Former UCC President, Jere Patzer Passes Away

Jere D. PatzerJere D. Patzer

[Ridgefield, WA] October 27, 2008, Source: Gleaner Online

Jere D. Patzer, North Pacific Union Conference president, and former Upper Columbia Conference President, passed away late Sunday evening, October 26, after a long battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 61.

While Jere had been challenged in recent days by increasing side effects of his chemotherapy treatment, he felt considerably weaker on Sunday morning and was taken to the hospital for hydration. Doctors there discovered an infection developing in his lungs and began immediate and aggressive treatment. Partially because of Jere's compromised immune system due to recent chemotherapy, medical personnel were unable to stem the infection. Jere fell asleep in Jesus surrounded by loved ones.

Born in Bozeman, Montana, November 24, 1946, Jere Patzer graduated from Atlantic Union College in 1969 with degrees in Business Administration and Religion. He pastored in the New York and Pennsylvania conferences before moving into conference leadership, directing youth ministries for the Pennsylvania, Oregon and North Pacific Union Conferences. In 1982 he moved to the Upper Columbia Conference headquartered in Spokane, Wash., serving as executive secretary for three years. He was elected president of that conference in 1985, a position he held until 1996, when he accepted the presidency of the North Pacific Union, the Northwest headquarters within North America for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Throughout his professional journey, Jere added an M.B.A. and also a Doctor of Ministry degree. At the time of his death, he was also serving as chair of the Adventist Health board of directors and the Walla Walla University board. He authored four books published by the Pacific Press. He was well known throughout the world for his commitment to evangelism, personally conducting major series on nearly every major continent.

Jere is survived by his wife, Sue, who serves as the NPUC director of women's ministries; son, Darin, manager of KEEH radio in Spokane, along with his wife Natalie and children Kyrie and Kale; son, Troy, principal of Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Wash. with wife Renee and children Amelie and Elianne; daughter, Carissa, of Boise, Id.; and father, Arthur, of College Place, Wash.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 15, at 3:00 p.m., in the Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church, 11001 NE 189th Street, Battle Ground, WA 98604.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in care of the North Pacific Union Conference, 5709 N. 20th Street, Ridgefield, WA 98642, with checks made payable to either "Maranatha Volunteers International" for their One Day Church Project or "International Children's Care."

Cards or messages of condolence should be sent to the Patzer family in care of Cindy Stewart, NPUC, 5709 N. 20th Street, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or via email to cindy.stewart@nw.npuc.org. Or share your comments online at the Jere Patzer Tribute site.

Jere and Sue journaled their battle with lymphoma, with updates provided online. Read their journal HERE.

To watch the memorial video go to the NPUC Web site or click here.