In Memoriam

The SFTS community joins together in prayer for and offers sincere condolences to the family and friends of our departed alumni/ae.


In Memoriam

The SFTS community joins together in prayer for and offers sincere condolences to the family and friends of our departed alumni/ae.

To share the news of the passing of a loved one, please email alumni@nullsfts.edu or send mail to
Office of Alumni Relations, SFTS, 105 Seminary Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960

Image

Remembering Rev. Jack Hoggatt, Former SFTS Music Director


Rev. Jack Hoggatt, a part-time staff member and worship leader at SFTS from 2010 to 2015, died December 30, 2017.

“Jack worked with the worship team, crafting chapel worship and teaching us much about how the grace and expansiveness of the gospel can be embodied in our music,” said Rev. Scott Clark, SFTS Chaplain and Associate Dean of Student Life. “Jack originated our Taizé worship liturgies, which we still sing in worship on Tuesdays, and he led the choir for several years in our annual Lessons and Carols service.”

Born February 21, 1951, in Corvallis, OR, Hoggatt was the brother of Dr. Daniel Hoggatt, a longtime professor of music at SFTS. He graduated from the Pacific School of Religion, a member school of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley and was ordained in the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

In addition to his work at the seminary, Hoggatt served as music director and member of the pastoral staff of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco. He was also a registered nurse and master quilter.

“Jack loved students, and he nurtured and mentored chaplains’ assistants and choir members with tender care in his years with us,” Clark said. “As chaplain and one who worked closely with Jack, I personally give great thanks for all of the music and wisdom and laughter and tenderness that Jack brought to this community over the years.”

Image

Rev. Dr. John Kenneth Borresen Jr. died September 23, 2017, in Bedford, NH, at age 88. Born in St. Louis, MO, he graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, MO, and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA., later doing graduate study at SFTS. He earned graduate degrees in psychology from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, and the Blanton-Peale Institute in New York City. He was an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ, and served congregations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and New Jersey. He also worked as a licensed psychotherapist and volunteered with the American Red Cross. Borresen’s wife, Betty Jane, died in 1993. He is survived by a sister, two daughters, one son, five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.


Image

Rev. Dr. Jack Carroll Bush Sr. (DMin 1986) died December 26, 2017. He was born June 18, 1929, in Waco, TX, and married Ruth Louise Kline in 1950 after graduating from Baylor University. After his first job, as a high school band director, he spent the rest of his career as a minister in the United Methodist Church. Bush served as pastor of congregations in Texas and was director of chaplains at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio for more than 15 years. He played trumpet and arranged music for bands, orchestras, and choral groups. Bush is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ruth; two sons; three daughters; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


Image

Rev. Albert (Jack) Chan (BDiv 1957, MDiv 1961) died February 18, 2018, in McMinnville, OR. He was born February 8, 1931, in Portland, OR, and earned degrees from Whitworth College and SFTS. Ordained to the ministry in 1957, he served as pastor and interim pastor of more than 20 Presbyterian congregations in Oregon, Wyoming, and Washington. He was a commissioner to the General Assembly in 1973 and to the Synod of Alaska-Northwest in 2000 and served as moderator of the Presbytery of the Cascades in 1985–86. A Chinese-American, Chan was praised by presbytery colleagues for his witness to a gospel that transcends the divisions of racism. He also served on committees of Ecumenical Ministries Oregon. Chan is survived by four daughters, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.


Image

Rev. Dr. Robert Dalton Christian (DMin 1980) died December 18, 2017, in Gallatin, TN. He was born March 19, 1927, in Birmingham, AL. A Baptist minister, he served as pastor of congregations in Louisiana and Alabama before becoming a chaplain in the National Guard. His chaplain duty took him to bases in Turkey, Greenland, Thailand, and Texas. During his travels, he climbed Mount Ararat twice and led devotions at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, the possible site of Jesus’ burial. He also served as president of Kiwanis multiple times. Christian is survived by his wife, Ann; one sister; his son; four stepchildren; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Image

Rev. Dora Owens Ford (MDiv? 1992) died September 30, 2017, from pancreatic cancer. She was born March 3, 1944, in New York and grew up in Vermont and California. Drawn to serving people in need, she became ordained to the ministry and worked in the California prison system. She retired in 2015 in Eureka, CA, where she worked with special education students and was active in United Congregational Church of Christ. Ford is survived by a sister, two brothers, two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.


