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Rev. Charles (Chuck) Yrigoyen, Jr., Ph.D.

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On May 11, 2022 @ 12:49 pm In Obituaries | 39 Comments

Chuck for Obit web

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.

Condolences for the family of “Rev. Charles (Chuck) Yrigoyen, Jr., Ph.D.”

Condolence from Maria & Jason on May 11th, 2022 3:35 pm

Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Condolence from Karl E. Moyer on May 11th, 2022 5:11 pm

My sincere sympathies to Jean, and to Debra and Charles, whom I’ve never met. In his retirement years, Chuck seemed greatly to enjoy lunch with the late Harold Quickel and me.
Harold and I always found lunch with Chuck something to which to look forward. and we flipped quickly and easily from light conversation to deep, thought-provoking discussion of the state of Christ’s Church in all of her permutations. I have missed those visits in more recent times and will continue to miss Chuck. May he rest in peace.

Condolence from Anne Louise Eversman on May 11th, 2022 5:39 pm

We are so very sorry for the loss of your father, Deb. Have peace in knowing that he is now in God’s loving embrace looking over his beautiful family. We will keep you and your entire family in our prayers. God bless! Love ……. The Eversman Family

Condolence from Ted Maurer on May 11th, 2022 6:46 pm

Chuck was one of our favorite lunch companions once a month every Sunday. I always left having learned something. He was a true intellect and at the same time was a perfect ecample of the common man. He left this world a better place. Ted and Carol Maurer

Condolence from Gunshik Shim on May 11th, 2022 9:50 pm

We lost a great man and faithful servant of God. May the Lord enfold you and your family with His love and solace that the world cannot give during this difficult time. With deepest sympathy, Gunshik and Sunghee Shim

Condolence from Chang Hoon Park on May 11th, 2022 10:53 pm

“Chang” Hoon Park
Chuck was not only the teacher who taught me about John Wesley, but also the pastor who taught me how to live as a Wesleyan. He and Jean were very kind to me so that I could study while working at the Archives as a foreign student, and they showed me what hospitality is. With his love and affection, I am teaching students in Korea while remembering his words and life. As far as I know about Jesus Christ and John Wesley, I will never forget him. May God’s comfort be upon his beloved family.

Condolence from Rev. De. Kathy Harvey Nelson on May 11th, 2022 11:36 pm

A man of God who has taught and shared so much. He will be missed but we are rejoicing in his complete healing.
Prayers for the family for peace and comfort at this tender time.
Rev. Dr. Kathy Harvey Nelson,
Lancaster Theological Seminary

Condolence from Harriett Jane Olson on May 12th, 2022 9:37 am

So sorry to hear of Chuck’s passing and so grateful for his life and witness. My condolences to Jean and family.

I’m grateful for Chuck’s leadership and also for Chuck and Jean’s participation in the life of the Morristown UMC. Chuck opened my eyes to Wesley’s writing and thinking about the love of God for all of creation—not just humans.

May blessed memories bring smiles among the grief.

Condolence from Carole Turano on May 12th, 2022 11:46 am

I never had the pleasure of meeting, Chuck, but I wish I had. He sounded like man who walked the walk. Blessings to Jean and family. Carole Turano

Condolence from Melody Porter on May 12th, 2022 9:16 pm

Wishing you all peace as you remember the deep kindness and light that Chuck brought to those of us who crossed his path.
Many blessings.

Condolence from Sue Warrick on May 13th, 2022 2:44 am

Dear Jean, I am sending you all my love. Phil and I are in England to attend his uncle’s funeral and I won’t be able to come to Lancaster for you and Chuck. My head and heart are filled with memories of Chuck – he was so important to me and so influential in my life. I was privileged to work with him and honored to call him my friend. May God’s peace uphold you and may we all look to that day when sorrow will be no more and God’s own hand will wipe the tears from our eyes. With much love, Sue

Condolence from Maria Samuelsson on May 13th, 2022 6:22 am

Chuck and Jean hired me for the Methodist Women’s History Project at Drew. The were, and are, wonderful people who worked together all their lives as a dynamic Christian married couple in the Church. Such a privilege and pleasure to have known them! Sincere sympathy and prayers for the Yrigoyen family.

