Milestone, February 2021
Walter L. Fennel
Walter L. Fennel was born in Hillsboro, Texas, during the midst of the Depression. Those were hard times, and his family knew the difficulties caused by hunger and want. His parents and siblings have preceded him in death.
In 1948 Walt’s family packed up their early belongings and moved to Woodlake, Calif., to “get rich” by working in the fields. Walt said that the wisest decision he ever made was to give his life to Christ as a teenager. He remained faithful to that commitment all the days of his life. At Woodlake High School he played varsity baseball and lettered all four years, earning many awards. Walt spoke for several youth rallies in the area. A Christian man in the Woodlake Church of Christ, Uless Carruth, encouraged him to become a minister and attend Freed- Hardeman College in Henderson, Tenn., to study Bible. He assisted Walt by helping to pay his tuition.
At Freed-Hardeman in 1954, Walt worked in the dorm and preached for a little country church in Roby, Tenn. Walt continued to play baseball and was even offered an opportunity to play professional baseball. After one week in the pros training camp, he decided that his heart was in preaching God’s word. He graduated from FHC after completing his third year in Bible in 1957. He was named “Mr. Freed-Hardeman College.”
On his way to attend Harding University, in Searcy, Ark., Walt had an automobile accident in Los Angeles. His car was totaled, and he ended up attending Pepperdine College. J. P. Sanders and Norvel Young helped him by hiring him as a recruiter. He worked out of the Office of Admissions, where he met a student who worked part time, Llona Elford. They were married on Dec. 12, 1959, at the Whittier Church of Christ. Walt graduated from Pepperdine in 1960 and Llona in 1961. They shared nearly 61 years together in a great marriage. Walt’s ministry was a shared experience. Llona was his partner and co-worker in all he did.
Walt preached in California in San Leandro, Napa, Escondido, Temple City, Fresno, and Rancho Cordova. He also served as a police chaplain while in Fresno and Rancho Cordova. He made several trips to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa, as well as to Ghana and many trips to Mexico to work at the City of Children and Niños de Baja. Sharing the word of God was his heart’s desire. On May 10, 1975, Pepperdine awarded Walt the “University President’s Award,” and in 2002 he was awarded the “Andrew Benton Service Award.” Walt retired as a full-time elder of the Cordova Church of Christ after completing 50 years in ministry.
Walt is survived by his wife, Llona; sons, Scott Wayne (Betty) Fennel and Troy Jason (Scarlett) Fennel; and 3 grandchildren, Cody, Micah and Savannah. A private family memorial was held at the graveside on Dec. 12, 2020. That would have been Walt and Llona’s 61st wedding anniversary.
William Kenton Harvey
Kenton Harvey died Dec. 14, 2020, at the age of 83 years. He was a graduate of Azle High School where he was active in baseball, basketball, track and FFA. Kenton served as Texas state president of FFA and as an FFA exchange student to Great Britain in 1958. He married Shelia Stewart in 1959, and they remained married until Shelia’s death in 2011. From 1960 to 1974 Kenton owned and operated a dairy farm in Parker County. His first love was preaching the gospel of Christ. He served as minister for Churches of Christ in the cities of Poolville, Briar, Justin, and Aledo and occasionally Boyd and Santo. Kenton particularly supported the work in Mexico, Eastern European Missions, area youth rallies and devotionals. He enjoyed and often organized gospel singings. He was known to say that he did not read music, he only excelled in the lost art of reading shape notes. He is survived by his son, Perry and wife, Gloria; daughter Angela and husband Dan Archibald of Fort Worth; sister, Patsy Glover of Azle; and seven grandchildren. Family requests that any memorials be made to Eastern European Missions (eem.org) or The Christian Chronicle.
Betty J. Keeler
Betty Jean Keeler, 90, died Oct. 26, 2020. She was born Aug. 24, 1930, in Stafford, Kan., to John Park and Minnie Hollis (Bemis) Smith.
Betty graduated from Stafford High School and attended Hutchinson Community Junior College. On June 25, 1950, she married Lloyd “Allan” Keeler in Hutchinson. They shared 47 years of marriage before his death on Nov. 13, 1997. She retired from the Dillon’s Bakery after 20 years of service. Betty enjoyed reading, flowers, and playing Pitch, Solitaire, and Phase 10. She was also an avid Bridge player and enjoyed the friendly competition. She was a member of the Eastwood Church of Christ in Hutchinson. Betty always felt blessed, but she was also a blessing to many others with her warmth, love, and hugs.
Betty is survived by their children: Karen (Jim) Crain of Argyle, Texas, Kenneth (Jackie) Keeler of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Kimberly (David) Gustafson of Hutchinson; 6 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sister, Donna Kay (Jerry) Swanson of Loveland, Colo.; and sister-in-law, Glenda (Smith) Giles of Hutchinson.
