Why I am Not Posting

There haven’t been any updates here for a couple of weeks now and it’s not an accident.

But why?

Those of you who follow me on social media already know, but some folk might have missed it.

We’re moving.

Most of my post come from our regular Sunday worship services, or from funerals, weddings, hallway conversations, questions that I get asked or commentary on news events that intersect with the church or religion in some way.  But while my/our ministry is continuing, it is also changing locations.  I have been reassigned from Trinity church in Massillon, Ohio to Christ United Methodist Church in Alliance, Ohio.  We’ve already hauled five or six trailers full of stuff out of the house and into storage.  For the last week or two we’ve been attending our church’s Annual Conference at Lakeside near Sandusky, Ohio but for the last few months we’ve also been packing.  Within the next couple weeks the moving trucks will come, friends will volunteer, and everything we own will be transported to a new house, a new church, and a new community.

It’s a lot to take in.

And there are a ton of details to wade through.

So, in the meantime, I’m not spending a lot of time on my computer doing much of anything.  I will, however be preaching at Christ Church in Alliance on July first and that message will appear here.  As we get settled in, a more regular pace will be reestablished.

And possibly a few new surprises as well.

Stay tuned.


Obituary for Ed Smith

Obituary for  Edmund H. Smith

April 21, 1925 – February 1, 2018
Born in Youngstown, Ohio
Resided in Massillon, Ohio


Ed SmithEdmund H. Smith, 92, passed away on Thursday, February 1, 2018. Born April 21, 1925 in Youngstown, Ohio on the kitchen table.

Preceded in death by wife, Ethel L. Deeley whom he married in 1950. Their two are children are Kenneth E (Lisa) Smith of Saco, ME., and Susan L. Neddy-Scopelite of Massillon, Ohio; grandchildren, are Shannon Neddy of Philadelphia, PA, Amanda McNeil of Saco, ME., and Hannah Scopelite of Louisville, Ohio. Also surviving are step-daughters, Maureen (Butch) Altman, Darlene (Buck) Singer and Joellen (Ronnie) Cucitrone all of New Castle, PA. Ed is also preceded in death by his 2nd wife the former Norma J. Kline whom he married February 14, 1998. Recently became a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Perry Heights, Ohio. He is also survived by several very loved nephews and their families.

No flowers are requested, but rather donations to dad’s passion of helping the homeless and needy. His current project was Homeless Outreach Project (H.O.T) @ 2023 Harrison Ave. SW Canton, Ohio 44706-2734.

Services will be held on Monday, February 5, 2018 at 11:00am at Forest Lawn Memorial Park 5400 Market St, Youngstown, Ohio 44512.
Reed Funeral Home Canton Chapel is entrusted with the arrangements.


Eulogy and Obituary for Loretta Doll

Eulogy for Loretta Doll

April 18, 2018

by Rev. John Partridge


Loretta DollIn 1915 the world was different than the one in which we now live.  In December of that year, Frank Sinatra was born, President Woodrow Wilson married Edith Galt in Washington D.C., WWI raged in Europe, heavier than air aircraft were still largely experimental, Ernest Shackleton’s team attempting to cross Antarctica overland was stranded as their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the ice and sank, and into that world, Loretta Wynn was born in Canton, Ohio on December 3rd, 1915.

Loretta lived with her parents, John and Loretta, and eventually attended, and graduated from McKinley High School in 1934, and then met and married Glen Doll on May 27th, 1939. Before too long, Glen and Loretta welcomed Sally and Ted to their family as well and, in 1950 they moved from Canton to what was then a very rural Perry Township.  By 1955 they had joined Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church which would, in 1968, become the Trinity United Methodist Church.

Although they did a little camping and traveling in the early years, Loretta and Glen both liked staying at home and working the land, planting a garden, growing things, and then canning their produce.  They liked to design the landscaping for the two homes that Glen had built, and then, periodically, or perhaps continually, redesigning and reworking it to suit their tastes and their sense of style.  Maybe it was this sense of style that led Loretta into other adventures as well.  She was a seamstress who made clothes for her children, made bracelets, handbags, and purses, she tried her hand at floral arranging for a while, and everyone knew that she never wanted to throw anything away.