Condolence from Marilyn Seipel on May 13th, 2022 7:15 am

To the family of Rev. Charles Yrigoyen,
May your wonderful memories sustain you during this difficult time. Blessings to you.
Marilyn Seipel

Condolence from Robert A Bailey on May 13th, 2022 8:07 am

Dear Jean and other members of the family. I have known Chuck for many years and have enjoyed conversations with him. One of my fondest memories was when I was able to give him an unknown letter from one of early Methodisms leaders. He reacted like a little boy with a new toy. It was priceless. Know that God will give comfort and support in the days ahead. Bob

Condolence from Joan T on May 13th, 2022 8:53 am

Joan Titus

Jean, You have been devoted to Chuck. Each day you visited Chuck to give him comfort. This disease impacts an entire family. You virtually never skipped visiting him, Love is what provides the strength to take care of a spouse under extremely difficult conditions.
It takes time, but Chuck will always be within you.
With deepest sympathy,

Condolence from TC.Benton on May 13th, 2022 11:34 am

Tim Benton
I really miss Chuck because we were friends from the 1950s.
I’ll be at the Funeral for Chuck on this comming Sat.
See you soon

Condolence from Rev. Dr. W. James White on May 13th, 2022 5:26 pm

Dear Jean,

I will always be thankful for the years of friendship we shared with you and Chuck at Morristown United Methodist Church, and for the last visit Jean and I shared with young Chuck many years ago at Willow Valley. I’m remembering a meeting in Bristol, England where Chuck was in his element! Most of all, I shall never forget the supportive presence of both of you…always together in worship. I send you deepest condolences, Loveland an Irish Blessing from Capitola, CA:

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace of Christ, of Christ
Of Christ, the light of the world to you
Deep peace of Christ to you


Condolence from Jeff Raffauf on May 13th, 2022 5:44 pm

I am so sorry that I cannot attend the service on May 14, but I have a wedding at that time.
I count it a privilege to have known Chuck, even if just a little. He was a wise and reasoned man of God. I was blessed to have shared in a Wesleyan covenant group with him just a few years ago. Grace & peace to the family, and all who knew him.

Condolence from Bron Yocum on May 13th, 2022 6:31 pm

Chuck was a wonderful man, humble in his brilliance, unselfishly willing to share his time. I count myself blessed to have known him. May God grant your family time with fond memories, loving support from friends, and peace in the knowledge of God’s presence.

Condolence from David Loughery on May 13th, 2022 6:33 pm

Jean , My sympathy to you and all members of your family. I was fortunate to know Chuck as a fellow member E Penn Conference.

Condolence from Ron Bouder on May 13th, 2022 6:37 pm

With sincere & profound sympathy to the Yrigoyen family on Chuck’s passing!
It was my pleasure to have known him since my teenage years in Gap! He lived
a full life with many great accomplishments! Peace to you all in this difficult time!
With empathy,
Ron Bouder

Condolence from Dennis Emrick on May 13th, 2022 7:14 pm

I met Chuck when he was my Chaplain at Albright College. His personality encouraged a comfortable relationship. After ordination, I counted him as a valued colleague.
He was a great example of a person living his faith.
My condolences to Jean and his family.

Condolence from Lisa and Eddie Cameron on May 13th, 2022 8:27 pm

Jean and family,

I heard about Chuck long before meeting him. Eddie spoke of him with such respect and a bit of fear, I think, because he knew so much! 🙂 In a first of many meetings, that warm smile from Chuck had the ability to just melt you. It was so genuine. He had a lovely sense of humor and I remember being with you both numerous times when there was a lot of laughter and ease. He is being remembered by us as a very kind and loving soul. He will be missed by many, and missed more by you and your children and grandchildren.
We were lucky to know him.

