A celebration of the life of the Rev. John Vickers Spahr, Sr, a retired member of the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15 at Grace UMC in Warren, PA. He died at home in Mt. Vernon, OH, on Aug 7, 2018.
Born December 3, 1947 in Natrona Heights, Pastor John was raised in Tarentum, PA. He is a graduate of Tarentum High School, Heidelberg College and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was ordained a deacon in 1971 courtesy of the Northern California-Nevada Conference Bishop Charles Golden, and an elder on June 15, 1975 by Bishop Roy C. Nichols.
First appointed as a student pastor to the Natrona UMC, he was appointed pastor to the First UMC in Youngsville in 1974, where he served until 1979. He then served the McKeesport Highland Grove and Green Valley Charge 1979-1981; First UMC in Beaver Falls 1981-1984; Grace UMC in Punxsutawney 1984 – 1992; First UMC in Emporium and Moore Hill Charge 1992 – 2000; Grace UMC in Warren from 2000 - 2007, and Stone UMC, Meadville from 2007 – 2011.
In addition to his pastoral ministry, Rev. Spahr served as a camp counselor and dean; a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Boards of Directors of Wesley Woods and the Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. He served on the Conference Board of Education, chairing for two years; the Conference Sessions Committee, chairing for four years and served as Legislative Floor Manager of the Annual Conference for 16 years.
He and his wife Janet, whom he married in 1971, served as a presentation team of Marriage Encounter-United Methodist. In addition to his church work, Pastor Spahr enjoyed camping, theater, music and reading.
Survivors include his wife Janet, sons John Jr (Kelly) of Tiffin, OH; Matthew of Mt. Vernon and daughter Margaret Jeanne Spahr (Michael Kilhoffer) of Coudersport PA; grandson John III, step-grandchildren Zachary Mitchell, Seth Mitchell, Gabrielle Mitchell and Dina Mitchell; brothers David (Delores) Spahr of Pittsburgh, Jim (Jackie) Spahr of Lakeport, CA and sister Margaret Melinda (Denny) Scheid of Myrtle Beach, SC; sister-in-law Dr. Jane Adams Spahr of San Francisco, CA, Sister-in-law Judy (Dr. Charles) Bungo and nephews Jim (Rhonda) Spahr II, Chesterfield (Teresa) Spahr, David R Spahr IV, Zachary Scheid, Chuck Bungo, and niece Judith Jeanne Bungo.
Rev. John Spahr attended the Gay Street UMC in Mount Vernon.
The Lasater Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for the Spahr family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to: Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ecan.org), United Methodist Committee on Relief (umcor.org) or your local community hospice.
To express a condolence or to leave a memory, please visit www.lasaterfuneralhomes.com