«II' A CELEBRATION of MINISTRY California-Pacific Annual Conference The United Methodist Church HERMAN N. BEIMFOHR May 28, 1902 - May 12, 1997 Beimfohr, ...»
In 1936, the family came to California. Verda could sing and play the piano which came in handy for extra income as times were still hard for ministers'salaries. They were assigned to a church in Santa Rosa and finally came to the Los Angeles area. During WWII, Verda helped the girls at home help the boys overseas with letters and packages of goodies through the church.
Many of the good young men came back from overseas and married the good young women in the Church: these young families stayed with the Church and kept the Church alive. This included their son, Bobby.
Verda was a very good telephone operator on the old type boards and could do typing and secretarial work. Crochet was her best handy-craft.
Verda will be remembered for her hard work that kept a ministry and family functioning.
This is a story of a partnership that was a very good ministry for Christ.
ELLIS, EVERT EZRA (P.34; F.38) 34 School; 38 North Glendale; 39 North Glendale; 49 Wesley;
56 Ntl. YMCA; 57 St. Paul's; 58 STC; 62 Withdrawn; R'd. 74. Died May 27,1989.
Winston Eleanor Johnson Ellis was born in the small cozy town of Camas, Washington. Her father, O.F. Johnson, taught her tunes on the piano at the age of 6 and at the ripe old age of 8 she started formal lessons.
She attended Mills college in Oakland and graduated r with a B.A. in music at age 20. She also played on NBC's first coast-to-coast broadcast on radio. At Mills she met Evert Ezra Ellis. They were married in Portland, Oregon in 1931.
Their son, Donald Johnson, was born in 1934 the same year Ezra entered the ministry. While Ezra attended Drew Seminary in New Jersey, Winston did post graduate work at Julliard. She was a member of Phi Beta Music and Drama fraternity. Ezra graduated and was sent to North Glendale, California, a small church scheduled to be closed in six months. There was not parsonage and the church was surrounded by weeds. They were devastated by the condition (Winston was also pregnant with daughter, Kay) but, together they pulled weeds and cleaned bathrooms and developed the old building into a beautiful place of worship. The church grew from 60 members to over 2500 members in 11 years. Musical programs developed with Winston as organist, brought recognition to the church for its outstanding music. The choir director said that he had worked in other churches with other organists, but never found any person who could "weave a service of worship together the way she could" or as beautifully.
Her son, Don, became an outstanding musician and won a Grammy award in 1972.
Daughter, Winston Katherine, was born in 1938 and became a successful entrepreneur in the computer and financial services industry. Her daughter, Susan, born in 1943, focused her career in the medical field.
Winston played for a variety of church services as well as weddings and funerals. She held organ or piano positions throughout California and in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Madison, New Jersey; and Portland, Oregon.
Winston loved and managed her immediate and extended family, while entertaining her beloved P.E.O. and other groups of family and friends. She was a constant support of her family and most would not have accomplished what they did without her gentle guidance, wisdom, support and knowledge. She was elegant and cultured and always seemed to know what was "right." She always dug into the task at hand and her energy and interests were vast. Ezra and Winston had friends worldwide and they often could not go into a restaurant without recognition.
After Ezra's retirement, they lived in Leisure World, Laguna Hills. Ezra passed away in 1989 and Winston remained in Laguna Hills until five years ago when she moved to Vancouver, Washington, near her home town of Camas, to be near her daughter and grandchildren.
We will all miss her beautiful music, her steadfast presence, her delightful surprise and her everlasting love.
Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren RUTH M. FISKE December 31, 1909 - February 6, 1998
FISKE, LOUIS M. (T.22; F.24) Central America; So. Cal. Spanish-American Institute; 33 LA:
Westland; 36 LA: Church of All Nations, Assoc.; So. Cal.-Ariz., 45 (Jan. 1) Supt. Panama Mission & Dir. Of Pan American Institute; 59 (Feb.) LA: Church of All Nations, Assoc.; 62 Church of All Nations; 64 R'd.; 65 (Jul.) Granada Park, Asst. Died June 23, 1972.
Ruth (Milbury) Fiske was born in 1904 in Lynn, Massachusetts, and was the youngest of 3 children. She lived in Lynn until she graduated from high school in
1920. She then attended Boston University where she earned a Secretarial Certificate in 1922.
She returned to Boston University to study Religious Education and in 1929 she graduated with a B.R.E.
She then moved to Los Angeles that same year. She began work at the All Nations Foundation, as a secretary to the Director, Rev. Robert McKibben, around 1930.
Her dedicated efforts and hard work soon earned her the position of Controller of Funds and Executive Secretary.