Loretta loved to shop too.  She especially loved to get in on a good deal.  She would go to every sale at Kaufman’s and all the craft stores, and the mall, sometimes twice a day to take full advantage of them.  Glen didn’t get mad, and in fact, even though he didn’t really share her passion for shopping, he went along on all of these trips, and usually just found a chair somewhere so he could sit and watch Loretta shop.  For a while, Loretta even worked at J.C. Penny.  Maybe it was to earn a little extra money, but maybe it was because the employees got a discount.  Loretta even had more than one bank account.  Not because she needed more than one, and not because she was afraid that the bank might fail, but because, once upon a time, you could get really nice gifts for opening a new account, so she would open accounts at different banks just to get the gifts.

At church, Loretta was known for her many hats.  Everyone at church knew that she and her friend Lila Graham would always be, faithfully, wearing a nice hat every Sunday.  And, I suspect, it eventually became something of a good-natured competition.  When it came time to clean out Loretta’s house there were over 100 hats, and while I don’t have a specific number, Lila’s family had an experience that was very similar.  In fact, at Lila’s funeral, they were still giving away hats to anyone that wanted one.

At home, even though she was a bit of a worrier, Loretta was always known as a good cook who was kind, gracious, caring, and could be counted on for offering good advice.  She liked to keep busy even when she had to live in an assisted living facility and later a nursing home.  If there was an activity offered, she was there.  If there was a craft to be made, you can be sure that Loretta was making one.  She did everything.

But through it all, Loretta always loved her family and they loved her back.  For so many years everyone had come to her house for the holidays, and then when she didn’t have a house any longer, she could be counted on to show up at Ted and Nancy’s house.  It finally reached a point where even if Loretta thought that she might skip a Thanksgiving dinner and stay “home” at the Windsor Medical Center, her grandchildren wouldn’t hear of it and insisted that she come.  They would send their dad, or they would go themselves, and maneuver Loretta into someone’s car, and help her out again so that she could spend Thanksgiving Day with her family as she always had.

Our world is very different than the one that Loretta was born into 102 years ago.  Our world is too fast paced, has often seemed to lose its respect for God, and is always focused on making more money, or acquiring more stuff.  But people like Loretta Doll, and the lives that they lived, remind us that there are more important things in life.  They remind us that it’s good to slow down and watch things grow.  It’s good to take time for your family, your friends, your church, and your God.  When the day comes that people gather in a room like this one to remember each one of us, do you think that they will remember that we worked a lot, or that we had a lot of money, or accumulated a lot of stuff, or do we want to be remembered as people who were kind, faithful, loving, generous, caring, and compassionate?

Loretta had her priorities in the right places and her life reminds us that we should do the same.

Although everyone here has good reason to mourn for what they have lost today, I hope that you will remember just how richly blessed you are to have had such a loving, godly, caring woman to show you all how life should be done.   Through Loretta Doll, God has given us all a great gift that has, and should continue, to shape us and bless us throughout our lives.

I pray that we might do half as well.





Loretta Wynn Doll of North Canton, Ohio

December 3, 1915 – May 30, 2018


Loretta Wynn Doll, age 102, of North Canton passed away Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at Windsor Medical Center. She was born December 3, 1915, in Canton where she resided until 1950 when her family moved to Perry Heights. In 1955 Loretta and family became members of Trinity United Methodist Church of Perry Heights. There she served on the Board of Trustees as Secretary, several committees, and volunteered for many years as a teacher for children in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. Following graduation from McKinley High School in 1934, Loretta and Glenn Doll were married in Canton on May 27, 1939. She was a dedicated homemaker; however, she did work for the J.C. Penney Company part time as a saleslady from 1969-1972. Known by family and friends as Sis and Aunt Sissy, Loretta was loved by all. She was proud of all members of the family and was eternally optimistic that each would have a successful future.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Loretta Wynn, her husband Glenn F. Doll, her daughter Sally A. Doll, two brothers Herbert J. Wynn and Dr. John D. Wynn and a sister Dorothy Wynn Ake. She is survived by her son T. Everett (Nancy) Doll, two granddaughters Audrea (Dr. Robert) Schweikert and Jennifer (Jeffrey) Reider, seven great-grandchildren, five nieces and three nephews.

