Rest in Peace, Rise in Glory: December 22, 2022

The Rev. Carol Lee Cook, who grew up in a “happily bohemian” family and once worked at Apple Inc., died November 17 at 73.

Born in Los Gatos, California, she was a graduate of Macalester College, San Francisco State University, and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She was ordained deacon in 1990 and priest in 1991, and served parishes in the Diocese of California for all her ministry.

She was rector at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Livermore, from 1991 to 2010 and an adjunct professor of religion at Las Positas College from 2002 to 2010. She then served as an associate priest at St. Clare’s Church in Pleasanton.

Donald Lillpopp

The Rev. Donald Lillpopp, who blended a love of music with his vocation as a priest, died September 23 at 84.

Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, he was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Berkley Divinity School at Yale. He also studied at the Leland Powers School of Radio, TV, and Theater in Boston.

Lillpopp met his wife of 62 years, Joanne, through mutual friends while studying at Berkley Divinity School, and they married in 1960. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1959, and served at parishes in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

The Lillpopps loved to sing in community choirs throughout their lives, and he often played piano at family gatherings and organ during church services.

Joanne Lillpopp died in July. The Lilllpopps are survived by a daughter, three sons, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

James Litton

James H. Litton, a cofounder of the Anglican Association of Musicians who helped compile The Hymnal (1982) and edited the Episcopal Church’s Plainsong Psalter (1988), died November 1 at 87.

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, he took piano lessons from Mason College of Music and Fine Arts and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

In his career of more than 60 years, he served at American Boychoir School; Washington National Cathedral; St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York City; Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey; Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis; and Trinity Episcopal Church, Southport, Connecticut.

He was an assistant professor of organ and head of the church music department at Westminster Choir College and the C.F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Theological Seminary. He also served as visiting lecturer at Virginia Theological Seminary and Sewanee: The University of the South.

Both Litton and his wife of 54 years, Lou Ann, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was her caregiver until she preceded him in death. The couple met each other in seventh grade, united by their love of music. They married after completing college in 1957.

He is survived by a sister, a daughter, three sons, and three grandchildren.

A previous version of this obituary misstated James Litton’s educational credentials. The text has been corrected above.

Richard Louis

The Rev. Richard M. Louis, who emphasized compassion and inclusion in his ministry, died November 12 at 89.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he was a graduate of Colgate University and Episcopal Theological School. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1959.

He served as a hospital chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he ministered to young patients and their parents. At St. Luke’s, he met M. Kristan Bertelsen, and they married in 1965.

He served for the rest of his ministry in the Diocese of Newark. While he was rector of St. Mark’s in Teaneck, New Jersey, the parish installed a stained-glass window that honors the spirit of unity. His longest tenure was at St. John’s Memorial Church in Ramsey, from 1979 until his retirement in August 2000.

Fr. Louis and his wife lost both a son and a grandson to death. He is survived by his wife, a brother, a son, a granddaughter, and two grandsons.

Peter Ng

Canon Peter Ng, a native of China who grew up in Hong Kong and devoted nearly three decades of his life to the Episcopal Church’s work in Asia and the Pacific, died December 10 from cancer. He was 74.

Ng moved to the States in 1969 and worked for the church from 1989 until his retirement in 2017. He served three presiding bishops.

The Rev. David Copley, director of global partnerships and mission personnel, remembered Ng as “a mentor, spiritual guide and wise elder.”

“Peter Ng was always more than the ‘Partnership Officer for Asia and the Pacific,’” Copley told David Paulsen of Episcopal News Service. “He was always there as a support, giving gentle guidance and encouragement to those with whom he worked.”

Ng helped the Episcopal Church in the Philippines move from a missionary district to an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion.

Harold Smith

The Rev. Dr. Harold V. Smith, who taught singing for many years before becoming a priest, died November 2 at 87.

Born in Muncie, Indiana, he was a graduate of Ball State Teachers College, Ball State University, and Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky. In 1981 he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Ball State in vocal performance.

He taught music at public and private schools in Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky. He also taught choral and vocal music at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, and directed the Darke County [Ohio] Oratorio Society and the Eastern Wyoming College Community Choir.

He was ordained deacon in 1988 and priest in 1989, and served churches in Indiana, Nebraska, and Wyoming before his retirement in 2008.

He worked as a news photographer for Muncie Newspapers and was in charge of the darkroom at Warner Gear and the Richmond Register in Kentucky.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara J. Lundy Smith. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Christine Moore Smith; a daughter; and a son.

John Stieper

The Rev. John R.K. Stieper, SSC, who was rector of the Church of St. Columba in Hanover Park, Illinois, for more than three decades, died October 24 at 87.

Born in Chicago, he was a graduate of DePauw University and Yale University. He also did graduate study at the University of Montpellier (France) and the University of Oxford. He was ordained deacon in 1961 and priest in 1962.

During his years at St. Columba (1964-2000), he raised funds, oversaw construction of church and school buildings, and provided spiritual leadership. He also taught at Seabury-Western Theological School and was administrative director of St. Leonard’s House in Chicago.

He is survived by two sisters, two sons, and two grandsons.

Harry Arthur Woggon

The Rev. Harry Arthur Woggon, a specialist in intentional interim ministry, died November 26 at 85.

Born in New York City, he was a graduate of Hamilton College, the University of Oregon, and General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon in 1963 and priest in 1964. He served as a priest and school chaplain in Iowa, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He also worked as an administrator, counselor, and therapist for the mental health system of North Carolina. In his focus on intentional interim ministry, he helped parishes experiencing difficult transitions. He wrote three books: Transfigured into Wholeness, Gratitude’s Attitude: A Pioneer’s Pilgrimage, and a collection of poetry, Journey to the Center.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Genelda Kepley Woggon, a son, three daughters, and 10 grandchildren. One of his daughters, the Rev. Karla Woggon, is rector of Church of the Ascension in Hickory, North Carolina.


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