IN MEMORIAM: David Charles Walker ’73, composer of “General Seminary”


The Rev. David Charles Walker, Class of 1973, — priest, chaplain, organist and composer — died Dec. 3, 2018. He served as chaplain and director of pastoral care at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles from 1991 – 2003 and previously served congregations in San Diego, Beverly Hills, and Brooklyn New York.

Walker also served General as Organist and Director of Music. He composed two hymn tunes included in Hymnal 1982: “General Seminary,” with the text “King of Glory, King of Peace” by George Herbert (Hymn 382), and “Point Loma,” with the text “Baptized in water” (Hymn 294).

After serving three years on the General’s faculty, he moved to parish life, becoming rector of St. Philip’s, Dyker Heights-Brooklyn for the next four years. In 1980 he moved to San Diego to become associate rector at All Souls’ Church. Five years later, he began his ministry in the Diocese of Los Angeles as associate for worship and pastoral care at All Saints, Beverly Hills.Walker became interim priest-in-charge at St. Luke’s, Monrovia, in 1990 before moving to Good Samaritan Hospital, by then a century-old diocesan institution, where he served as chaplain and director of pastoral care until his retirement.

Survivors include Walker’s husband, Nam Nguyen; a sister, a niece, and other family members. Walker was predeceased by his previous life partner, David John Falconer, who in 1994 died at the scene of an armed robbery in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. Falconer had served with distinction as organist-choirmaster of St. James’ Church and School, Los Angeles, where the historic 1911 Murray Harris Organ was thereafter renovated and named in his memory in 1995. He and Nguyen moved to Las Vegas, returning some years later to live in Long Beach. They were married on Feb. 11, 2015.

 “It was all just part of my personal journey, to serve in a variety of facets of ministry and I enjoyed all of it,” Walker told The Episcopal News after his 2003 retirement from Good Sam. Of his time at General, he said, “Every day became an adventure. That was around the time the new prayer book was coming out. There was no music for the new texts. The psalms were hard to set to music. I’d set a chant and everyone would break up laughing because some texts read well but don’t sing well. I had to invent nearly everything we used.”

 Walker was born in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 1938. He majored in organ and harpsichord at Illinois’ Wesleyan College and earned his bachelor’s degree in music in 1960. He attended the Union Theological Seminary in New York, earning a master of sacred music degree in 1965. After earning his master of divinity degree from General, he was ordained to the diaconate in June 1973 by Bishop Paul Moore, and to the priesthood in May 1974 by Bishop Ned Cole

 Funeral service will be Saturday, January 5, 2019, 12 noon, at St. James’ Church, 3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.


IN MEMORIAM, Karen Noble Hanson ‘06


Dr. Karen Noble Hanson, Doctor of Divinity Honoris Causa 2006, died peacefully on November 7, 2018 at the age of 75. Born in Rochester, NY, she was the daughter of the late Joseph L. and Kathryn C. Noble and wife of the late Rev. Dr. Thomas L Hanson, Jr. She is survived by her children, Tammy Tobin, Scott Tobin, Robert Tobin and Timothy Hanson along with their spouses and partners; 12 grandchildren; and siblings, Scott Noble and Penny Tobey. She was predeceased by her sister, Barbara Noble.

Karen loved the fine arts, higher education, civil rights and a caring government. She never backed away from a challenge. A graduate of Brighton High School and a member of its Hall of Fame, she completed her bachelor's degree, cum laude, from the University of Rochester in 1970 and received a Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Augustine's College in 1986. She also served on and chaired the Board of Trustees for the University of Rochester and for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Karen's accomplishments made the world a better place. She began her professional career helping migrant farmworkers and the rural poor as Executive Director of Program Funding, Inc. (now PathStone Corporation) before accepting President Jimmy Carter's nomination to head Farmer's Home Administration for New York State, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She received the Special Service Award from the National Association of Farm Workers for her efforts. She then turned her attention to urban renovation in her hometown of Rochester, NY, serving as Vice President of Genesee Management, Inc. (a management holding company for Wilmorite, Inc.). Two of her proudest accomplishments were the development of Olde Rochesterville and helping to bring the Hyatt to downtown Rochester. She was awarded the Athena Award by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Karen spent the final years of her professional career as a Canon and the Chief Financial Officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.

Always up for a new challenge, Karen ran in two marathons with her husband, Tom, traveled extensively, and wrote a Jazz Mass that was performed at the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Karen's life will be announced later this year. Donations in her memory may be sent to the Karen Noble Hanson Scholarship Fund at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester 14604.

IN MEMORIAM: Elton O. Smith, Jr. ‘56


The Reverend Elton O. Smith, Jr., Class of 1956, died peacefully on November 17, 2018. Smith was the Dean of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo for 26 years from 1968 until 1994. Upon his retirement as Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, he served as Canon Vicar and other executive positions at the Washington National Cathedral from 1994 until 2003. He later served in interim and assistant rector roles in parishes in the Washington DC area until his final retirement at the age of 81.