Private services and interment have been arranged through Arnold Funeral Home officiated by Pastor John Partridge, Trinity United Methodist Church. Memorial contributions in Loretta’s name can be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 3757 Lincoln Way East, Massillon, OH  44646. The family thanks Dr. Steven Weaver of North Canton Medical Clinic and the staff of Windsor Medical Center and Crossroads Hospice for their compassionate and skilled care graciously provided to Loretta and her family.


Everitt Dean Partridge

Everitt Dean Partridge

January 6, 1955 ~ March 3, 2018 (age 63)



Everitt Dean Partridge, 63, of Akron, Ohio, was released into the hands of Jesus on March 3, 2018. He was born in Warren, Ohio to Rev. Stanley and Ruth Partridge.


He was preceded in death by his father, Stan and is survived by his mother, Ruth; brothers, Stephen (Susan), Mark (Donna) and John (Patti) as well as his nieces and nephews, Matthew, T.J., Jonah, Noah, Lina and Hannah, Nicholas and Sarah.


Dean attended and graduated from West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio (1973) and from there went on to attend college where he graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio (1977). For several years he was employed at the B.F. Goodrich company in Akron and upon their relocation, he then found a position working at Republic Steel in Canton for 21 years.


He has a fond appreciation for music which was evident in the years he spent singing in the Akron Symphony Chorus and for a few years sang with his dad who also was a part of the Chorus for many years. He was a long time member of Park United Methodist Church in Akron where he volunteered as a tutor for the GED program offering countless hours of instruction. He was also active as a part of the Wednesday morning Trustee fixit and repair program as well as serving as an usher in the morning worship services. In recent years, he was a partial caregiver to his mother and helped her with odd jobs and repairs around the house in light of dad not being there.


Visitation will be held Friday, March 9, 2018 at Park United Methodist Church, 2308 24th St in Akron from 5-6 p.m. with a service of celebration to follow with Rev. John Partridge officiating. Private Burial will be held at a later time.


Eulogy for Donald J. McCauley

Eulogy for Donald J. McCauley

May 14, 2018

by Rev. John Partridge


Donald J. “Doc” McCauley was born on December 9th, 1932.  He was the youngest of seven children, graduated from Kenmore High School, and then joined the Air Force, served as a hydraulics mechanic between the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, and then worked at Babcock and Wilcox for 33 years.

Along the way, he found the love of his life in Betty Ann Kozy, married her, and loved being with her.  Everyone knew how much he loved her.  It was obvious.  He couldn’t be within arm’s reach without touching her.  He would literally never walk by without reaching out to her.

When Brian was a baby, just a few weeks old, Don lost two fingers while helping a friend repair a lawn mower.  And so, from then on, he did all the childcare (including diapering, with cloth diapers and safety pins) one-handed.  As Brian got older, Don was his baseball coach and soon discovered that Brian pitched so hard that it would hurt Don’s hand.

For many people, it was never Donald, or even Don, but instead it was always “Doc.”

He loved to fish.  Whenever he took a day off, his coworkers knew where he would be and they hung a “Gone Fishing” sign on his locker.  He loved the Mogadore Reservoir and kept a boat there.

He loved fishing with his family too.  Many times his kids joined him at Mogadore and, when they got older, a few times they were invited to go on the annual fishing trip to Ross Lake in Quebec, Canada with Don and his brother Marion.

