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WILLIAM BLOSE

Born: March 24, 1940
Died: July 1, 2014

The Rev. Bill Blose died in Riddle Village, Pennsylvania, on July 1, 2014, after a long, brave struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Bill grew up in Bethlehem, PA, where he attended Liberty High School. At Yale he was an honors Anthropology major, ranking scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was a member of the Christian Community Council and the Wesley Foundation. He played in the football and concert bands, and was active in Dwight Hall. In Jonathan Edwards he roomed with Stu Sidney, Bill Sullivan and Jim Whipple.

In 1965 he received Masters of Philosophy and Divinity from Drew University before serving for 33 years as Pastor in a number of United Methodist Churches in Bethlehem, Port Carbon, Lansford, Birdsboro, Gordon, Barry, Reading, Slatedale, Emerald, Shamokin, and northeast Philadelphia. Thereafter, during six years of "retirement" he pastored Parkside UMC. He was an adjunct professor of theology, philosophy and ethics at Alvernia College's Philadelphia campus from 1998 to 2010.

A devoted hobbyist of trains and trolleys from an early age, Bill enjoyed any chance to 'ride the rails' and had a limitless knowledge of models and statistics, as well as an extensive collection of model trains, paraphernalia, books and periodicals. (He gloried in the sobriquet "ferroquinologist" !) All his life Bill was an avid reader and woodwind player, playing in the Olney Symphony and Tre-County Band, and he sang in the First Church (Media) and the CC Hancock Memorial United Methodist Church Choirs, and in the Riddle Village Mixed Chorus.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of nearly 30 years, the Rev. Janet K. Hess of Media, Pennsylvania, his son, David A. Blose of Columbus Ohio and his daughter, Karin E. Blose, of Reading, Pennsylvania. Janet reported that over 300 attended his memorial service, including 35 or so robed clergy, with wonderful music and gracious, complimentary remarks by friends. She added, "if only Bill could have been there in the flesh (we knew his spirit was present)". During his last two days in hospice friends, family and colleagues came to see Bill and there were hymn sings in his room. He is greatly missed by his family, many mentees, colleagues and friends.

In our 25th reunion book Bill wrote about "...my church's commitment to 'itinerancy.' My homes have been in hamlets, small cities, towns and metropolises: Appalachia, rust belt and city neighborhood. The churches I've served have been variously populated by railroaders, farmers, steel and rubber workers, professors and seamstresses, coal miners and pensioners.... With St Paul I feel myself 'Afflicted, -- but not cursed, perplexed; but not driven to despair -- struck down but not destroyed.' Life is hard; life is worth the trouble."

Bill leaves a life well lived, well worth his commitment to 'itinerancy' and his life of service to others.




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