Patricia Ellen Howery Davis passed away January 11. She was an assistant professor (1991-1997) and associate professor (1997-2004) at Perkins. From 2008 – 2012 she served as an adjunct professor at Perkins’ Center for Religious Leadership. She earned an M.Div. and Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary and a J.D. at Southern Methodist University School of Law in 2002. She wrote many articles and two major books, including Counseling Adolescent Girls (Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling.)
“Patricia was a mother, a sister, and a daughter,” according to an obituary provided by her family. “She was a psychologist. She was a professor of pastoral care and family systems. She was a human rights activist. She was an attorney. The thread through all of these things was love. She sought out the vulnerable, and she protected them/us. She worked across five continents challenging oppressors and using her American privileges to witness and engage, and then educate us back at home. And somehow, she was able to be the coolest, happiest, and funniest lady. Her home was constantly filled with laughter.”
Davis is survived by her three siblings, Susan Marie Davis, Barbara Jean Davis, and Thomas Andrew Davis and his wife, Terri Porterfield Davis; her two children, Sarah Megan Howery, and Thomas Steven Howery and his wife Nivasha Gayapershad Howery; and her granddaughters Maya Eleanor Howery and Asha Sarah Howery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorial donations to Doctors Without Borders or League of Women Voters. A memorial service will be held in Perkins Chapel at SMU (date to be determined).
The Rev. David L. Semrad
The Rev. David L. Semrad, a United Methodist minister and community advocate known for his commitment to education and civil rights, died January 6 at a Houston hospital at age 78. He earned a Master’s in Theology at Perkins and a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) at St. Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas City, Miss. Semrad served as the Associate Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Great Bend, Kan; Director of United Methodist Campus Ministry at the Ecumenical Campus Center at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan.; and Director of United Methodist Campus Ministry in San Antonio from 1978 until he retired in 2008. He ministered to college students and people from all walks of life, and befriended international students from around the world by being a host family with his wife and daughters. A cultivator of relationships and devoted community action leader, he participated in such community organizations as San Antonio Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) and Metro Alliance. Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros said Semrad “was a significant force in the evolution of the best San Antonio we’ve ever had.” Read his obits here and here.
Patrick Alton Hudson (M.Th. 1959) of Dallas, Texas, died on November 28, at the age of 87 from Alzheimer’s and the coronavirus. Patrick served as a senior pastor in the United Methodist Church, serving congregations at St. Philips UMC in Garland, Texas, and First UMC Hutchins. He received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, served as Director of the Dallas Legal Aid Society and was in private practice for 20 years. Read the obituary in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette here.
Marietta Norwood (M.S.M. 1998) died December 13 at River Haven Nursing & Rehab in Paducah, Ky. An accomplished musician, she sang for several years in the Dallas Symphony Chorus, and in later years, worked in many churches as both an organist and choral director. Her remains will be interred in the columbarium at the Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery next to her husband, James. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to First Christian Church, 111 N. 5th Street, Murray, KY 42071. Read her obituary here.
The Rev. Wayne C. Odom (M.T.S. 1955; D. Min. 1976) died December 17 at the age of 90. Before retiring, Odom served churches throughout the Texas and North Texas Conferences. In the last few years of his ministry, he served at Oak Lawn UMC and First UMC, Grand Prairie, retiring from FUMC Grand Prairie. Odom is survived by his wife, Carolyn Odom, 4120 Kirkwall, Plano, TX 75093.
The Rev. Dr. Norman Grigsby
The Rev. Dr. Norman Wesley Grigsby (M.Th. 1957) died December 20 at the Veterans Administration Community Living Center after a prolonged illness. He served Methodist churches in Texas and New Mexico. In 1985 McMurry College, Abilene, Texas, awarded Norman a Doctor of Divinity degree recognizing his accomplishments as a church leader and excellence in local church growth. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, VonDell, of Amarillo. Memorials can be made to the endowment fund of St. Paul UMC, Amarillo, Texas, or a charity of your choice. Read his obituary and sign the guestbook here.
Cynthia K. “Cindy” Perkins, 60, of Bloomington, Ill., died December 26 at Heritage Health Care, Gibson City, Ill. Perkins earned a Master’s in Religious Education in 1983 at Perkins and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Vocationally she served as a Consecrated Deacon in Christian Education in the United Methodist Church. Read her obituary here.
Charles Evans Cole
Charles Evans Cole, age 85, died December 23 at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. While an undergraduate at Yale Divinity School in 1961, he participated in early demonstrations against Woolworth’s in solidarity with black students in sit-ins in the South. He received a master’s degree in ethics from Perkins School of Theology in 1965. In 1986 he became a staff member of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of the United Methodist Church. After retiring in 1999 he continued working for GBGM as a consultant for several years, editing a seven-volume History of Mission of The United Methodist Church. Read his obituary here.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Andrew Fowler
The Rev. Dr. Andy Fowler died January 5. He earned his B.D. (1963), S.T.M. (1964) and D. Min. (1970) degrees at Perkins. Fowler served as a missionary for more than 30 years in Malaysia, primarily with the Iban Methodist Church. He also served as Peace with Justice Educator in the North Texas and Central Texas Annual Conferences and as Conference Secretary for the Board of Global Ministries, Central Texas Conference. He is survived by Monica, his wife of 60 years; two children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Read his obit here.
The Rev. Betty Stone
Betty Charlene Stone died on December 29 at her daughter’s residence in Oklahoma at the age of 85. She received her bachelor’s degree in ministry from Southern Methodist University. She served churches in Oklahoma, beginning with a dual appointment at Thackerville United Methodist Church and at Lebanon United Methodist Church. Her last pastorate was at Mill Creek United Methodist Church, and when it was closed, she retired from active church ministry. Read her obituary here.