Thursday, October 10, 2013

David Meerse

Dr. David E. Meerse of Albany joined the Church Triumphant on Thursday, September 26, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Clancy Cherry Meerse; two children, daughter, Katherine (David Woodard) of St.Paul Minn and son, John (Stephanie) and granddaughter, Lily Katherine of Simsbury CT. Dr. Meerse loved the Lord Jesus Christ, his family, and the Presbyterian Church in which he served faithfully. He was a thoughtful man with a wonderful laugh and a keen sense of humor. He was born and raised in Ogallala, Neb. His parents were Minnie Wehling Meerse and Adrian J. Meerse. He received his bachelor's degree from Doane College in 1961, master's degree at the University of Illinois in 1964, and his Ph.D. in 1969. His teaching and research were in the Civil War and Reconstruction era, specifically, the effort to make Kansas a slave state, 1854-1858. Dr. Meerse’s articles have appeared in Civil War History, and the Journals of the Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Kansas Historical Societies. He taught at the State University College at Fredonia, New York, from 1966 until 1986, serving as history department chairperson for six years. He was ordained an elder at First Presbyterian Church, Fredonia, New York, in 1968, served as a member of the Presbytery of Western New York’s Budget Committee, Presbytery Council, and was moderator of the Presbytery, 1983-84. David was a commissioner to the reunion General Assembly in Atlanta in 1983. He served as a member and chairperson of the Synod of the Northeast’s Finance Committee, and on its General Council. In 1986 he accepted the call to serve as the Stated Clerk of New York City Presbytery, the first elder to hold that position in the 250-year history of that Presbytery. He also served as the Stated Clerk of two Synods, Northeast and Trinity. At the General Assembly level, he served six years on the Advisory Committee on the Constitution and was Interim Manager of Judicial Process for the Office of the Stated Clerk in 2002. In 1987, he began service as an interim presbytery executive, and served in that capacity in four different presbyteries: Lake Erie, Muskingum Valley, John Calvin, and Missouri Union. David served as Stated Clerk of Heartland Presbytery (MO) in 2011 and 2012, before coming to serve as Stated Clerk of the Synod of the Northeast. David Meerse cherished his wife, his family, especially his granddaughter, Lily Katherine, and his two cats. Music was very important in his life. He enjoyed all forms of classical music--live performances, recordings, and radio productions. He worked in both college and community theater. He remained an active scholar in his research interest, and maintained membership in a number of professional historical associations. As a result of being selected as a Guthrie Fellow by Columbia Theological Seminary, he researched the transmission and utilization of Presbyterian polity to the American colonies in the late 17th-early 18th centuries. For relaxation he also did counted cross-stitch of Victorian painted ladies. David was a member at Central Presbyterian Church in Kansas City Missouri and an affiliate member at First Presbyterian in Albany. A Witness to the Resurrection Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street, Albany NY on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 1 o’clock, the Rev. Glenn D. Leupold officiating. A private family funeral event will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Presbyterian Historical Society at 425 Lombard St., Philadelphia PA., 19147, or the First Presbyterian Church for music ministry.

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