Published: Oct 31, 2012 12:05 AM
Modified: Oct 31, 2012 12:05 AM
Phyllis Ann Gentry Koehnline was born December 10, 1924, in Richmond, Virginia, the only child of Henry Eldridge Gentry and Evelyn Spindle Gentry. She was educated in the public schools of Richmond and graduated from John Marshall High School. She was employed by the Young Women’s Christian Association and then by the Foreign Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention before attending Mars Hill College. After completing her sophomore year she continued her employment in the Office of the Dean of Women at Mars Hill.
She enrolled as a junior in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English.
In June, 1950, she married William Koehnline of Wheeling, West Virginia, and they both enrolled in the Graduate School of the Ohio State University, Columbus, where she earned the degree of Master of Arts in English.
Phyllis and Bill had three children, all born in Columbus – Evelyn Monroe Koehnline, born 1953, James Irvin Koehnline, born 1955, and Carolyn Eldridge Koehnline, born 1958.
By the time their youngest child was in high school, Phyllis began attending courses at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. She was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and was called to serve Evanshire Presbyterian Church, Skokie, Illinois, where she continued as pastor for nineteen years.
When Phyllis and Bill moved to Carolina Meadows Continuing Care Retirement Community in 1995, she joined the ministerial staff of University Presbyterian Church of Chapel Hill, and maintained that relationship until her death. As an outreach of the church within Carolina Meadows, she led worship services on the second and fifth Sundays of every month. She performed a similar ministry at Carol Woods until her next-to-last illness in 2010.
In addition to her husband and three children, named above, she is survived by an unofficially adopted daughter, her former seminarian intern, Christine Conrath of Harrisburg, North Carolina, by son-in-law Dr. Robert Rosenberg of Richmond, Indiana, by daughter-in-law Andrea Frank Koehnline of Seattle, Washington, by daughter-in-law Dominique Coulet du Gard of Bellingham, Washington, and by three grandchildren, Suzannah Koehnline Rosenberg, Samuel Koehnline Rosenberg and Thomas Lliam Koehnline.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to:
More Light Presbyterians – www.mip.org
or Amnesty International – www.amnestyusa.org
A memorial service will be held at University Presbyterian Church, 209 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill at 3PM, Monday, Oct. 29.
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