In addition to serving as Dean of St. Paul's he also served as Dean of Episcopal parishes in the central city; as the president of St. Augustine's Center; as a founder and president of Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministries; as vice-president of the Downtown Mall Management Corporation; as three-term president of Child and Family Services; as a director of the United Way; and trustee of several other community organizations. Upon his retirement from St. Paul’s he received a special citation for community service from the New York State Assembly and an honorary doctorate from Medaille College. During these years he also served the national Episcopal Church in a number of leadership capacities.

Born in Springfield, Missouri on June 13, 1929, Smith was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 1956, and prior to his tenure in Buffalo, served in two parishes in the Kansas City area. He received his M.Div. from General in 1956, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1981. He received a B.A. cum laude degree from Drury University in 1950, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from there in 2000. In addition to the honorary doctorate from Medaille College, he received an honorary LLD from D'Youville College.

He served as a battalion sergeant major with the Second Infantry Division in Korea during 1952, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

He was married in 1953 to the former Jill Stoll, also of Springfield, Missouri, and was divorced in 2001. He is survived by three children: David (Alison); Philip; and Alison A. Switzer, ten grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his son Mark.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, December 6th at 10 AM at the Bethlehem Chapel in the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC.

IN MEMORIAM: Ray Donahue ‘54


The Rev. Canon Ray Lawrence Donahue, Class of 1954, of Downsville, NY died Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018, in Binghamton, NY.

Donahue served at Trinity Church, Sharon Springs, St. Paul's Church, West Middleburgh, St. Mary's Church, Downsville, and St. Margaret's Church, Margaretville. In retirement, he served at Trinity Church, Rensselaerville and Christ Church, Greenville. He also supplied regularly at Christ Church, Walton, St. James Church, Lake Delaware and St. Peter's Church, Geneva. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1954. He was made Canon of the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany.

Predeceased by a brother, James, he is survived by two sisters, Josephine Larson and Anita Donahue; several nieces and nephews. "Fr. D" as he was affectionately known, was beloved throughout Delaware County and the Catskill region, the Episcopal Church and by countless people whose lives he blessed.

As chaplain of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp for 50 years, Donahue nurtured young people and their counselors and provided for the camp's spiritual needs by the offering of daily mass and addresses to more than 100 campers and staff each season. A celebration was held at the camp during the summer to honor him for his 50th year as camp chaplain and to express the love, reverence and respect with which he was held by all.

 Father Donahue’s 50th Anniversary as Chaplain of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp was celebrated this past summer.

Father Donahue’s 50th Anniversary as Chaplain of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp was celebrated this past summer.

As a renowned mountain climber, Father Donahue passed on his love for the mountains to many other people. In 1969, he climbed all 46 peaks in the Adirondacks more than 4,000 feet in elevation in nine days, a record that stood for many years. He was a charter member of the Catskills 3500 Club and served as the chair of conservation. In retirement, Father Donahue took a milking course at Cornell Cooperative Extension, and worked at the Harmonie Farm, Downsville for several years.

A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of the Rev. Ray L. Donahue will be held at 11:30 a.m.,Saturday, Dec. 8, at St. James Episcopal Church, 55 Lake Delaware Drive, Delhi. The Rev. James Kruger will be the celebrant. He will be assisted by the Rev. James H. Adams, preacher, and others.

Father Donahue made an anatomical gift of his body to Albany Medical College.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Delaware Boys Camp, P.O. Box 31, Delhi, NY 13753.


A New Call for John Shirley ‘17


The Rev. John R Shirley, Class of 2017, is the new Priest-in-Charge of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY. He had been serving as Curate of the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, Brooklyn, NY, since 2017.

Shirley is a native of Pennsylvania, and before attending General, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bloomsburg University and his Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Scranton.

A Memoir of an AIDS Chaplain from Jerry Anderson ‘68

The Rev. Jerry Anderson, Class of 1968, has published his memoir: Ordained by Angels: A Memoir of an AIDS Chaplain. The book takes a look back at how the AIDS epidemic and his struggle to be accepted as a gay priest shaped his personal and professional life. The work delves into how he fought to keep his faith in a loving God and maintain his sanity in the midst not only of friends and loved ones dying, but the pushback by conservative elements of the Church.

Ordained by Angels reflects not only upon the real life Angels who helped Anderson build his ministries, but the Spiritual forces that are always available to us, especially in times of desperation and need. This is the story of how, in the midst of one of the most significant health crises of the twentieth century, love not only survived: it thrived. In the end it was love that pulled him through, just as it sustains him in facing the challenges of today.

 “His gracious and generous life intersects gender, race, orientation, and well, all of us,” Bishop Gene Robinson (Class of ’73) says of the work. “It is as much a memoir of the turbulent late 20th century as it is a memoir of his moving, personal journey.”


Anderson served as a chaplain for 23 years, recently retiring as the Director of Pastoral Care at Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles. After retirement he joined All-Saints-by-the-Sea in Santa Barbara, CA in an assisting role. He has served parishes in the Diocese of Chicago, Northern Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Southeast Florida, as well as Los Angeles. In 1986 he assisted in founding the non- profit The Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS in the Diocese of Washington where he was the chaplain and repeated that in 1996 in Miami with the creation of the Episcopal AIDS Ministry at Trinity Cathedral in Miami.

