Obit: The Rev. Robert Hasley

Perkins alum and Executive Board member the Rev. Robert Hasley (S.T.M. ’77, D.Min. ’78) died July 21 from an aggressive form of cancer after serving the United Methodist Church for nearly 50 years.  An Arkansas native, he served as Founding Pastor at St. Andrew UMC in Plano for 35 years.  The church grew to more than 6,400 members under his leadership and established lasting, extensive social outreach programs.

“In an interview for Perspective magazine, Robert was asked how he had been so effective in ministry. He replied, ‘I think my gift is relationships.’ All of us who counted Robert a dear friend—and that number is legion—will continue to treasure those relationships,” said Craig C. Hill, the Leighton K. Farrell Endowed Dean of Perkins. A memorial service was held July 26 at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano. Read Hasley’s obituary here.

Obit: The Rev. Roberto Gómez

The Rev. Roberto Gómez, who died May 26 at age 75, was featured in a recent United Methodist News report. Gómez (M.Th. ’72, D.Min. ’89) taught Spanish language courses at the Perkins Course of Study School for many years.  He was a longtime pastor and superintendent in the Rio Grande Conference. As a United Methodist Publishing House board member, he successfully pushed for publication of a Spanish-language United Methodist hymnal. He served on numerous United Methodist-related boards and twice was a candidate for bishop. Read the story by Sam Hodges here.

Photo courtesy of the Gómez family.

Obit: Gerald Atmar

Gerald Legare (Jerry) Atmar, 93, died June 4. Atmar (M.Th. ‘56) served as Second Lieutenant in the Army in Korea in 1951 and was awarded the Army’s Purple Heart. He was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church in 1956 and served as a pastor and Director of Youth Work in the Texas Conference until choosing a different career in 1962. He went on to teach Biological Science at Kent State University and worked as an environmental biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. When he and his wife Patricia retired in 1995, they returned to the Bryan/College Station area. Atmar was active in construction projects at First United Methodist Church in Bryan, Texas, including the building of props for Vacation Bible School and the reconstruction of Two Mile Church. As an active volunteer with Worldwide Mobility Brazos Valley, he helped construct Personal Energy Transportation (PET) carts until age 90. Services were held June 9 at United Methodist Church of Bryan, Texas. Read his obituary here.

Obit: The Rev. Gary Regan

The Rev. Gary Regan (M.Th. ’61) passed away on June 10 in his home. As a United Methodist minister, he served churches in the North Texas area for 60 years. He served as pastor at Avery/Williams Chapel (Red River County), Seagoville UMC, Lancaster UMC, Garland, St. Paul, First United Methodist Church Paris, First United Methodist Church Dallas, and White Rock United Methodist Church. He also served as District Superintendent in both the Paris/Sulphur Springs District and the Dallas Central District as well as the Treasure and Administrator of the North Texas Conference. After retiring, he served as development officer, stewardship, consultant and facilitator for The Texas Methodist Foundation. A memorial service was held June 13. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Lili’s Legacy (P.O. Box 961, Paris, Tx. 75641) or The Will Herndon Research Fund (P.O. Box 132646, Spring, Tx. 77393).

Obit: The Rev. Milford Zirkel

The Rev. Milford R. (Zeke) Zirkel Jr. (M. Div., ’54) died July 13 in Fredericksburg, Texas.

After graduating from Perkins, he served as pastor of Grace Methodist Church in San Antonio, and three years later as pastor of Coker Methodist Church. Subsequent pastorates included Methodist congregations in Fredericksburg, Palacios, Aransas Pass, Marble Falls, Kerrville, Alice, Gonzales, Brady and Pearsall. Though officially retiring in 1997, he continued to serve in churches for another 25 years in the communities of Castroville, Goliad, Woodsboro, Crystal City, Dilley and Aransas Pass. In 1970, in his first tenure at First United Methodist Church in Aransas Pass, he agreed for the church to serve as a temporary hospital after Hurricane Celia knocked out the local hospital. More than 80 babies were born in the church’s Sunday school rooms over four months. Services for Zirkel were held July 23.  In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Methodist Children’s Home of Costa Rica through the Communities Foundation of Texas at:  Checks may be sent to Methodist Children’s Home of Costa Rica, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, Texas 75225. Read his obituary here.