A tribute from Phyllis Dean:
My husband Jess M. Guilliams and I married in 1954. He was in the Naval AirForce, and after a short honeymoon, we traveled to Hutchinson, Kan., to make our home. We met Allan and Betty Keeler our first Sunday at 14th & Adams Church of Christ. Jess and Allan and Betty and I became best friends.
When we were transferred to a Naval base close to San Diego, Calif., Betty and I wrote each week. Our shared faith was a joy to us and our growing families.
Betty was always a reserved person until she began her hug ministry. No shyness there! She smiled and gave hugs to everyone and was a joy to so many. As we entered church after Sunday school, members waited eagerly to receive her hugs.
As Betty matured as a Christian she wanted to make a difference in everyone’s life. What a blessing she was to all the people she met and hugged. She made a HUGe difference! Allan was always the person people called on when someone needed help. If he couldn’t help, he knew all the people that could.
These friends were not wealthy in material things but they lived daily for God. They did say, “I am a Christian.” They lived their life helping others.
Dr. Paul Hubbard Jr.
Paul Hubbard Jr. was a native of Forney, Texas. He attended and graduated from Bishop College in Marshall, Texas in 1949. He also enrolled in Perkins School of Theology in Dallas and received a theology degree in 1952. He served on the Board of Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas.
Dr. Paul Hubbard, Jr. was well known throughout the United States and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in June 1976 from Tennessee Baptist School of Religion. He studied with the late Bro.Marshall Keeble, and in 1951 he was baptized into the body of Christ by the late R. B. Thurman. He was the founding father and coordinator of the Western Michigan State Lectureship for the Churches of Christ.
Dr. Paul Hubbard, Jr. was preceded in death by his wife, the late Lena Mae (Curtis) of Gonzales, Texas, who was a retired secondary educator with the Grand Rapids Public Schools. He left his legacy to be carried out by his children, grand-children, great-grandchildren and his church family. We are grateful and thankful to know Dr. Paul Hubbard, Jr.’s life was well lived and touched so many. Messages can be sent to [email protected]
Dan E. Miller, M.D.
Dan E. Miller M.D. passed away Nov. 23, 2020, at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ellie, three children, and three grandchildren.
An accomplished high school athlete and a life-long runner, Dan graduated from Fairview High School in 1954, attended Central Christian College in Bartlesville, Okla., Central State University, and earned degrees from Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.
He served in the Army after graduating from Oklahoma State and was stationed in Germany for most of his short military career. He brought home with him from his military service an MG convertible. He always credited his cool car for his successful courtship of Ellie.
Dan practiced family medicine in Edmond until 1975 when he moved to Tulsa. There he joined Emergency Care, Inc., later serving as president. ECI doctors covered Saint Francis Emergency Department. He founded one of the first urgent care medical facilities in Oklahoma – Tulsa Emergency Medical Center, later named MedCenter. In his medical career, Dan practiced family medicine, emergency medicine, and industrial medicine and was one of the first practitioners of telemedicine from Saint Francis Hospital. He was one of the founders of the public trust to provide ambulance service to Tulsa which later became known as EMSA. He was instrumental in establishing protocols and equipment for the startup of EMSA and Tulsa Life Flight.
Throughout his career, Dan was known for driving the oldest car in the doctor’s parking lot. His frugality knew a single life-defining exception: generous giving to others. Countless coworkers, fellow church members, friends, and even strangers know that Dan’s generosity took several forms — many of them private and anonymous.
Dan loved to travel. He took great joy in providing these experiences for his family, hosting ski vacations, a month-long trip to Europe and occasional island getaways with his beloved Ellie.
In retirement, he enjoyed music and writing. He and Ellie travelled more often to see their friends and fellow alumni of Central Christian College, which became Oklahoma Christian University. Dan and Ellie helped organize Central Christian Alumni reunions, and he served on the National Alumni Council of Oklahoma Christian University.
Dan is survived by his wife, Eleanor Jane Branum Miller of Muskogee, Okla.; daughter, Monna (James) Gilpin of Kingwood, Texas; son, Mike (Holly) Miller of Muskogee, Okla.; son, Matt (Monica) Miller of Muskogee; grandchildren Andrew Gilpin, Meghan Gilpin, and Annalea Jane Miller; brother, Doyle (Dot) Miller of Hennessey, Okla.; sister, Janice (Craig) Laughlin of Copper Canyon, Texas; and many nieces nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Melba Miller; brother, Duane Miller; and father-in-law and mother-in-law Vic and Ruth Branum.
Dan was interred at a private family service at Greenhill Cemetery in Muskogee on Nov. 25, 2020. In the future a celebration of life is planned for extended family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to either the Fletcher Center for Music Endowment at Oklahoma Christian or a memorial scholarship for pre-med students at Oklahoma Christian in the name of Dan Miller.
