Pastor John H. Crilley (1940 — 2019)

Pastor John H. Crilley

(1940 — 2019)

Pastor John H. Crilley, 79, passed away last Friday at Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice. He was born in Ferndale, Michigan, and was the son of Bertha Eileen and John Henry Crilley Sr.

John was married to Greta Osterberg for 51 years and she survives. He is also survived by his sister, Rhona Diamond; nieces, Luann Brehmer, Heidi McMeekin, Jill (Mike) Schultz; nephew, John (Julie) McMeekin; several grandnieces and grandnephews; his aunt, Maryanne Hayes; and cousins, Alan (Patricia) Winter, Eric (Dina) Winter, Michele Van Hentenryck, Keith (Karen) Van Hentenryck, Kevin (Lucy) Van Hentenryck and Erin Connor.

John graduated from Capital University in 1962 and from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, Ohio, in 1966. He served as a minister in the Lutheran Church (ALC and ELCA) from 1966 through 2010 at which time he retired from active ministry. He served churches in Baltimore, Maryland; Rochester, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; Enfield, New Hampshire; and St. John’s Lutheran in Montpelier, Ohio. He also taught English at a Catholic high school in Detroit for one year and while in New Hampshire he served on the board at the Enfield Shaker Museum.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents; stepgrandfather; his uncles, William and Whitfield; and aunts, Ella, Rhona and Amy.

John was a member of the First Lutheran Church on North Cherry Street in Bryan. A memorial service will be held at the church at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4 with Pastor Mary Beth Smith-Gunn to officiate. A time of fellowship will follow the service. Suggested memorials can be made to Lutheran Indian Ministries, Lutheran World Relief, or a charity of your choice. Condolences can be left for the family at

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