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Charles J. Churchman

June 16, 1929 December 30, 2018
Charles J. Churchman
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Obituary for Charles J. Churchman

Charles J. Churchman Jr. passed away Sunday, December 30, 2018, at his home in Bridgewater surrounded by his family.

He was the son of Elizabeth Gilkeson Churchman and Charles Johnston Churchman of Staunton, Virginia. Born June 16, 1929 in Staunton, he joined a family of three older sisters: Margaret Finley, Anne Warren, and Elizabeth Gilkeson Churchman. He was only three and a half years old when his father, a lawyer in Staunton, died suddenly.

Dr. Churchman was educated in the Staunton Public Schools, Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA, the University of Virginia (BA and MA degrees), the University of Tennessee (Ph.D).

He served as a lieutenant in the Marines in the Caribbean and with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean as an infantry officer and was discharged, while teaching in Taiwan in 1960, as a captain from the USMCR.

On September 4, 1954 he married the former Patricia Ann Mack, a graduate of the College of Wooster in Ohio. They were married at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church in Fishersville, VA, which was his home church.

From 1955-1958, he taught at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. From 1958-1961 he taught at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan.

In 1961-1965 he taught at King College in Bristol, Tennessee, spending the next two years in Knoxville, Tennessee, teaching and taking Ph. D. courses in English.

In 1967-1988 he taught at Bridgewater College. Then in 1986-1987 Dr. and Mrs. Churchman spent a year in Dalian, China, as co-directors of the Brethren Colleges Abroad program. Then in 1989 he had a severe head injury and was not able to continue teaching.
Always interested in the out-of-doors (camping, hiking, biking). Other interests included wood carving, reading and writing poetry.

The Churchmans are parents of Beth Trissel, John Craig Churchman, Charles J. Churchman III (deceased), and Catherine Churchman Carrier. Beth is the wife of Dennis Trissel. a poultry-dairy farmer, and she is an author. Their three children are Cory, wife Charity, children Ian, Emma, and Owen; Alison, husband Diron Trost, children Colin, Chloe, and Charles; Elise Trissel a 2011 graduate of Bridgewater College who works in Marketing at JMU.

John Craig Churchman is married to Jennifer (Flies), and is the father of Gabrielle, and Travis and Kailie. They live in Essex, Vermont. He is a computer graphics artist/ photographer. With his wife, he writes and illustrates children’s books.

Charles Johnston Churchman III (Chad), seriously injured in a skiing accident in 1981, lived on the family property in Bridgewater and worked in landscaping at James Madison University. He died August 19, 2017.

Catherine, an occupational therapist in the Rockingham County school system, is married to Andy Carrier. She has three daughters by a previous marriage, Elizabeth, Sara, and Cailin, and a step-daughter, Sydney Carrier.

Dr. Churchman had been a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, since 1967. He has served on the session and as a teacher. He has also been a member of Veterans for Peace, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a Thomas Merton group, and the Earth Care House Church at Trinity.

A memorial service will be held at the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren on January 26, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Stephanie Sorge Wing officiating.

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Previous Events

memorial service




10:30 AM 1/26/2019 10:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 1/26/2019 11:30:00 AM
Bridgewater Church of the Brethren

420 College View Drive
Bridgewater, VA 22812

Rev. Stephanie Sorge Wing officiating. In addition, there will be an interment at Trinity Presbyterian Church in the Memorial Garden following a light lunch reception at Bridgewater CoB.

Bridgewater Church of the Brethren
420 College View Drive Bridgewater 22812 VA
United States

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