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Letter: Remembering a dear friend and shepherd

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

On Nov. 5, the members of Mathews Chapel United Methodist Church lost a dear friend and shepherd, the Rev. Robert Painter. Not many people know about his humble beginnings and his journey to achieve his education and calling in life.

With an eighth grade education, young Robert Painter left his native West Virginia for better educational opportunities and attended God’s Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio. There he worked in the cafeteria to help pay for his tuition, room and board. In World War II, he served in the Medical Corps as an ambulance driver on the front lines, where no wounded soldier, Allied or Axis, was left behind. Following the war, he joined his father working in the coal mines for a short time. Then, taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he returned to school at Union Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

He began ordained ministry in 1952 and served churches in Ohio and Virginia. In 1981, he and his beloved wife, Roberta, were appoint...

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