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In Memory . . . Harry Kern Brobst (1909-2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Harry Kern Brobst died on January 13, 2010, in Joplin, Missouri. He was 100 years old.

Rev. Brobst was born on February 11, 1909, in Wilmington, Delaware, to Harry Walter and Cora Annie Kern Brobst. In 1935, he graduated from the Butler Hospital Training School for Psychiatric Nurses in Providence, RI. He supervised the Charles V. Chapin Clinic there for several years before earning an undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1939. During these years, he befriended the author H. P. Lovecraft. His memories of Lovecraft were recounted in the book, Lovecraft Remembered, in the chapter "Autumn in Providence: Harry K. Brobst on Lovecraft" by pulp fiction author, Will Murray.

Rev. Brobst attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning his Masters Degree in 1941 and his Doctorate in 1952. Both advanced degrees were in Psychology. He moved to Oklahoma State University, advancing to Full Professor of Psychology and teaching there for 28 years. While at Oklahoma State, he organized and directed the University’s Bureau of Psychological Testing.

One of the founding members in 1947 of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Rev. Brobst provided lay leadership in various roles for many years. Upon his mandatory retirement from Oklahoma State, he entered Phillips Theological Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma, and earned his Master of Divinity. He was fellowshipped in 1977 and ordained by the Stillwater congregation in the same year. He served the church he had helped found for three years before he retired.

Rev. Brobst is survived by his cousins Penni Lee, Amy, and William Fallow of Joplin, Missouri. His wife, Judith Sylvia Heideman, died 15 years ago. His memorial service, which he requested to be called, "A Gathering of Friends," was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater. Rev. Carol Fincher officiated.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater, 320 South Stallard, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074 or the Humane Society of Stillwater, 1710 South Main Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074-7945.

Please send messages of condolence to his cousin, Penni Lee Fallow, 2107 Texas Street, Joplin, Missouri 64804.

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