Condolence from Jimmy Montgomery on May 13th, 2022 9:31 pm

Chuck and I went way back to MYF days in Philadelphia. We were both PK’s of preachers, both named Charles (his Dad) and Charles Montgomery (my Dad), who also were colleagues in ministry. Chuck chose to follow in his Dad’s footsteps sooner in life than I did, but when in my 50’s we met again, him as teacher in Local Pastors school, me as the student.
A true gentleman and lover of Jesus who was an inspiration to all who were fortunate to cross his path. Heaven is rejoicing I am sure at his arrival.

Condolence from Rev. Dr. & Mrs Louis Palmieri, Jr. on May 13th, 2022 9:32 pm

Dear Jean & Family: To just extend words of sympathy seem so inadequate; but we do extend to you are sense of a loss of a friend as well. We are equally sorry that we cannot attend the servive. We are involved in a funeral service for the wife of a good fellow preacher in New Jersey and at the same time. But I am so glad that we know the God of all comfort. We also know that there is a great day coming when we ALL shall be together again. Read John Chapter 14 for some great words of comfort. Jean, if there is anything we can do for you, you have our phone number, we are only a few doors away. See you soon.

Lou & Betty

we are involved with funeral service

Condolence from Rev Dr Louis and Elizabeth Palmieri, Jr on May 14th, 2022 3:47 am

Dear Jean and Family:

words seem so empty at times, but at least they will convey our deepest thought for you at this time. May you truly know and sense the peacethat comes from knowing the God of all comfort.

we ar so sorry that we cannot attend the servic,e, but we are involved in a funeral ourselves for the wife of a good friend and fellow preacher at the same time in New Jersey. Jean, if at any time we can do anything for you, we are only a few doors away. May the God of all comfort be your portion. Read John 14 for some great thoughts for your peace and comfort.

Lou & Betty Palmieri

Condolence from Frederick Holler on May 14th, 2022 7:56 am

To the dear Yrigoyen Family,
I was saddened to learn of Chuck’s passing as I read his obituary in the morning paper the other day. Allow me to offer my most sincere condolences to all of you. I first met Chuck when I transferred to Albright College as a pre-ministry student way back in 1970. I got to know him as a teacher – I can still remember things he taught us in class. For me personally, he was a great listener as the Chaplain at Albright. He was also a friend who pitched for our intramural softball team. I also knew him as a fellow member of the Eastern PA UMC Conference. I particularly remember one trip he took several of us students from Albright to the library at Lancaster Theological Seminary for research purposes. On that (road) trip he was most excited to drive us to the small church he pastored in rural Lancaster County. Oh my, he was certainly an excellent teacher and a good friend. I can still hear his excitement when he talked about the upcoming Billy Joel concert at Albright. He was a good guy and a devoted follower of JESUS CHRIST. I am truly sorry for your loss. Would you please allow me to share some Words of Comfort that I have found especially meaningful at times like this in my life? … GOD in love has promised grace for every trial, strength for every sorrow, help for every mile, and may GOD in sympathy and unfailing love impart help for each tomorrow and new courage to your heart. … “Cast your burdens upon the LORD, and GOD shall sustain you; The LORD shall never allow the righteous to be moved” … “Cast all your cares upon GOD, for the LORD GOD cares for you.” (Psalm 55:22, 1st Peter 5:7). May GOD ALMIGHTY minister to you all according to HIS tender mercies.
Sincerely, Frederick Holler (Albright College – Class of 1974)

Condolence from Audrey H Miller on May 14th, 2022 9:56 am

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of a remarkable man of God. I am currently 77 years old and remember “Chuck” Yrigoyen from my teenage years in the early 1960’s when he was pastor of Lancaster Avenug U. M. Church. Several of my friends and myself were active in the (then) Lancaster Sub Districgt MYF comprising most of the UM Churches in the county. Members of the MYF groups from all local churches met each month (or maybe every other month ?) at various churches in the District. Pastor Yrigoyen left a lasting impression with us as teens as he was also involved with the MYF Sub District. I still remember his leadership and outgoing personality while serving at Lancaster Avenue UM Church. When I saw his obituary in our paper it instantly took me back to my impressionable teen years as I recalled the impact he made on the young folks within the Lancaster Sub District MYF. It was an honor to know him.

