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In Memory of . . . John David Scheyer (1928-2014)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Rev. John David Scheyer died on February 7, 2014 at the age of 85.

David was born in Philadelphia, PA, on April 28, 1928 to Dr. Frederick L. Scheyer and Synette Swensen Scheyer. He served the United States Marine Corps from 1951 to 1953, and was honorably discharged in 1957. He graduated from the Starr King School for the Ministry with a Master of Divinity in 1967.

Rev. Scheyer was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry on February 9, 1968, by the Unitarian Church of Fort Lauderdale. He was first called to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale in 1967, and served there until 1971. He was then called to the Church of the Mediator in Providence, RI, at which he served from 1977 to 1978. He went on to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, MA, from 1979 to 1982. He then served as an Interim Minister for eleven years; serving the First Parish Church of Ashby Unitarian Universalist, of Ashby, MA, from 1983 to 1984; the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, of Raleigh, NC, from 1986 to 1987; the Unitarian Church in Charleston, of Charleston, SC, from 1987 to 1989; and lastly, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, of Austin, TX, from 1989 to 1990.

Active within the denomination, David served as President of the Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of Billings, MT; President of the Massachusetts Bay District of Unitarian Universalist Congregations, Board Member of the Florida District of Unitarian Universalist Congregations, and member of the Florida Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

David was deeply committed to ending domestic violence, and as such, spent a large part of his later years volunteering at Resources Education Assistance Counseling Housing (REACH) of Macon County, in Franklin, NC. He spent many nights in hospitals, talking with domestic violence victims and offering comfort and companionship.

David was passionate about backpacking, hiking, and sailing. He took week long backpacking trips in California during his time in seminary, and completed a month long hike through the Alaskan Wilderness in the early 1960’s. Each summer, he and his wife, Fia, moored their sailboat off the coast of the Bahamas. They lived on board and enjoyed the water, sunsets, and people they met. They also spent time sailing in Massachusetts and Florida, living first on their boat, and later in their homes on shore.

David is described by his stepson, David Cefkin, as having “a passion for equality, and a very low tolerance for injustice.”

David is survived by three step children, David Cefkin (Mia), Suzie Della Penta (George) and Beverly Calobrace; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren, and was the brother of Warren Scheyer. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fia B. Scheyer.

A memorial service was held on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin, N.C., 28734. Walter Burnette officiated

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to REACH of Macon County, PO Box 228, Franklin, NC  28744.

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