Promoted to Glory

Promoted to Glory

Major Helen Nightingale was promoted to Glory Sept. 25 from the hospital in San Diego, Calif.

Born Sept. 13, 1920 in Bakersfield, Calif., Helen grew up in Taft, Calif., where her mother was a Salvation Army soldier and Helen participated in all the corps activities. She entered training in San Francisco and was commissioned with the Warriors Session in 1947.

After her initial posting as assistant at the Spokane Booth Memorial Hospital, she served in the following appointments: Portland White Shield Home (assistant); Women’s Social Services, THQ (assistant); secretary to the national consultant on Women’s Social Services, NHQ; Oakland Booth Memorial Home (assistant); Spokane Booth Memorial Home (administrator); Los Angeles Day Nursery (superintendent); Southern California Day Care Services (director); and secretary to the chief secretary, THQ.

After retiring in 1982, Helen’s service to the Lord did not end. She felt called to the mission field and was approved to assist in Sri Lanka and India in 1983. She served at the South Eastern Asia College for Officers in Sri Lanka and at the college in the Western India Territory.

Major Nightingale leaves behind sisters Florence Younces of Michigan and Pat James of Aberdeen, Washington; nephew Major Ray Yant of Chico, Calif.; and other nieces and nephews. Her brother John and sister Nora preceded her in death.

A memorial service was held at the El Cajon Corps with Captain Darren Norton officiating, assisted by Major Ray Yant and Lt. Colonel Donald Bell.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Major Nightingale’s name to The Salvation Army El Cajon Corps, 1011 E. Main St., El Cajon, CA 92020.

Messages may be sent to the family in care of Helen’s niece, Leslye Kellner, 9692 Lutheran Way, Santee, CA 92071.

On Oct. 3, 2005, Lieutenant Steven Kennedy, of the Reno, Nevada Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP), was promoted to Glory at the Washoe Medical Center from heart failure. The medical center staff lifted the usual restrictions on the number of people permitted in the recovery room, allowing 45 men from the ARP to say good-bye, along with Steve’s family. Steve was their chaplain and many of these men called him “Dad.”

Born in Joplin, Missouri on October 13, 1941, Steve became a Christian in December 1990 and began attending The Salvation Army. He was appointed an envoy on April 30, 1997. His mentor, Major Kenneth Osborn, taught him the honor, respect and calling of being a soldier of The Salvation Army and, most importantly, of the Lord.

Surviving Steve are his wife, Barbara; son Steven, Jr. and his wife Deanna; brother Bill of Arkansas; sister Mary Sue Robinson of Missouri; and numerous nieces and nephews. Another brother, Lynn, preceded him in death.

Over 400 people attended a Celebration of Life service at the Reno Corps, presided over by Major Eda Hokom, Del Oro divisional commander, and assisted by the widow, Lt. Barbara Kennedy. The service gave glory to God for the life and ministry of Steve, and, in the words of Captain Doug Riley, “exemplified the life of the man who had been delivered and then spent his life leading others to the same Savior that delivered him.” In attendance were men from the ARP from years past, as well as those currently in the program—all there to praise God for the ministry Steve had and his impact on their lives.

One man at the service—the largest in the room, covered in tattoos, wearing a Hell’s Angels shirt—sat in the front row and cried for almost an hour straight.

Lieutenant Steven Kennedy will be honored with a plaque on the memorial wall at Crestmont College.

Messages may be sent to Lt. Barbara Kennedy at: The Salvation Army, 1931 Sutro St., Reno,
NV 89512 or via e-mail to

On Oct. 8, 2005, Mrs. Lt. Colonel Muriel Collier was promoted to Glory from her home in Sun City, Arizona.

Muriel Mitchell was born May 2, 1916 in Walkerville, Montana and moved to Seattle at age 12. Before entering The Salvation Army training college in San Francisco, she trained to become a nurse at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle. She was commissioned in 1940 with the Hold-Fast Session of cadets.

Her first assignment was to assist at the Los Angeles Women’s Home and Hospital. Subsequent appointments were in women’s social services, women’s alcoholic rehabilitation centers and senior centers. She served for nine years at The Salvation Army Girls’ Home in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she spent valuable time with the girls.

One night when the girls were particularly agitated and hostile, Muriel took them to the beach with blankets, food and ukuleles and had them build a bonfire. They spent the entire night on the beach talking—the girls giving Muriel the insights needed to deal with them. For some, Muriel became their spiritual mother.

In 1964 Major Muriel Mitchell married Lt. Colonel H. Bramwell Collier. Unfortunately their marriage was cut short five years later by the death of Lt. Colonel Collier.

Following her husband’s death in 1969, Muriel formed an enduring friendship with Betty Russell, a recently widowed fellow soldier of the Los Angeles Tabernacle Corps. The two remained close friends until Betty’s death nineteen years later. Through this friendship, Muriel became a part of the Ireland (Carolyn, Jim and children) family, as they adopted her as another grandmother.

A graveside service was held at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City, Arizona. Pastor Ralph Buzbee from North Phoenix Baptist Church officiated with the support of Lt. Colonel Don Mowery, Southwest divisional commander.

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