Col. Henry Gariepy promoted to Glory

Col. Henry Gariepy promoted to Glory

Colonel Henry F. Gariepy, O.F., was promoted to Glory from Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., on April 3, 2010, following a lifetime of service to The Salvation Army.

Born in Jan. 1930, Gariepy became a prolific author of 29 books—dealing with theology, biographies and history, including 100 Portraits of Christ, which was published in nine editions and in several languages; General of God’s Army, the authorized biography of General Eva Burrows (Ret); and most recently, Christianity in Action, a one volume international history of The Salvation Army. In addition to his own published works, Gariepy contributed to a number of other books and wrote numerous articles for The War Cry and other periodicals.

In 1952, Gariepy married Lieutenant Marjorie Ramsdell. Married for 58 years, the Gariepys served in corps appointments during their first 16 years as corps officers, and then served for three years as divisional youth secretaries in Northeast Ohio. From 1969 to 1974, the Gariepys pioneered the work at the Army’s multi-purpose center in the riot-scarred Hough ghetto of Cleveland, Ohio. The center had more than 10,000 members, with close to 1,000 people coming through its doors every day. When Dr. Billy Graham visited, he referred to the center’s work as “Christianity in action.”

Following retirement, Gariepy continued to travel extensively as a speaker at conferences and seminars, as a literary consultant and as a teacher for 20 years at the School for Officer Training (SFOT) in the U.S. Eastern Territory. An outdoor lover, he gifted a prayer garden to the SFOT campus. In addition to reading, he enjoyed jogging and outdoor sports, even completing three full marathon races.

Gariepy earned both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Cleveland State University and, in 1994, was honored by his alma mater with its Alumni Lifetime Leadership Award.

In 2007, General Shaw Clifton awarded Gariepy with the Order of the Founder for his rich and influential writings. The award certificate cited: “Colonel Henry Gariepy has devoted himself to his sacred calling as an officer and through a notable, tireless ministry of writing has inspired and blessed countless others around the world. With more book titles to his name than any other writer in the Army’s history, he has humbly continued through the years of both active and retired service to teach, mentor and influence others for Christ…This selfless, creative and unique contribution to the life of the Army would commend itself to the Founder.”

Clifton now writes, “Colonel Gariepy’s craftsmanship with words was later to become the area of ministry that was his main focus, as he undertook editorial appointments, culminating in his last 15 years of active officer service being spent as National Editor in Chief and Literary Secretary at the Army’s National Headquarters in the U.S. Ever an encourager, Colonel Gariepy coordinated the Army’s first ever International Literary Conference and, just prior to his retirement from active service, initiated a format and proposal for the Army’s National Book Plan for the U.S. and the Word & Deed journal. Among his many published works, one which has brought benefit to aspiring Army writers around the world was his Guidebook for Writers and Editors.”

Gariepy once wrote of the “sound of the distant trumpet,” quoting Ecclesiastes. He wrote that eternity beckons, and stated along with St. Augustine that “God has made us for himself and our hearts are restless until they find our rest in him.”

Gariepy is survived by his wife, Colonel Marjorie Gariepy, four children—Stephen Gariepy, Priscilla Burgmayer, Kathryn Aber and Elisabeth Garrett—twelve grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for early May at the Lancaster Corps in Lancaster, Penn. A private committal service will take place at Monmouth Memorial Park in Tinton Falls, N.J.

Because I live, you shall live also (John 14:19). Well done, you good and faithful servant! (Matthew 25:21).

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