Don’s love of fishing, and his artistic talent, led him to becoming an excellent, self-taught, taxidermist.  Long before YouTube videos were available, he acquired a “teach yourself taxidermy” book and, within months, it was as if he’d been doing it his entire life.  He was also an incredible self-taught artist.  He did many murals and backdrops for programs at church.  Just like when he taught himself taxidermy, he acquired a Bob Ross book and taught himself how to paint with oils.  Many of his paintings were displayed at Park United Methodist Church, as well as with multiple family members who have cherished them.

He was a faithful and active member of Park United Methodist Church for many years, and served as an usher and a trustee for as long as many of us can remember.  Don was always faithful to his family, and to his God.

Don loved to garden and, as the years went by, his yard became smaller as his garden grew.  Every year he waited impatiently for the tomatoes to ripen!  But other than his tomatoes, Don was known to be extraordinarily patient and generous.  He often said, “I’m not going to bother you, but if you need anything, all you need to do is ask.”

I knew Don, and I’ve known Brian for a lot of years.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, ‘ya know?

Those of us who knew Don know that he left an impression on our lives.  We may not have his talent, but if we learned to be a little more patient, a little more kind, a little more generous, or a little more faithful from knowing him, then we know that God has given us an invaluable gift through the life of Don McCauley.

Don usually did what he wanted to do and never wanted anyone to worry about him, and today is no different.  He would not want you to mourn, but to celebrate.  He touched a lot of lives on many special ways and will not be forgotten.




Obituary – Donald J. McCauley

December 9, 1932 ~ May 9, 2018 (age 85)


Donald J. “Doc” McCauley, 85, passed away May 9, 2018 after a long battle with cancer. Doc was a long-time member of Park United Methodist Church.


Doc will be remembered for his passion for fishing, his talent with oil and canvas, and his joy of gardening.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty in 1987 and son, Mark in 1988; sisters, Kathleen, Pat and Eileen; brothers, John and Mare; he is survived by his son, Brian; daughter-in-law, Robin; granddaughters, Katie and Kara; great granddaughter, Alexis; brother, Jim.


There will be a small memorial Service at the Schlup-Pucak Funeral Home, 788 Kenmore Blvd, Akron Monday, May 14 at 9:00am with Pastor John Partridge officiating. Burial to follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

This is Goodbye

GoodbyeIt hardly seems like it’s been six years.

When we first came to Trinity Church, our kids were in high school, now they are all in their twenties and either in college or working.  When we arrived I was applying for ordination, now I’m celebrating the fifth anniversary of my ordination.

When we came, Trinity was recovering from a serious wound, but is now healthier and moving forward.  Trinity is pushing itself to reach out, to be mission minded, to do more than just send checks but to be active participants in the mission and vision of Jesus Christ.  These things are necessary if a church is to grow and be healthy because without them, churches become insulated from the world which is the opposite of what Jesus taught us to do.  Our job is not only to invite the world in, but to go out from the four walls of the church and be in the world.  Our neighbors can never come to faith in Jesus if they never meet one of his followers, and they can’t meet us if we never find places to mingle, make friends, get to know them, and build trust.

There is, of course, much more to do, but the Staff Parish Relations Committee felt that maybe it was time for someone else to lead the charge.  I don’t disagree, and, apparently, neither does the bishop and her cabinet.  It may seem odd, but there is another way that I have, at least jokingly described my departure.  At the end of the children’s movie, Nanny McFee, the children beg their nanny not to leave, but she tells them that, “When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.”  And to some extent, my departure is like that, as well as the ending of Mary Poppins.  Trinity Church has come a long way from where it was six years ago, but now, the winds have changed, and there is another place where I am needed.

I did my best.  I have done what I could do.  My prayer is that you will continue to grow in grace, in mercy, in your likeness to Jesus Christ, and that Pastor Tina can take you where you need to go next.


