October 17, 1942 in Lancaster, Ohio.
She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Paul Westfall; children Chris Westfall, Joe (Hayley) Westfall, and Amy Westfall; granddaughters Crystal (Justin) Groves, Meghin (Aaron) Kenefick, Catelin (Mike) Winterbotham; great grandsons Jude and Rowan Kenefick, Wyatt and Jaylon Groves, Lane Winterbotham, and a great granddaughter expected in October.
Myrna lived her life to the fullest. She helped start the Blazing Saddles 4-H club where she and Paul were 4-H advisors for many years. They also belonged to the Ohio Appaloosa Association where they traveled to many cities showing their horses. She had a love for animals, as well as helping others.
They hosted 11 exchange students from different countries. Myrna loved to travel, and they served as camp hosts for many state parks. After their many travels, they settled in Summerton, South Carolina. Myrna accomplished so much in her life, obtaining several degrees: Ohio University – Secretail Science, Capital University – International Relations/Transcultural Studies, class of 1990, Asbury Seminary, and Duke Divinity College – where she earned a degree as an ordained minister. Myrna also fulfilled many careers: 1995-2001 former regional coordinator at Youth For Understanding and 2005 – 2007 college professor at Southeastern Business College.
Myrna ministered in 5 churches. It was a great love of hers to minister to others. Myrna fulfilled her happiness through serving others and she never knew a stranger. She retired as a United Methodist Minister. Family was important to her, she loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Rev. Floyd Eugene “Gene” Yelverton, M.Div. ’85, aged 79, of Ellaville passed away at his residence on October 4, 2023. Rev. Yelverton was born September 5, 1944 in Randolph County, GA to Ernest Brown and Alice Jackson Yelverton. He was a graduate of Shellman High School and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Georgia Southwestern University and then his Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. Rev. Yelverton began his career in the Methodist ministry at Concord United Methodist Church in Americus, before serving at several other churches before his retirement. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and woodworking and with a little help, was able to build his home and shop building. If he had a motto, it would have been, “God, Family, Country and Missions.” In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother and sister-in-law, Charlie and Marie Yelverton.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Meriam Jones Yelverton of Ellaville; three sons, Shane Yelverton and his wife, Donna of Cuthbert, GA, Randy Yelverton of Ellaville, GA and Clint Yelverton and his wife, Cynthia of Newton, GA; nine grandchildren, Benjamin Yelverton (Amanda), Chesley Ekkel (Herman), Melissa Dupree (Kerry), Stephen Goodbread, Blake Yelverton (Cara), Brett Yelverton (Angela), Ashley Parker (Joseph), Bryant Yelverton (Brianna), and Elijah Yelverton; thirteen great-grandchildren, Alicia, Allison, Grace, Declan, Holton, Brooklyn, Mia, Shaley, Cypress, Isla, India, Gunner and Canyon; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Genie.
Elaine (Tomlin) Williams, aged 76, was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior on October 8, 2023.
Elaine was born on March 14, 1947, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Reverend George Ray Tomlin and Sybil (Bowden) Tomlin, both Asbury University alums. Along with her sister, Nancy (Tomlin) Hendren, the family moved often as their father’s service to the
Methodist church necessitated a move every four years.
After graduating from Maysville High School in Kentucky, Elaine attended Asbury University, where her father served on the Board of Trustees. After graduating in 1969, she attended graduate school at the University of Kentucky and studied sociology. There, she met her future husband, Steve Williams, who completed his PhD program at the University of Kentucky in political science.
Steve and Elaine Williams moved to Cookeville, Tennessee, in 1970. At the center of Elaine’s faith was her devotion to public service. She served as an instructor, a mental health counselor, a social worker, and a grant writer. Working tirelessly, she improved the lives of those she served, seeking, in the words of St. Francis, to “understand rather than to be understood.” She divorced in 1998 and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2008 to be closer to her daughter.
While in Indianapolis, Elaine served as a grant writer for the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, winning national awards for her work. Most importantly to her, she worked with local, state, and federal governmental agencies to procure the funds to build free and low-cost health clinics across the state. Her family has maintained a memorial scholarship in the name of her mother, Sybil Cordelia Bowden Tomlin, providing numerous scholarships to Asbury students.
Elaine is survived by her daughter, Laura (Allen) Town, and two grandsons, Lucas and Griffin Town, all of Zionsville, Indiana. She is also survived by her sister, Nancy Hendren of Oxford, Florida; her nephew, Rev. Harold (Donna) Hendren of The Villages, Florida; and her niece Sandra (Mark) Davis of Jacksonville, Florida. Elaine also has five grand nieces and nephews and two great-grand nieces and nephews.