Ruth was the type of person that always worked harder and gave more of herself than was expected, yet she felt it was a privilege to serve the Church and this deserving community. Although she was tireless in her goal of doing the Lord's work, she had the gift of embracing others in her quest and bringing out their best efforts as well. As time went on, she became extensively involved in most of the social and religious activities of All Nations Church in the transitional East Side. The All Nations Foundation integrated Boys Club, Girls Club, a nursery school, library, family camp, and a low-cost medical clinic for the community.
Ruth was personally involved in one way or another with all entities. One of her personal passions and talents was music, and she served as the choir director at All Nations for thirty years, as well as being the back up organist, a regular soloist, and a leader and participant in musical programs.
It is not surprising with her full commitments, that she was not married for the first time until February 1960 to Stewart Bedwell. She continued working at All Nations during her marriage, yet Stewart passed away too soon by 1966. She worked at All Nations one more year before she retired.
In July of 1968 she married a long-time church associate, friend, and widower Rev. Louis Fiske. By 1969, they both moved to the Claremont Manor, in California, and became members of Claremont UMC, where Rev. Fiske worked as Minister of Visitation. Louis passed away in 1972, yet as was her pattern, Ruth became very involved in the work of the church, as financial secretary, director of the Youth Bell Choir, and started the Adult Bell Choir.
Ruth is survived by her niece (brother's daughter) Mary Ann Macias; a nephew, Bruce Milbury, and grand nieces and nephews; as well as step-family sons, Robert and Walter Fiske and their extended families.
FOYE, GEORGE E. (T. 49; F.54) Montana; SCA 56; 56 Holbrook, AZ; 59 Lakewood: Trinity;
63 Maywood: Atlantic Blvd.; 69 SD: Rolando; PSW 77; 79 Thousand Oaks, First; 84 R'd. C-P 85; 91 (Jan. 15 - June 30) San Marcos.
Esther June Levens was born in Portsmouth, R.I., the youngest of a family of five girls and one boy. Her father died when she was three, leaving the family in poverty. She told us that she usually went barefoot in the summer to save her shoes for winter. Her mother took in laundry for income but often the cupboard was nearly bare.
At the age of fifteen, she met George Foye at Portsmouth Camp Meeting, just behind the old Quaker Meeting House, of which she was a birthright member.
He was drawn to her by her winning smile. Circumstances separated them for the next three years while George served in the CCC and the US Army. They resumed their relationship in 1939 while George was still in the service. After he was discharged and she finished high school they were married on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, August 24, 1940.
Life took a drastic change for them when George felt the call to become a minister. The next few years took them to Cleveland, Ohio; Billings, Montana; Baltimore, Maryland; and then back to Boston, in which cities George finished high school, graduated from two colleges and seminary. Meanwhile Esther gave birth to three sons and a daughter! Esther was never able to attend college but she always said she earned another degree, an M. A. in home care and child rearing.
In 1956 they moved into this Conference where they successively served churches in Holbrook, Arizona, and Lakewood, Maywood, San Diego, and Thousand Oaks, California. They retired in 1984 to Citrus Gardens in Escondido, their first experience in home ownership.
Esther's Quaker background may explain her quiet reticence to talk about her religion. She ' was Christian by example rather than verbal profession. A totally honest and unpretentious person, she abhorred pretense, pomposity, and phony piety. As a minister's wife she preferred to avoid the public eye, yet she was a classy dresser, loved bright colors, and took up collecting, repairing, and dressing dolls, leaving a collection of over 100. She also enjoyed knitting, reading, listening to music, camping, and her rose garden. And, in spite of numerous afflictions in her later years, she remained a loving, loyal, and patient wife, mother, and grandmother. Her death came very suddenly and unexpectedly on Veterans Day, 1997 but her spirit will remain with us always.
George E. Foye, David, Dale, and Dan Foye & Janet Munzenmaier
MABEL G. HOCKERFebruary 1, 1902 - December 3, 1997 HOCKER, HARVEY H. (T.06; F.08) N. Indiana; So. Cal., 09 (Jan. 10) Reedley; 11 San Luis Obispo; 14 Fullerton; 17 Redondo; 23 San Fernando; 27 Compton; 31 Pasadena, Hartzell Memorial; 37 Covina; So. Cal.-Ariz., 39 Covina; 46 Montebello; 47 Minister of FinanceConference Board of Missions and Church Extension; 49 R'd.; 51-54 (Arcadia, Assoc.); 55-56 (Arcadia, Min. Of Vstn.)- Died May 22,1957.
Mabel Hocker was born Mabel Grace Steel, February 1, 1902, to Arthur and Florence Steel in Redondo Beach, CA. She was the third of four girls.
After graduating from high school, she went on to graduate from the University of Southern California.
She studied music and earned a teaching credential.
She taught 7* grade for one year before marrying Harvey Hocker, the Methodist minister in town. Harvey was a widower with five children. Mabel helped raise his children and was a very helpful minister's wife. She was always available to sing, lead choirs, and play the organ.