Pastor John

Into the Unknown

Into the Unknown

June 03, 2018

By John Partridge*


[Note: This is my last Sunday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Massillon (Perry Heights), Ohio.  There will be no new messages for the next three weeks while we relocate to our new appointment at Christ United Methodist Church in Alliance, Ohio.  Your prayers for both churches, and their new pastors, are appreciated.]

1 Samuel 3:1-20                     2 Corinthians 4:5-12



In1803, President Thomas Jefferson, having secured congressional approval, sent a small expeditionary group to explore the uncharted Louisiana Purchase and points farther to the west. Jefferson called the group the Corps of Discovery. It would be led by Jefferson’s secretary, Meriwether Lewis, and Lewis’ friend, William Clark.

For four years, the Corps of Discovery would travel thousands of miles, experiencing lands, rivers and peoples that no Americans ever had before.  But on April 7, 1805, as this small group of explorers left Fort Mandan, their maps were of no use to them because everything to the west of where they stood, the maps simply said, “Unknown.”  From that point on, every river that they crossed, every trail that they followed, every mountain, and every rock, had never before been seen by white men.  They had no idea what Indian tribes lived there, or how many there might be.  And so, justifiably, when Ken Burns created a documentary about the journey of the Corps of Discovery, the title of his story became, “Into the Unknown.”

Many of us have experienced a period of our lives when we launched out into new and, at least for us, uncharted waters.  We graduated from school, moved out of our parents’ house, got a job, sometimes many miles away or even across the country from where we grew up.  And in those moments, we faced the unknown.  Some of you went with us to Kentucky to see for yourselves what you had only read about, or heard from missionaries, or from your pastor.  In your own way, you faced the unknown.  Travel is almost always like that.  You never know exactly what’s going to happen.

We see the same thing in scripture.


In 1 Samuel 3:1-20 God calls the prophet Samuel for the first time when he is still just a young boy and Samuel’s whole world changes.

3:1The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

Samuel had no idea what was going to happen but by trusting his mentor Eli, and by listening to, and trusting God, Samuel began a new life that would change him, and all of Israel, for decades as they walked with God together.


Samuel had the courage to leap into the unknown because he knew something about God that Paul describes to the church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 4:5-12 where he says:

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Paul says, “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  We have these ordinary looking clay pots, things that are usually full of ordinary stuff, like water, or grain, or yeast, or even wine, but instead of being ordinary, they are full of treasure.  Ordinary clay pots become extraordinary clay pots, not because the pots are different, but because the thing that fills them is different.   But just in case you missed the analogy, we are those ordinary pots.  There is nothing particularly notable about us.  But we have become filled with treasure because the Spirit of God has come to live inside of us.  We have become extraordinary, not because we are different, but because what fills us is different.  And, because God has chosen to live within us, Paul says, we are pressed, but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We live so that Jesus may be revealed in us and through us.


It is because of the Spirit that lives within us that we can have the courage that Samuel and Paul had, as well as all the other disciples, teachers, pastors, missionaries, mentors, friends, and so many others who have gone before us.


We are all, once again, launching out into a new unknown.  My family and I are going to Alliance and whatever the future may hold for us there, and all of you will enter into a new ministry with Pastor Tina and whatever new places God will lead you together.


May all of us, like Samuel, have the faith, and the courage to listen to the voice of God…


…and do his will.






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* You have been reading a message presented at Trinity United Methodist Church on the date noted on the first page.  Rev. John Partridge is the pastor at Trinity of Perry Heights in Massillon, Ohio.  Duplication of this message is a part of our Media ministry, if you have received a blessing in this way, we would love to hear from you.  Letters and donations in support of the Media ministry may be sent to Trinity United Methodist Church, 3757 Lincoln Way E., Massillon, Ohio 44646.  These messages are available to anyone regardless of membership.  You may subscribe to these messages by writing to the address noted, or by contacting us at subscribe@trinityperryheights.org.  To subscribe to the electronic version sign up at http://eepurl.com/vAlYn.   These messages can also be found online at https://pastorpartridge.wordpress.com/. All Scripture references are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.