News of Alums & Friends

Sympathy to Terri Hord Owens (1999) on the death of her mother, Alice Darlene Harris Hord, on September 12. She was 80. As Terri wrote, "She was a woman of grace, kindness and always attentive to propriety in every situation." She was a dedicated member of Light of the World Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis for over 40 years, serving as a deacon, secretary of the church council, administrator of Heaven on Earth Ministries and executive assistant to Dr. Tom Benjamin, a position she held for 15 years after taking her own early retirement from IBM. She was the resident church historian and managed the catalog of Bishop Benjamin’s sermons and tapes, seeing the value of these recordings as part of LWCC’s church history. More here.

Stephanie McLemore (1992) is now Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and University Chaplain at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Since 2009, she had served at the University of Lynchburg, where she was Chaplain and Associate Dean for Wellness. Her Baccalaureate address to Lynchburg's class of 2021 charged them to "Go forth and be a Hornet Human."

Victoria Wick (2017) will be ordained to the ministry on October 2 at her home church, the Christian Temple in Baltimore. She serves as Associate Minister at First Christian Church of Hagerstown, Maryland.

Congratulations to Judith Guy (2013) and Seth Thomas who will marry on September 25 in Mackinaw, Illinois.

Hannah Fitch (2015) will be ordained to the ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on August 1, 2021, at 3:00 pm at First Christian Church, Peoria, Illinois. The service will be livestreamed at facebook.com/FCCPeoriaIL.

Doug Collins (2013) will be installed as the Senior Minister of First Christian Church of Tacoma, Washington, on July 25. He previously served as Associate Minister of Allisonville Christian Church in Indianapolis.

Kenneth "Kenny" Azel Bloyd (1992) died on July 7, 2021, in Canton, Illinois. He was 64. After working for Mid-Century Telephone Co-Op for nearly two decades, he went back to school, earning a BA from Eureka College in 1992, and then the dual MDiv and MA in SSA from the University of Chicago as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar. His career in ministry, chaplaincy, and social work was centered in his home town of Canton and the surrounding community, including as youth minister at Sunnyland Christian Church, minister at Cuba Christian Church, LCSW and chaplain at Graham Hospital, minister at First Congregational UCC in Canton, Psychotherapy Department Manager at Mason District Hospital, and currently, chaplain at Spoon River Correctional Center. He is survived by two sons, Nathan and Kyle (Alicia) Bloyd; ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; his mother; and his partner, Geneva Becker. He was preceded in death by his son Jeremy. Services will be held in Canton on July 16. More here.

Congratulations to Katherine Raley Alexander (2008) and Nate Alexander and big brother Parker on the birth of Michael Walter Alexander on June 30. He weighed in at 8lbs, 10oz, and measuring 21 inches. All are doing well and learning a new life together.

Congratulations to Kate Gerike (former resident) and Kevin Gregory (former librarian) who will marry in Chicago in mid-October. Also, Kevin was commissioned a provisional elder in the Central Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church on June 21. Starting June 27, Kevin will be the pastor at Detroit Lakes (Minnesota) United Methodist Church.

Sympathy to Melinda Keenan Wood (1997, trustee) on the death of her spouse, Lanny Wood, on June 13. He died of complications from his recent diagnosis of advanced stage lymphoma. He was 60. Born and raised in La Harpe, Illinois, he was valedictorian of his high school class and continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he earned a degree in architecture. Lanny and Lindy married in 1987 and had one daughter, Thompson. After several years as an architect, he dedicated his life to education, teaching middle school math. Through Project Lead the Way, he moved into training teachers in the Midwest and Southeast states on ways to incorporate STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) into their classrooms. At the time of his death, he was teaching drafting and engineering instructor in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. He was active in local churches, including at Pilgrim UCC in Durham, which Lindy served as pastor; he sang in the choir, facilitated theology discussions and jumped in to various volunteer roles. He loved photography, landscaping, cooking, hiking and music. In addition to Lindy and Thompson (Jacob) Bellet, he is survived by three siblings and other extended family. A memorial service was held at Pilgrim UCC in Durham, NC, on June 26, with Bill Crowl delivering the eulogy. More here.