Condolence from Betty Swarthout on May 14th, 2022 11:29 am

Dear Jean and family,

I send Art and my condolences to you and your family during this time of the lost
of your beloved Chuck. We both remember the strong support of you and Chuck
through the years.

Art’s time at the Commission working with Chuck in the late 80s and early 90s was
a highlight of his ministry. He carried that experience into his future ministry in helping
others to understand the importance of the past history and our Methodist heritage.

Art would be sending this condolence; he is receiving health care for dementia at
this time.

Our love and prayers,

Condolence from Mike Campbell on May 14th, 2022 12:52 pm

I met Chuck while a chaplain at Evangelical Manor where his mother was a resident. One of the most delightful human beings I have ever met.

I heard him preach once at St. George’s UMC. Upon leaving I accidently picked up his manuscript along with my own possessions. I did not realize it until later and when I told him, we shared a good laugh. He allowed me to keep his manuscript!

If we could all live our lives with the joy and delight with which he lived his, this world would be a much better place. I am a better person because he allowed me to be in his circle of life.

Condolence from Bob and Barbara Feaster on May 14th, 2022 1:17 pm

Dear Jean and family,

We offer our sympathy and sincere wishes. Our knowing Chuck was a great pleasure as we served together in the work of The United Methodist Church. It was a special pleasure to have published Chuck’s historical works at The United Methodist Publishing House. We thank God for our years of knowing him.

Condolence from Rev. Dennis & Cindi Snovel on May 14th, 2022 2:15 pm

Dear Jean and family,
Our hearts are deeply sadden to hear of Chuck’s passing. Chuck was such a cordial and pleasant dear friend. We always felt his sincere care and concern for all persons, especially each one of us. We will miss him and his constant smile and friendliness. Jean, please accept our most sincere sympathies at this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.
Sincerely in Christ’s eternal love,
Denny and Cindi Snovel

Condolence from Barbara Good on May 14th, 2022 2:51 pm

What beautiful memories I have of Chuck, Jean and Menno through the years. Trains, moving experiences, discussions, vacations, laughter, and a heartfelt friendship. I imagine that Menno and Chuck are now again discussing theology and trains! Blessings to the extended family–all those who were by his side during the past years. Abundant blessings flow to you all.

Condolence from Martha Adams on May 14th, 2022 3:31 pm

Dear Jean, May you know God’s comfort and Peace. Chuck was always willing to help our
Wesleyan Class whenever we asked him to teach. He was an excellent teacher; and we were all so sad when he could no longer do so. It has been a long and difficult time for you to watch his decline. So glad he has found his reward. Blessings, Martha and George.

Condolence from Karen Stadden on May 15th, 2022 6:17 pm

Dear Jean,

Please accept our deepest sympathy as we join you in mourning Chuck’s passing. We are keeping you and your whole family in our prayers.

Dave and Karen Stadden

Condolence from Pat Hansbury on May 16th, 2022 2:54 pm

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Yrigoyen’s passing. I attended Albright College in the mid 70’s. I took all three of my required religion classes with him. He was a great teacher! I enjoyed and learned a lot from him. Dr. Yrigoyen with Father Gmitter conducted my first marriage in the chapel at Albright, 1979. I also knew Debbie at that time as she was a Home Economics major, also. Dr. Yrigoyen and you the family are remembered in my prayers. May God, our loving Father comfort you.
Pat (Schweitzer) Hansbury

Condolence from Maria Samuelsson on May 21st, 2022 3:48 am

Prayers and our sincere sympathy for the Yrigoyen Family-
Jean, I will never forget how you and Chuck welcomed me to the Methodist Archives at Drew. It was a joy to be assigned to the Women’s History Project! His blessings and peace be upon you and yours. God is good!

Condolence from Lee Riley on May 23rd, 2022 11:03 am

Dear Chuck, You were always such a good friend at Albright, especially during my difficulties. Your smile always brightened my day. Your smile and faith will be sorely missed.
My sympathy and blessings to your family. May God be with you all.

Condolence from Elaine on May 29th, 2022 12:01 pm

So very sorry for your loss Deb and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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