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Obituary for The Rev. Dr. Robert H. Secrist

I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.” 2 Timothy 1:12b

The Rev. Dr. Robert H. Secrist, 85, of West Liberty, passed away on Thursday, February 23, 2012 at Green Hills Care Center, in West Liberty, Ohio.

He was born on September 2, 1926 in Toledo, OH.

In October 1950, he married Martha Joan Laughner in Leetonia, OH and she survives along with their children, Thomas P. Secrist of West Liberty, J. Mark Secrist of Middleton, WI, Barbara J. Tobin of Charlotte, NC and Virginia “Ginni” Quay of Lancaster, OH.

A WWII U.S. Navy Air Corp veteran, Rev. Secrist graduated from Wittenberg University in 1947 and The Hamma Divinity School in 1950. In 1950, he was ordained into the Lutheran Ministry by the Lutheran Church in America.

In 1949, he did his internship at Grace Lutheran Church in Steubenville, OH. Rev. Secrist served as pastor at the following congregations: 1950-1954 The Rows Lutheran Parish in Wooster, OH; 1954-1959 Calvary Lutheran Church in East Cleveland, OH; 1959-1966 Westwood Lutheran Church in Dayton, OH; 1966-1973 First Lutheran Church in Bellefontaine; and from 1973-1988 Philadelphia Lutheran Church and New Salem Lutheran Church.

The Rev. Dr. Secrist was Director of Mission in North American from 1973-1987 and Director of Outreach–ELCA from 1988-1993. He retired in 1993 from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He was a 12 year member and past President of the Mary Rutan Hospital board. He was a licensed private pilot and a licensed amateur radio operator.

Visitation is scheduled for Sunday, February 26 from 3 to 6 at the Eichholtz Funeral Home in Bellefontaine. Pastor Jonathan Bull and The Rev. Dr. Kenneth H. Sauer, Bishop Emeritus, will officiate at an 11:00 am funeral service on Monday, February 27 at the First Lutheran Church in Bellefontaine where there will be one hour of visitation prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Lutheran Church, 208 W. Sandusky Ave., Bellefontaine, OH 43311 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at: