Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Requiescat in Pace - one of my predecessors at Grace Lutheran Church

We received word that the Rev. Dr. Donald James Cherney, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Clarksville, TN, from 1970-1978, died in North Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, March 13, 2010.   He was 78 and died after a long battle with cancer.  The funeral will be Sunday, March 21, at 2 pm at Christ Lutheran Church in North Myrtle Beach, SC.  The Lee Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Cherney was born Dec. 22, 1931, in Milwaukee to the late Anthony and Pauline Cherney. He served in the U.S. Air Force overseas during the Korean War. He was ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1961 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Ill.

Cherney earned his master’s degree in 1972 from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. He earned his doctorate in advanced counseling in 1976 from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Cherney completed specialized clinical education in 1979, and was a S.C. Society of College of Chaplains member, licensed master social worker, and professional counselor.

His service record to his Lord included (but was not limited to) pastor, Trinity-St. Paul and Trinity Parish Lake George and Guthrie, Minn., 1961-64; pastor, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Morristown, Tenn., 1964-68; pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, East Troy, Wis., 1968-70; pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Clarksville, Tenn., 1970-78; chaplain, South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Columbia, S.C.; chaplain and clinic director, Waccamaw Center for Mental Health, 1979-94.

At the behest of his Lord, Cherney led the construction of new church buildings in Morristown, East Troy and Clarksville. His own carpentry and construction talents were other gifts bestowed him by his Lord.  Cherney volunteered as chaplain for American Legion Post No. 186, VFW Post No. 10804 and Little River Elks Lodge No. 2840 where he has kept very busy for the past many years. He performed hundreds of marriages, funerals and invocations for countless organizations and individuals.

He was proceeded to heaven by his parents; sister, Lillian Treder; brother, Frederic Cherney; and brother, Anthony James Cherney.  Cherney is survived by his wife of 55 years, Betty Jane Cherney; his son Alton (Tony) Cherney, and wife Julie, with grandchildren Shannon and Sean of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.; daughter Ruth Lohra Ballard and husband Barry of Apex, with grandchildren Ethan of Apex and April Kresken and Andrew Quattlebaum of Columbia.

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