Charles Yrigoyen, Jr., a resident of Willow Valley Communities, died May 9, 2022. Son of Rev. Charles Yrigoyen, D.D. and Erma Mae (Suters), he was born December 9, 1937 at Episcopal Hospital, Philadelphia. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School, B.S.), Lancaster Theological Seminary (B.D.), Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Temple University (Ph.D.), he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Albright College in 1987.
For 63 years he was married to Jeanette (Jean) Alice Brittingham. They have two children: Debra Y. married to Michael J. Floriani of Downingtown; and Charles, III married to Paula R. Yrigoyen of Bradenton, Florida; and two grandsons, Darin Charles Yrigoyen of Oak Park, Illinois and Hunter Radice Yrigoyen married to Megan A. Yrigoyen of Iowa City, Iowa. Yrigoyen is also survived by brother Robert Paul of Palm Springs, California.
A preacher’s kid, Yrigoyen planned a career in railroad management until called into the Methodist ministry. He was appointed to Methodist churches in Gap, Lancaster (Lancaster Avenue), and Philadelphia (Falls) before becoming Methodist campus minister in downtown Philadelphia (Arch Street), Professor of Religion and Chaplain at Albright College, and General Secretary of United Methodism’s General Commission on Archives and History. He also taught at Drew University, Union Theological Seminary (NY), Moravian Theological Seminary, and Philadelphia Lutheran Theological Seminary. He served terms as Director of United Methodist Studies at Evangelical Theological Seminary, Myerstown, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He was a clergy member of United Methodism’s Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference.
Yrigoyen was the author or editor of eleven books on John and Charles Wesley, Methodist history and theology, and the Mercersburg Theology. He penned articles in forty-four historical and theological encyclopedias, journals, and other publications. For twenty-four years he edited Methodist History, the denomination’s historical journal. He also edited a DVD series on Methodist history.
Active in a number of organizations, Yrigoyen was a member of the Boards of Directors or Trustees of Lancaster Theological Seminary, Ocean City (N.J.) Tabernacle, Epworth Old Rectory (England), Evangelical Theological Seminary, United Methodist Historical Society, Boehm’s Chapel Society, Religious and Theological Abstracts, World Methodist Council, and Mercersburg Society.
Travel was one of his delights. He visited all fifty states and thirty-six foreign countries. Throughout his life family vacations in Ocean City, NJ, were highlights.
Chuck was honored by the clergy of his Annual Conference, who elected him eight times as an Eastern Pennsylvania delegate to the denomination’s General and Jurisdictional conferences. He was also selected to appear in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Religion, and was a member of the Oxford (England) Institute of Methodist Theological Studies.
Among his avocations were model railroading and sports. He was an avid fan of the University of Pennsylvania athletics and Philadelphia’s professional sports teams. Chuck was a rail fan with special interest in the Reading and Pennsylvania railroads, and the trolleys of eastern Pennsylvania.
Yrigoyen attended First United Methodist Church, Lancaster, and enjoyed teaching in its educational program.
His viewing will be private for the family. A celebration of life will be held at First United Methodist Church, Lancaster, Duke and Walnut Streets on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Visitation will proceed the service at 3:00 PM. To view the service virtually, please click the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/charles-yrigoyen
The family wishes to thank the staff on the second floor of The Glen for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to First United Methodist Church, 29 E. Walnut Street, Lancaster, PA 17602 in support of the mission project NarSarah Clinic and Children’s Village in Sierra Leone.