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John F. Torrence Jr.

December 22, 2017
Shepherdstown Chronicle

Rev. John Ferguson Torrence, Jr., 92, of Charles Town, died suddenly of a heart attack, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 in the Winchester Medical Center.

Rev. Torrence was born Sep. 19, 1925 in Dayton Ohio, the son of John Ferguson Torrence, Maryland and Mary Wilson Torrence.

John spent his early years in Germantown, Ohio where his father was a family doctor and coroner. John's early college career was interrupted with World War II. John served 26 months of European Service in the Eighth Armored Division where he fought at the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned to the states, his calling to the ministry began and he graduated from Hamma Divinity School, Wittenberg University with B.D. and A.B degrees in 1952.

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He was ordained and continued to his death in the ministry of the Lutheran Church. John, and his wife of 56 years, Lou, started his first ministry in the Amish towns in Ohio where he served 5 churches. In 1955, they moved to Steubenville Ohio to build a new Lutheran church. In 1960, they moved to Marietta Ohio to serve as the congregational minister and the Lutheran campus pastor (Marietta College). In 1967, Pastor John and his family moved to Charleston where he served as pastor until he retired (the first time) in 1993. John and Lou retired to Charles Town in 1993. Anyone that knows Pastor John will testify that retirement is not something that comes easily.

Since 1994, Pastor John has served as interim minister to many of the local churches. He has served at St Peters (Shepherdstown) and St. James several times, St. Johns in Harpers Ferry, and St. Thomas in Charles Town. In his final years, he has served as pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Boonsboro Md and now at Love Grows Here in Hagerstown Maryland.

John was active in other service organizations such as the Scottish Rite, Masons, Eastern Star, and Beni Kedem Shrine Temple. In 1990, Rev. Torrence served as the Potentate of Beni Kedem Shrine Temple in Charleston. He has also served as Grand Chaplain in Eastern Star.

Whether through his ministry or other activities, John's guiding principle was to "help others". A colleague defined it as "loving". John's love for life, his family, and his faith enriched all those that crossed his path or experienced his warm embrace and smile.

Rev. Torrence is preceded in death by Lou Torrence in 2004 and his second wife, Margaret Knoch in 2017. He is survived by his daughter, Mary in Kearneysville and his son, David of Smithers.

Rev. Torrence's family will received friends from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 at Enders & Shirley Funeral Home, Berryville and a funeral service will follow at 3 p.m.

Burial will be at Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio with full military honors.

Memorial contributions may be made to John F. Torrence and Shepherdstown Lutheran Parish Scholarship Fund, Shepherd University Foundation, or the Office of Development, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.

To view the obituary and send condolences online, please visit www.endersandshirley.com.

 
 
 

 

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