Letha Miller McKinnell passed away on May 30, 2018 in York County, Pennsylvania. She was born on May 21, 1929 in Doniphan County, Kansas to Edgar Jay Miller and Mary Fern (Eby) Miller. She grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa, where she was baptized into the Church of the Brethren and completed her public education. She graduated from McPherson College, Kansas, in 1951, followed by a year in Brethren Volunteer Service, Unit 12. She worked for four years as an elementary teacher in the Marshall County School system. In the summer of 1955 Letha joined a peace work camp rebuilding a bombed-out child care center in Kassel, Germany. In 1957 she entered the Brethren Bethany Seminary, graduating in 1959 with a master’s degree in religious education. She also married her husband, James McKinnell in 1959.
Letha moved with Jim to Maryland in 1959 where they served a summer pastorate followed by an intern pastoral year in Hagerstown. After Jim’s seminary graduation in 1961, Letha and Jim served as pastoral family for Brethren congregations in Worthington, Minnesota, Bethany (northern Indiana), and Rockford, Illinois. During these years she continued accumulating her twenty years of elementary school teaching and received the degree of Master of Special Education from St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Letha was licensed as a Church of the Brethren minister by the Illinois-Wisconsin District in 1983 and continued in ongoing pastoral family ministry to the Sun Valley Church in Birmingham, AL and the Chesterfield Church in suburban Richmond, VA. In 1998 she was ordained to ministry by the Virlina District and served as co-pastor with Jim with the New Covenant Church of the Brethren, Chester Virginia, retiring in 2008. In 2014 Letha and Jim moved to the Spiritrust Sprenkle Retirement Village in York, PA
Letha is the mother of two sons: James [Trudy] and Andrew [Susie], grandmother of five agrandchildren, Kelsey, Katie and Skye (of James) Ian and Brianna (of Andrew) and one great grandson, Flynn McKinnell, (of Ian and Hope). Letha is also survived by her husband Jim, her brother Merlin Miller, and sister Patricia Yoder of McPherson, Kansas. Letha was a loving partner with Jim in life and ministry, and a caring mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother.
Letha enjoyed the hobbies of acrylic painting, needle point, doll collecting, and fishing. She also compiled family tree information and could trace back to early Brethren and Mennonite ancestors in Pennsylvania.
In lieu of flowers her family is suggesting that contributions be made to Brethren Child Care Services and Disaster Ministries, 601 Main Street, P.O. Box 188, New Windsor, MD 21776-0188, or on-line at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/cds. Memorial services will take place on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 11 a.m., in the Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren, 645 Madison Avenue, York, PA 17404, followed by lunch and time for visitation.
Sorry to hear of Letha’s passing. Our prayers are made for the family.