After Harvey passed away, she lived with her sister and brother-in-law in Arcadia for 20 years, where she remained involved with her church.
In 1975 she moved to Southern Oregon to live with her niece and family. While there, she continued to be available to play the organ at church whenever needed. She moved back to California to live at Royal Gardens in Duarte with her younger sister in 1985. She remained there until she went to be with the Lord hi 1997.
JUDITH A. KINDERAugust 17, 1904 - August 26, 1997 KINDER, JAMES L. (T.27; F.29) So. Cal., 27 LA: Westland; 28 LA: Union Ave.; 29 Bisbee, Ariz.; India, 30 (under app't by Amer. Friends Soc.); Bombay Conf.; 35 Bowen Memorial; 38 (Jan. 30) Missy Bd. Of Missions; 39 (April) Miss'y to India; So. Cal.-Ariz., 55 (Sept 1) Vista;
60 Miss'y to Pakistan; 68 R'd. Died January 17,1972.
Judith Kinder was a person who loved God first, and shared that love with the people whom she touched.
Born in Illinois, she moved as a young girl to the orchards of Washington State. She adored her father, George, and always wanted to be his "right hand man."
,- In 1919 the family moved to Huntington Park, where she helped her father build their 7 bedroom family home. As a graduate of Huntington Park High School, she took the two twenty dollar gold pieces, wrapped in a linen handkerchief from her father's hand as she boarded the train headed for Asbury College. She never saw her adored father again.
After graduation, Judith married Dr. James Kinder.
Together they shared a vision that would take them to the missionary fields of India and Pakistan for the next 35 years. They were exposed to a world of poverty, ignorance, disease and grief, yet were passionate about bringing the gospel and the "good news" to the suffering. They were instrumental in building many schools and hospitals in these impoverished countries.
In the 1960's Judith and James returned to the US and served the Methodist Church in Vista CA. After retiring, Judith and James moved back to Huntington Park, where she ministered to James, who suffered a terminal illness. Judith moved to San Marcos after James death.
She demonstrated amazing strength in her retirement, by planting fruit trees on her new property, raising huge gardens, and rearing dozens of her favorite Shanen goats. She loved the earth, and animals, and provided fruit, vegetables, milk, and cheese for her family, her friends, and for her community. Always seeking to help others, she loaned thousands of dollars to family, friends, and even strangers. She would never turn away anyone in need, and housed and fed dozens of homeless people over the years. Always the entrepreneur, she endeavored in several home based business ventures, successful and not successful and always passionate.
Judith always gave all that she had, and was always surprised and grateful when the abundance flowed back to her. Over the years she truly gave all that she owned to her church, her universities, her charities, and her family. Judith was a woman of great compassion, and unequaled action. If there was a problem, she wanted to fix it If there was not one to fix it, she would fix it herself. Whether it was a leaky faucet, or a face full of tears, she was there to help.
Politically active, she saw a great void in the world today, and worked ceaselessly to bring back integrity, common sense and stability to a world she found chaotic and unstable.
Judith will be remembered by those of us who were fortunate to know her as a woman who truly and entirely loved God, her fellow man, and ultimately lived by the directive of her Lord to "rejoice in all things."
Judson A. Elaine
MARY O. LAWRENCEMay 7, 1918 - April 22, 1997 LAWRENCE, ROLLIN B. (T.43; F.45) Phila., 43 Cumbola Cir.; 45 Christian-Gap; 48 Bird-inHand; 49 Cornwall; 52 Asst. Chaplain, Meth. Home; 58 Asst. To Ad. Dir. Meth. Ch. Home; So.
Cal.-Ariz., 59 Supt. Desert Crest, Phoenix, Ariz.; 66 Redondo Beach, First, Assoc.; 70 San Bernardino, St. Paul's Assoc.; Pac. And S.W., 77 San Bernardino, St. Paul's Assoc.; PSW, 78 R'd.; CaLPac. 85 R'd. Died June 4,1987.
Mary was born on May 7, 1918 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Her parents were hard working Christian people who lived a simple life. The family moved to Easton, PA, when she was 4 years old. After graduating from Easton High School, she worked as a secretary for five years. Because of her great desire to become a deaconess in the church, she went to Kansas City to the National Training School for Christian workers and graduated 4 years later.
After obtaining her degree, she was faced with a dilemma: if she married her fianc6, the church would not allow her to become a deaconess. If her fiance did not marry, he would not be able to be assigned to a church. She decided to marry Rollin, her fiance^ and live the life of a minister's wife. After several pastoral assignments in the coal regions and Pennsylvania Dutch sections, Rollin became assistant chaplain at the Cornwall (PA) Methodist Home, a newly formed retirement community for Methodist ministers and their families. They had three children: Bruce, David and Betsey.