In Memoriam
retiring in 1988. During that time
he was also a pastor at Calipatria
Community Church. In retirement
he traveled, served as interim pastor
in New Zealand and Las Vegas, and
spent summers at his cabin at Lake
1950 Henry Kent (BD)
away peacefully on April 15 at the
age of 98 in San Rafael, Calif. Born
in Holland, he studied social and
economic sciences at Netherlands
University at Rotterdam. He es-
caped to the United States by way
of Spain and Cuba after the Nazi
invasion in 1941. He joined the
U.S. Army a year later and became
a linguist for the Counter Intelli-
gence Corps, serving until the end
of the war in Europe. When the war
was over, he returned to New York
City to work in international trade,
later moving to the West Coast near
his parents who had been there
since before the war spread to Hol-
land. Later, he attended SFTS and
became a Presbyterian pastor for
25 years. He retired from St. Luke’s
Presbyterian Church in 1972. Dur-
ing retirement, he enjoyed family,
classical music, writing, camping
and hiking, travel and charitable
1952 William George Weiss (BD)
died in Houston, Texas, on June 15
at age 87. He served as pastor of the
Brentwood Presbyterian Church
from 1974-82. A compassionate
man dedicated to lifelong learning,
he had a deep interest in cultures
and peoples of the world. He lived
life to its fullest, always creative and
untiring in his openness to new ex-
periences. Born in St. Paul, Minn.,
Weiss joined the Navy in 1942 and
participated in the Okinawa Cam-
paign. After the war, he graduated
from Macalaster College, where
he met his wife. While studying at
SFTS, Weiss worked with the Bay
Area Japanese-American commu-
nity. In 1953, the couple was com-
missioned as missionaries to Japan.
They spent 10 years inTokyo. When
they returned to the U.S. with their
family, Weiss earned a ThM at
Princeton Theological Seminary.
He served as pastor at churches in
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylva-
nia, Ohio and South Carolina. He
developed a widely respected repu-
tation for pastoral care and ecumen-
icalism. Weiss leaves behind his wife
of 62 years, Georgia.
Craine Smith (BD)
passed away on
June 20 in Santa
Rosa, Calif., at the
age of 84. He earned
a bachelor’s degree
in philosophy from Stanford Uni-
versity and a master’s degree in edu-
cation from USC before attending
SFTS. He was the founding pas-
tor of Presbyterian Church of the
West Valley in Cupertino, Calif.,
and served as education minister
at United Presbyterian Churches in
San Diego, Calif., Eureka, Calif.,
and Santa Rosa, Calif.. Through his
ministry he transformed the lives of
countless young people. His min-
istry focused on Native American
outreach, multimedia communica-
tions and ecumenism. Post retire-
ment, Smith embraced the envi-
ronmental movement, serving on
the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter
Executive Committee, Parks and
Forest & Wilderness Committees.
He was highly regarded by environ-
mental organizations and the faith
community for his work in provid-
ing public address (PA) system sup-
port for events, meetings, churches
and rallies. A founding member
of the Santa Rosa Cycling Club,
Smith was a life-long bicycle enthu-
siast, incorporating cycling into his
Christian youth ministry and fam-
ily life.
1953 Hal Foster (BD)
died on
Jan. 17 in Walnut Creek, Calif.,
at the age of 86. He had a colorful
ministry, including serving as di-
rector of the Fresno Area Migrant
Ministry for the National Council
of Churches and pastor of the Pres-
byterian Church on Hoopa Indian
Reservation. For the last 21 years of
his ministry, Foster was an execu-
tive with Satellite Senior Homes,
which built and operated retire-
ment homes for low income elderly.
Under his leadership, the nonprofit
built 14 retirement homes, housing
hundreds of seniors. Foster enjoyed
bike riding and completed three
West Coast to East Coast trips and
once rode from Canada to Mexico.
1954 Allen B. Birchler (BD)
Aug. 14 in La Crosse, Wis., at the
age of 86. He was a faculty member
in the University of Wisconsin-La
Crosse history department from
1965-90. In 1990, Birchler helped
established the Allen B. Birchler
Lecture Fund to encourage excel-
lence in the study and promotion
of the humanities through a lecture
series or panel discussions that ex-
plore historical, literary and philo-
sophical topics tied to a historical
perspective. In 2008, Birchler and
his wife created the Allen and Mar-
garet Birchler Scholarship Fund at
SFTS, which provides tuition assis-
tance for a student under care of a
presbytery that lies east of the con-
tinental divide and west of the Mis-
sissippi River, including Wisconsin.
Since Birchler’s death, SFTS has
received several gifts to the schol-
arship in memory of the generous
man who established it.
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