Dear Conference Family, I am writing to share with you some sad news. We have lost three well known members of the Illinois Conference during the last few days of November 2010.
Anyone who has spent time around Camp Akita has known Elmer Gregory. Elmer has been a fixture at the camp since we purchased it in nearly 10 years ago. Many of you also know his wife Norma who is the membership clerk for the Illinois Conference and secretary in the communications department.
On Monday, November 29, Elmer succumbed to a short illness. He had been in the Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital for over a week before his death. His memorial is Thursday, December 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the LaGrange-Brookfield Church in LaGrange. Norma and the family appreciate your prayers comforting notes. The family is suggesting memorial gifts be made to Camp Akita.
The second news item is the passing of Durward Wildman, a prominent member of the Hinsdale Church. Durward has been in declining health for some time. He had recently gone to his daughter’s home in Pennsylvania and it was there that he died yesterday surrounded by his loved ones.
Durward was the first administrator for the retirement program for all of the Adventist hospital systems in the United States. In retirement, he and his wife, Joan, have served in numerous volunteer positions from Adventist Hinsdale Hospital to Hinsdale Adventist Hospital.
Durward served with distinction as a dedicated member of the Camp Akita Management Committee. He had a deep passion for the camp and worked tirelessly on its development. A memorial service is planned for Mr. Wildman at the Hinsdale Church on January 1, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
The third news item is regarding Dr. David Bailey, a well respected member of the Peoria Church. Here is a copy of the obituary printed in the local newspaper:
WASHINGTON-Dr. David J. Bailey, DDS, 94, of Washington, IL, passed away peacefully at 3:08 a.m. Saturday, November 27, 2010 at his home, surrounded by his family and loved ones. He was born on November 22, 1916 in Gwinn, MI to Ernest and Murion Griggs Bailey, the youngest of four children born to them. Raised a Seventh Day Adventist, he attended Pacific Union College in Angwin, California where he met his college sweetheart, Judy Wittner. They were married on December 23, 1939. Dr. Bailey is survived by his wife Judy, their two daughters, two sons, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, a brother, and 2 half-brothers. Dr. Bailey graduated from the University Of Illinois College Of Dentistry in Chicago in 1942. At that time, he and his wife moved to the Peoria area where he took a job as the school dentist for Peoria Public Schools. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served 3 years as a dentist during World War II, stationed in Japan. After his service he returned to Peoria to begin his career in private practice dentistry. He retired from his full time practice in 2004, after taking care of his patients and their families for several generations. Dr. Bailey enjoyed dentistry very much and practiced till his health wouldn’t allow; He also purely enjoyed spending his free time piloting his Cessna 210. Dr. Bailey was a member of the Knoxville Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church and had enjoyed an active role as a youth leader, quartet member, story teller, and was an advocate and presenter of the 5-day stop smoking plan with Pastor Lewis. He also supported the South Side City Mission with their efforts to clothe, feed, and shelter the homeless. Funeral services will be at 1pm Thursday, December 2, 2010 at Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory in Washington. Pastor Don Lewis and Pastor Clarence Small will officiate. Visitation will be from 5-7pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at the funeral home. Burial will be at Swan Lake Memory Gardens in Peoria.
I am reminded by these deaths of the passing of the torch from one generation to the next within our church. Those of us in the succeeding generations need to be ready to step up and carry on the legacy of this prophetic movement.
Ken Denslow, President
Illinois Conference of Seventh-day Adventists