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Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Raymond Henry Giffin

January 6, 2014

Reverend Raymond Henry Giffin

1917 - 2014

The Reverend Raymond Henry Giffin died peacefully on January 6, 2014 at Quincy Village in Quincy, Pennsylvania, at the age of 96. Ray was born in Guangdong Province, China in 1917 where his parents, John Harry Giffin and Annie Milne Giffin, were missionaries with the American Baptist mission board. Home schooled for the first 12 years of his life, Ray later attended Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China for five years and completed his high school education at Denfeld High School in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934, the same year both of his parents died.

Ray received his B.A. from Denison University in Granville, Ohio in 1938 and his Masters of Divinity from the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in Oberlin, Ohio in 1942. He married the former H. Jean Yoder in 1941. The two became missionaries to China through the Congregational Church board (today Global Ministries), serving in Fuzhou, Fujian, China from 1947 to 1949, at which time they were forced to leave with their two young daughters.

Reverend Giffin served several congregations as an ordained minister, including the Brooklyn Village Community Church in Cleveland, Ohio; First Congregational Christian Church in Troy, Ohio; Mayflower Community Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Charlevoix, MI. He also was the Minister of Christian Education for the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ from 1955-1973, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Conference's first summer camp program, Pilgrim Point, near Alexandria, Minnesota.

Ray leaves a hole in the hearts of many, including his sister Alice M. Giffin of Claremont, CA; daughter Martha Struxness and husband Doug of Minneapolis, Minnesota; daughter Patricia Hanberry and husband Gerry of Frederick, MD; grandchildren Jenny Kunze and husband Jason, Eric Struxness and wife Alys Ford, and Sarah Dolan and husband Neel Master, as well as two great-grandchildren and three nieces. He also leaves his loving and dedicated companion of eight years, Ruth Nayman of Quincy Village, and her three children Barbara Oviatt, Brian Nayman and Lisa Love.

Ray was preceded in death by his wife, H. Jean Giffin, brother Harold and sister Louise.

Reverend Giffin’s memorial service will be held at Trinity United Church of Christ, Waynesboro, PA.  Condolences to the family may be sent to:  Patricia Hanberry, 9308 View Court, Frederick, MD 21701, or  Memorial contributions may be made to "projects that will enhance the welfare of persons" (Ray's words), especially the Quincy Village Benevolent Care Fund, 6596 Orphanage Rd, Quincy, PA 17247; and the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104.

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