Rest in Peace, Rise in Glory: May 17

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The Rev. Canon George Harry Bowen, rector emeritus of Grace Church in Newark and a canon of Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral, died February 7 at 90.

Bowen was born in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and was a graduate of Trinity College and General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1957.

He served as rector of Trinity Church in Cliffside Park, New Jersey (1961-74), before becoming administrator of Newark’s diocesan center and moving to Grace Church (1976-94).

Renewed by Grace: A History of Grace Church in Newark, 1962-2012 by Bruce Ford includes appreciative references to Bowen’s tenure.

“He invited women to serve at the altar, adopted the 1982 Hymnal, and led in the installation of an excellent mechanical-action Casavant organ,” Ford wrote. “At Grace Church the liturgy was never secularized. Reform never robbed it of its grandeur or diminished its power to instill in worshipers a sense that they were standing at the junction of time and eternity, participating in a great and awesome mystery.”


The Rev. Canon William Ivan Cendese, a former Roman Catholic priest who devoted his life to education, died January 7 at 86.

He was born in Niagara Falls, Canada, and was a graduate of Catholic University of America, St. Francis de Sales Seminary, Utah State University, and the University of Utah.

He served as a Roman Catholic priest from 1954 to 1972, and was received into the Episcopal Church in 1989. He served as canon to the ordinary and as a canon at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City.

He taught at Judge Memorial Catholic High School for many years, where he was known for being strict but sympathetic. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, which led to his cofounding Valley High School for students who had difficulty in other schools.

He is survived by his former wife, his sister, two sons, and a grandson.


The Rev. E. Michaella (Micki) Keener, who worked as a psychiatric nurse before becoming a priest, died February 17 at 88.

She was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a graduate of Wayne State University and a nursing school in Rhode Island. She worked as psychiatric nurse, then a visiting nurse, in Boston, and as a social worker in suicide prevention in Detroit.

She graduated from Episcopal Divinity School in 1982, and was ordained deacon in 1982 and priest in 1983. She became rector of St. Giles Church in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, in 1986. During her tenure at St. Giles, she led the development of a support care network for people without permanent shelter. She met Leland (Lee) M. DeWoody, who became her husband, when he was a regular volunteer at the shelter’s soup kitchen.

She is survived by DeWoody, a brother, nieces, and a nephew.


Dr. James Staats (Jim) Little, who played organ for 61 years, died February 8 at 76. Little was born in Hopewell, New Jersey, and was a graduate of Trenton State College and Westminster Choir College. He worked in New Jersey throughout his career.

He began learning to play organ at 11, and by 15 he was hired as organist and choirmaster at Titusville Presbyterian Church. For 20 years he taught men’s choral music at the Pingry School in Basking Ridge.

Little and his wife, Nancy, welcomed students into their home for meals and, occasionally, short-term housing. While studying for a master’s degree from Westminster Choir College, he became organist and choirmaster at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit.

Little is survived by his wife, a brother, and a sister.


The Rev. Anthony Eugene MacWhinnie II, a former fisheries biologist, died February 6 at 53.

He was born in Pensacola, Florida, and was a graduate of the University of West Florida and Seminary of the Southwest. He worked as a port sampler with commercial fishermen before deciding, in the words of his obituary, that he loved people more than fish.

He was ordained deacon in 2008 and priest in 2009, and spent all his years of ordained ministry in Florida. After serving at churches in Panama City Beach and Navarre, he returned to St. Monica’s in Cantonment, which supported his discernment and ordination, as rector in 2014.

He loved his family, hunting, cooking, gardening, playing bass in a rock-and-blues band called Alcaniz, backpacking, and brewing beer. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and two children.


The Rev. John F. Riggle Jr., a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a priest for 25 years, died February 17 at 89.

Riggle was born in Atlanta. In the Navy, he served aboard the USS Cony, a destroyer. After his military service, he graduated from Georgia Southern College and Nashotah House Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1967.

He served as an associate priest of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and, for 17 years, as rector of Holy Cross Church, both of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Fr. Riggle is survived by Jo Ann, his wife of 48 years; a son; a daughter; a stepson; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.


The Rev. Isabel Boyd Fourqurean Steilberg, rector for 16 years at St. Paul’s Church, Newport News, Virginia, and an advocate for justice and mercy, died February 11 at 81.

She was born in South Boston, Virginia, and was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Theological Seminary.

She was ordained deacon and priest in 1992, and served parishes in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. She was co-chair of the executive board of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and was named its Citizen Advocate of the Year in 2012.

She is survived by two sons, a daughter, and ten grandchildren.


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