Ordained by Angels is available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can visit Anderson’s website at

IN MEMORIAM: George E. Hall, Jr. ‘57

The Reverend George E. Hall, Class of 1957 and a Priest of the Episcopal Church for 62 years died November 14, 2018 at the age of 88. Father Hall had served 168 parishes in the various capacities of Rector, Interim Priest, and Supply. He was also well known as mentor to many people aspiring to the priesthood.

Father Hall began his ministry in Bradley Beach, NJ moving on after four years to Flemington, NJ and eventually moving to Connecticut in 1969 where he served the parish of St. Luke's for 23 years. While in Flemington he was instrumental in establishing a new parish in the northern part of Hunterdon County. Even as he served his parishes, he also became involved in many community organizations and eventually served as ambulance driver for 5 years in Heritage Village. He was also a bicycle enthusiast, riding along with his brother to Montreal, circumventing Long Island, exploring Amish country and participating in AIDS rides among others.

A graduate of The University of the South before attending General, he continued his education in Connecticut at CCSU earning a Master's degree in Elementary Education. After his retirement he and his wife Beverly served as co-directors of The Oratory of The Little Way in Gaylordsville, CT for three years. In 1995 the Halls moved to Bridgewater, CT where he served at St. Mark's Church; and in 2000 moved to Heritage Village in Southbury, thereafter serving many parishes as supply priest or interim.

Father Hall is survived by his wife, Beverly and three children – George III and his wife Monette of Soldaten, Alaska, Margot Bates and her husband Dan of Franklin Tennessee, Cynthia Diaz of Hartford, CT and three grandchildren, Janay Diaz of Hartford, CT, Whitney Ryan and his wife, Jessica of London England, Olivia and her husband Layton Munsch of Franklin and one great-grandchild Winders Munsch and four step-children, David Pape of Staley, NC, Joel Pape of Port Orange, FL, The Reverend Cynthia Pape of Dorchester, MA and Mathew Pape of Roanoke, VA. He is also survived by his older brother William Hall and his wife Anne (Nancy) of Riverton, NJ.

Services were held on November 24, 2018 at the Church of the Epiphany, Main St., Southbury, CT. The family would like to thank the St. John Paul II Nursing Center in Danbury, CT for their kind, considerate and excellent care of George. To leave an online condolence please visit

IN MEMORIAM: Lance Allen Ball Gifford‘69


The Reverend Lance Allen Ball Gifford, Class of 1969, has died at the age of 74. He was an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Maryland for nearly five decades, serving as the rector of St. John's Mt. Washington for 23 years until he retired in 2008.

Gifford was a graduate of McDonogh School, Washington & Lee University in Virginia, before attending General. Committed to a love of history, He continued to volunteer with the Diocese of Maryland in the archives department until his death. An advocate for community and faith throughout his life, he cherished the opportunity to engage with and counsel others.

Gifford is survived by Margaret McCampbell, his wife of 42 years; his two daughters, Caroline Adams and Meg Tucker; four wonderful grandchildren, Samuel, Ellsie, Henry and Zachary; and sister, Candace Bonney.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 12, 2019 at St. David's Church in Roland Park.

IN MEMORIAM: Bill Wipfler ‘55


The Rev. Canon William L. Wipfler, Class of 1955, of West Seneca, NY, died October 3, 2018.

Born May 19, 1931, Wipfler was the former Director of the Caribbean and Latin American Department of the National Council of Churches (NCC) (1968-1977), the Director of the Human Rights Office of the National Council of Churches (1977-1988) and an Episcopal Priest who served many parishes in the United States as well as a missionary in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.  During his 25-year career with the NCC, Wipfler was a leader in a nationwide effort to denounce repression and torture in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Central America. He was a faithful and outspoken critic of the U.S. government’s Latin American policies during the past 30 years. For his tireless work as an advocate of Human Rights, General awarded Wipfler an Honorary Doctorate in 2008.

Wipfler’s life and ministry was featured in a video series by Fr. Joseph Mulligan, SJ. The video series can serve as an introduction to the Church in Latin America and its participation in struggles of solidarity, justice, and peace. To access the playlist for the series of eight videos click here. 

He was the loving husband of Pauline (nee Papperman); dearest father of John (Valerie S. Libby), Ann (Wesley) Van De Water, Sarah (William) Pictor, and Mark (Charis); beloved grandfather of Ash, Michaela, Vanessa, Isaac, Scott, Mark, Ben, Geoff, David,
Jillian, Kimberly and Olivia; and greatgrandfather of eight great-grandsons;
dear brother of the late Edwin Wipfler and the late Jeanie Faddis; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

A RemembranceGathering was held on Friday,November 2nd, at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, East Aurora, N.Y., followed by a Requiem Mass on Saturday, November 3rd.