George was born in Spirit River, Alberta. He was the fifth of six children born to Edwin Searcy and Alta Parsenau. He grew up in Pouce Coupe, BC and Berwyn, Alberta where his family operated power plants that provided electricity for the community. A child of the prairies he often said of life in BC that the mountains get in the way of the view.
George’s life took a turn when his sister Alleen married the Rev. Bob McLaren. He followed them to Naramata, BC where they were establishing the Christian Leadership Training School. George completed grade twelve at Penticton High and then enrolled in the second Winter Session at CLTS. It was there that he experienced a call to ministry in The United Church of Canada.
In the summer of 1952 George was serving as Boy’s Work Assistant for the BC Conference. This included being Director at Cultus Lake Camp. There he met Mary Anne McWilliams who was the life guard and swimming instructor. They were married in 1953. When Anne died in 2017 they had celebrated their sixty-third wedding anniversary.
George graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts and from Union College with a Bachelor of Divinity. In 1957 he was ordained as a minister of the United Church. He and Anne worked together as partners serving congregations in Lillooet and Pemberton, Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls followed by West Burnaby, Shaughnessy Heights, Collingwood and Dunbar Heights.
George and Anne also partnered in raising their family – Ed born in Penticton, Kathy born in Lillooet and David born in Oliver. Wendy with Ed and Naryn with Dave added more blessings to their family. George was grand-father to six (Matthew, Joel, Adrianne, Anneke, Taslyn and Stephen) and great-grandfather to nine (Madison, Hannah, Nathaniel, Naomi, Emily, Bennett, Baiet, Jacob and Olen). He was also Uncle George to oh so many nephews and nieces. George was proud of the brood and loved to see them coming through the door.
In his thirty-six years of service as an ordained minister George was involved in many different aspects of church life. He was a commissioner to seven General Councils and a member of the General Council Executive as well as being elected President of BC Conference. George chaired and was a member of a wide range of Presbytery, Conference and National committees. However, his primary focus was the daily life of a congregational minister – pastoral visiting, worship and preaching, leading Bible study and facilitating lay ministry.
George’s parents immigrated to Canada from the United States. His father, Ted, came from Oklahoma and his mother, Alta, left Minnesota in a covered wagon. His American roots were not far from the surface. He had a fascination with American history and, in particular, the Civil War. George was always keen to discuss politics and kept abreast of current events throughout his life.
In retirement George and Anne settled into their home at Crescent Beach on the property that Anne’s parents had purchased many years before. There they became active members of Crescent United Church. After Anne’s death George continued to live in their home until he was hospitalized a month before his passing. George died peacefully on May 21, 2019. We are grateful for the care he has received from Dr. Charles King and Dr. Michael O’Brien as well as the nurses and doctors at Peace Arch Hospital.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 13th at 2:00 pm at Peninsula United Church (Crescent site – 2756 127th Street, Surrey, BC). In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the charity of your choice.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de George Dedrick Searcy May 21st 2019..
Décès pour la Ville: Aldergrove, Province: Colombie britanique