Image

Rev. Dr. Nelson Miles Griffiths Jr. (DMin 1979) died January 26, 2018, in Gainesville, FL, at age 86 after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born on the family farm in South Killingly, CT, he attended the town’s one-room schoolhouse and was the first in his family to attend college. He was ordained in the American Baptist Church and served for 42 years as pastor of congregations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska. He also served for six years as director of college ministries in Western Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Joyce, created and sent more than 250 birthday and anniversary cards each year. Griffiths is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Joyce; a brother and sister; two daughters; one son; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson.


Image

Rev. Wayne K. Shontz Jr. (BDiv 1954, STM 1956) died September 15, 2017, after a brief illness. Born April 29, 1928, in Oil City, PA, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Detroit before studying theology at SFTS and Boston University. After being ordained to the ministry, Shontz served for 58 years as pastor of congregations in Utah, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He also owned a miniature furniture business and was known for his detail and craftsmanship. Shontz is survived by his wife, Susan; a sister; one son; one daughter; four grandchildren; and five step-children and their children and grandchildren.


Image

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith (BDiv 1955) died September 7, 2017, at age 90. Born in Lackawanna, NY, he attended Sterling College in Kansas, where he met his wife, Betty Marie Ramsey. They married in August of 1950 and began mission service as teachers at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, AK. Ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church, Smith served as pastor of congregations in Alaska and Hawaii for 40 years, including 22 years at Chapel by the Lake in Auke Bay, AK. He led mission trips throughout Alaska aboard the Anna Jackman, one of several vessels in the legendary “Presbyterian Navy.” In retirement, he held numerous community posts and wrote 19 books. Smith is survived by his wife, Betty; four sons; one daughter; and two grandchldren.


Image

Rev. Gail Michele Snodgrass (MDiv? 1977) died September 29, 2017. She was born January 6, 1952, in Champagne, IL, and moved with her family to Las Vegas in 1961. At age 11, Snodgrass was diagnosed with diabetes, and at age 20, she lost a leg in an accident. Yet she was determined to overcome all obstacles in her career as a pastor and a hospital and prison chaplain. In 1977, she became the first woman in Las Vegas to be ordained as a Presbyterian minister. In 1979, she married Rev. Dr. Stanley Hall, a professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, who preceded her in death in 2008. She is survived by her mother, Peggy Hamel; a brother and sister; and nieces and nephews.


Image

Ruth Solomon (BDiv 1950) died December 11, 2017, in Nampa, ID. Born June 23, 1927 in Phoenix, AZ, she showed a gift for music at an early age. She earned a degree in music education and then enrolled in SFTS, where she met her husband, Alfred Solomon (BDiv 1950, DMin 1976). They married in May 1950 and served together in congregations in Oregon, California, and Washington until retiring in Nampa to be near grandchildren. Ruth served as a deacon, choir director, and accompanist and sang in numerous community groups. She also taught piano and led music in early childhood education programs. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren.


FRIENDS OF THE SEMINARY


Image

Donald A. Duerr, business administrator at SFTS until his retirement in 1984, died December 6, 2017, in Elk Grove, CA. Born November 17, 1921, in Melrose Park, IL, he served in the Army Air Corp as a navigator/bombardier in World War II, flying 66 missions in France and Italy. In 1956, Duerr became the first city manager of Sausalito, CA. While at SFTS, he was president of the San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce and president of the Marinwood Community Services District board of directors. He married Sybil Shirley, who preceded him in death after 52 years of marriage. The two were members of Christ Presbyterian Church in San Rafael, CA. Duerr is survived by a brother and sister, two daughters, two granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.


Image

Monte B. Hill, a faithful supporter of SFTS, died July 8, 2017. He was born August 22, 1926, in Los Angeles but grew up in San Francisco. He served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II and then graduated from City College of San Francisco. He married Ruth Allen, his high-school sweetheart in 1949. Hill worked as a movie projectionist for 50 years and was a member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and their son and daughter.


Image

Jane Caswell Hansen Tschannel, a former member of the SFTS Board of Trustees, died January 21, 2018, at age 86. Born in Iowa, she studied music at Stanford University and used her musical gifts as a volunteer for the Red Cross, working with veterans and in homes for senior citizens. She served on boards of numerous organizations, including the Girl Scouts, the Hospice Giving Foundation, and the Steinbeck Center, where she helped preserve and restore the boyhood home of John Steinbeck. Tschannel is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.