Send donations to:
Oklahoma Christian University Advancement
PO Box 11000
Oklahoma City, OK 73136-1100
G. K. Pennington
G. K. Pennington, 72, of Vienna, W.Va., passed away Sat., Dec. 19, 2020, at his residence.
He was born July 28, 1948, in Birmingham, Ala., son of the late Glenn Kirkpatrick and Joyce Lou Chaffin Pennington.
G. K. was a 1966 graduate of Aldine High School in Houston, Texas, and a graduate of Fort Worth Christian College, Oklahoma Christian University and Harding University Graduate School of Theology. He was a minister with over 51 years of service, currently working with the Riverside Church of Christ in Williamstown, W.Va. G. K. was a teacher and a professor at Ohio Valley University. He enjoyed fishing, woodworking, boating, and photography.
Surviving him are: his wife of 51 years, Glenda Jo Pitman Pennington; his daughter, Marisa B. Reinsch (Karl) of Snoqualmie, Wash.; his two sons, Michael G. Pennington (Alicia) of Bowling Green, Ky., and Steven E. Pennington; four sisters, Beverly Johnson (David) of Pasadena, Texas, Andra Watson (Ken) of Buffalo Gap, Texas, Dale Rushing (Michael) of Porter, Texas, and Cheryl Gutierrez (Fidel) of Longview, Texas; and one grandson, Jacob Pennington.
In addition to parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Elizabeth Pennington.
A family gathering for interment will be at a later date in Houston, Texas, at the convenience of the family.
Eddie Stegall was born July 27, 1959, in Borger, Texas. His family moved to Oklahoma where he was a talented baseball and basketball player at Gould High School and an active member of the Hollis Church of Christ. Eddie married his high school sweetheart, Julene Bailey, and they were married for 43 years.
After college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, he moved to Mustang and began his long career with Nabisco Foods. He worked with youth groups and eventually answered God’s call to full-time ministry. He served as the associate minister working with the youth at Lake Houston Church of Christ in Humble, Texas. He also served as the pulpit minister of Clarendon Church of Christ in Texas.
The family moved back to Mustang where Eddie worked several sales jobs before joining Indian Nation Wholesale. He loved riding and working on motorcycles, singing and Christ. Eddie shared Jesus on his many mission trips and at numerous church camps. He loved and cared about people. In the last few years, he taught and encouraged the people he met to love God and keep moving forward.
Eddie died Dec. 13, 2020, in Okla. City after a short battle with Covid-19 and pneumonia. Preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Earlene Stegall, he is survived by his wife, Julene; three children, Amy Barbee, Kyle Stegall, and Lee Stegall; three grandchildren, Madan, Bailey and Treyton; and his siblings, Becky (Tenny) Jones, Cathy (Craig) Kellison, and Jeff (Veronica) Stegall.
Memorial donations may be made to: The Way, c/o Goldthwaite Church of Christ, P.O. Box 443, Goldthwaite, TX 76844.
JT was born March 31, 1932, in Hunt County, Texas, the youngest of eleven children born to Lige and Callie Griffin Molder. He graduated from Commerce (Texas) High School in 1949 and Arlington State College in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science and Electrical Engineering Degree. JT was a member of Epsilon Nu Gamma and Phi Kappa Theta Society. He was in the first graduating class after Arlington State became a four-year college.
JT served his country in the United States Air Force from 1952-1956 where he was an electrical instrument trainer. He worked for Convair as a
co-op student while attending college. JT retired from Lockheed Martin on Nov. 1, 1993, after 37 years. He retired as a project manager in the Systems Integration Laboratory.
JT was a faithful member of The Western Hills Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents, his ten brothers and sisters, and his stepdaughter, Martha Moxon.
Per JT’s wishes, his ashes were buried in the Cedar Vale, Kan., cemetery alongside other family members.
JT is survived by his wife, Patricia Molder; stepson, Timothy Moxon, daughter, Kem Lively, and son, Jem Molder; granddaughters, Amanda McReynolds, Chrissy Cain, Jennifer Molder and Rachel Davis; great-grandchildren, Ally, Cutter, Cambree, Raylee, Natalie, Madison and Dominic; and a host of nieces and nephews.
The Christian Chronicle appreciates and acknowledges generous gifts received in honor of Charles L. and Jane G. Brown, June Doan, and Lynn and Phyllis Huff and in memory of Kerry Couch, Harold and Helen Cox, Kay Elder, Donna Galvan, Jack Greenwood, Jerome Kyne, Kyle Lewis, Lindy McDaniel, J. Adam McSween, Carl and Frankie Mitchell, Ruby Mobley, Mike Myers, Imogene Sardis, Bob Spann, James Lester Sparks and Peggy L. Sparks, Jonah Staebell, William Taylor, Gregory Thompson, Mary Joy Uebelein, Paul and Helen Ulmer, Bill and Vivian Wallace, John Weetman, Dorothy Wells, and Betty Wilson.
Contact [email protected] for rates and more information.