Patricia Gill Turner, 68, who served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a variety of capacities for 26 years, died Aug. 6 following a lengthy battle with cancer.
A native of Raleigh, N.C., Turner graduated from St. Augustine’s College in 1966 and with a fellowship from the National Urban League received a Master of Science degree in social administration from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1968.
For the next five years she worked for the National Urban League as project director for an equal housing project in Rochester, N.Y., and in Atlanta to work with the league’s support for historically black colleges and universities.
Turner joined the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1973. She served in Women’s Ministries, including time as staff to the Committee of Women of Color and then as associate for leadership development and spiritual growth. She then went to work for the PC(USA)’s Board of Pensions, where she served as a regional representative in the Synods of Living Waters and Mid-Atlantic from
Turner was a Presbyterian ruling elder and was a member of All Saints Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Va. In retirement she continued to volunteer in the church, the Richmond Public Schools, the American Cancer Society and the Barack Obama presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
She is survived by her mother, Helen Gill Banks; two sisters, Peggy Deaver and Grace
Marie Fort; two brothers, Dr. Tyrone Bailey and Marvin Bailey; great aunts Joyce Gillis and Ruth Gill; and a host of relatives and devoted friends.
Services were held Aug. 11 at All Souls Church and Aug. 13 at First Baptist Church of Raleigh.
# # #
Jane Westfall, an active Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and community leader died Aug. 17 in Denver, where she had been living the past year. She was 85.
A native of Woodsfield, Ohio, Westfall had lived since 1964 in Yuma, Colo., where her husband, the Rev. Tom Westfall, served for 20 years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church there until his death in 1983.
In addition to her “pastor’s wife” duties, Westfall was active in community affairs ― serving on the boards of the Community Foundation and the Yuma school district ― and in the PC(USA) at all levels, particularly in Presbyterian Women and peacemaking activities. She worked as food service director for the Yuma school district and following Tom’s death volunteered as an English as a Second Language teacher .
In addition to three daughters ― Louise, Sue and Mary who are all Presbyterian ministers ― Westfall is survived by two sons, Tom and Jack; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; a sister, Doris Wainwright; and a host of extended family and friends.
A memorial service will be held Nov. 3 at First Presbyterian Church of Yuma, Colo.
# # #
The Rev. Edwin Bell Hanna, 85, a pastor and former Presbyterian missionary in Lebanon, died July 26, at a nursing home in McCalla, Ala.
The Staunton, Va., native, served the PC(USA) in Lebanon with the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon from 1950-1985, which included the 10-year civil war that devastated the country. After his return to the U.S., Hanna served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Middlesboro, Ky., until his retirement in 1992. He then served as supply pastor for Salem (Ky.) Presbyterian Church from 1993-1998.
Hanna was loved and respected for his steadfast advocacy for peace and social justice. He is survived by three sons ― C. Philip Hanna, Edwin A. Hanna and the Rev. Richard B. Hanna; a brother, Charlie Hanna, and sister, Bette Sikes; sisters-in-law Phyllis Hanna and Leonora Y. White; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary at a later date.
# # #
The Rev. D. Hugh Peniston, a pacifist and social activist who served just two pastorates in a 35-year career as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor, died July 18 at the age of 92.
Born in Rutherford, N.J., Peniston spent most of his life on the west coast after moving to northern California with his parents during the Great Depression. He returned east to attend Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained by San Jose Presbytery in 1944.
Peniston became a conscientious objector during World War II. He first served First Presbyterian Church of Vallejo, Calif. from 1944-1947 and then First Presbyterian Church of Cottage Grove, Ore., for 32 years until his retirement in 1979. Following his retirement, Peniston served several interim pastorates in Oregon and in Mendocino, Calif.
Peniston’s service to the church included two terms as a presbytery moderator, one term as a synod moderator and two terms on the board of trustees of PC(USA)-related Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. He was also active in affordable housing and homelessness ministries throughout his career.
Peniston married Phrynette Waldvogel in 1946, and together they had five children: Gary, Brian, David, William, and Sarah. After the death of his first wife, he married Joan Metcalf Mattoon in 1998. He is survived by his second wife, his five children, four grandchildren, and three step-sons, as well as his brother. A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church of Cottage Grove, where he was pastor emeritus, on Aug. 28.