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Two Prominent Figures in the Seminary's History, Roth and Clymer, Now Deceased

November 26, 2013

This week the Garrett-Evangelical community was saddened to learn of the passing of two prominent figures in the history of the seminary.  Dr. Wolfgang Roth, former professor of Old Testament and academic dean, died on Sunday, November 24.  Bishop Wayne Clymer, former president of Evangelical Theological Seminary, died on Monday, November 25.

Born in Germany, a professor in India, a pastor in Canada and a professor at Garrett Theological Seminary beginning in 1967, Roth was remembered as an educator who worked the text like a detective finding nuggets of evidence that would support his probing explorations. Upon his retirement in 1996, Roth was named Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Interpretation.

After suffering with Alzheimer’s for several years, Roth died peacefully on Sunday while surrounded by his family, including his wife, Mary Beth. A memorial service in January 2014 will be held at Northwestern University’s Alice Millar chapel.  No specific date has been set at this time.

Bishop Clymer served as president of Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Illinois from 1967-1972 and an elder with the Evangelical United Brethren Church prior to the merger that formed The United Methodist Church in 1968. He served as bishop of the Minnesota Episcopal Area from 1972 to 1980, and as bishop of the Iowa Episcopal Area from 1980 to 1984, when he retired.

Bishop Clymer died after suffering from a stroke on Monday. He was 96. Bishop Clymer is survived by wife Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer; two sons, Kenton James Clymer and Richard George Clymer, and their wives; and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Cards may be sent to Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer at 2850 Inner Road, Wayzata, Minnesota 55391. 

A funeral service for Bishop Clymer will be held Friday, November 29, at 2 p.m., at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota. A visitation will take place prior to the service, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the church. Dr. Philip Amerson, President of Garrett-Evangelical, will be in attendance on behalf of the Garrett-Evangelical community.

We give thanks for Dr. Roth and Bishop Clymer and their tremendous impact on Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, the Church, and our world. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Roth and Clymer families in this time of loss.