Word has been received of the death of Dean Risser, Grace Brethren pastor who had most recently served as an associate at Southview Grace Brethren Church, Ashland, Ohio. He led a number of Grace Brethren congregations over the years. His obituary appears below.
C. Dean Risser, 90, of Ashland, Ohio, was ushered into the presence of our Lord on Tuesday, February 2, 2017.
Dean was born on August 26, 1926 in Ashland, Ohio. He graduated from Ashland High School in 1944 and Bryan College in 1948.
Pastor Dean was known for his good sense of humor, he always had a joke to share. He was dedicated to his family and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He strived to impact others for God. He was known as a prayer warrior and faithful servant and Godly example to all he came into contact with. He had a love for music, especially bluegrass and classical, and enjoyed leading music at church. He always made time for others; his family, neighborhood children, friends and church members. He enjoyed wood working and was a grill master.
Dean married Ella Lee Hall on August 28, 1948. After graduating from Grace Seminary in 1954, he pastored a church in Johnson City, Tenn. Other pastorates were: Margate, Fla.; Coraopolis, Pa.; Lexington, Ohio; Marion, Ohio; Delaware, Ohio; and Southview Grace Brethren Church of Ashland, Ohio. He was involved in Grace Brethren District Missions for several years. In 1997, he received the Pastor of the Year Award during the National Conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Ella Lee Risser; his two daughters, Janice (Ken) Swihart of Bellville, Ohio, and Joyce (Dave) Atkins of Wooster, Ohio; one son, Jonathan of Mansfield; grandchildren, Becky Kelley, Michael Kelley, Josh (Amber) Atkins and Amanda Atkins; one great granddaughter, Olivia Atkins. Also surviving is a half sister, Ann Gray; and a half brother, Ron Gray; several nieces and nephews; a sister in law, Betty Hall; and a brother in law, Gareld Hall.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Ruth (Owens) Risser; and a brother, Eldred Risser.
The family will receive friends from 2:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, 2017, at the Wappner Funeral Directors, 308 Claremont Ave., Ashland, Ohio. A funeral service conducted by Dr. David Atkins and Rev. Mark Abel will be held on Monday, February 6, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., at Southview Grace Brethren Church, 810 Katherine Ave., Ashland, Ohio. Additional visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the church. He will be laid to rest immediately following the service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Southview Grace Brethren Church or Sending Hope International.