Cover photo for Kent  E. Naylor's Obituary
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Kent E. Naylor

February 21, 1926 — August 25, 2015

Kent E. Naylor

Kent E. Naylor, son of Lewis and Virginia Friend Naylor, was born on February 21, 1926, in Harlan, Kansas (Smith County). He was the youngest of three boys. He grew up in the northwestern Kansas area. His father served as a school principal and pastor which allowed the family to serve many different communities. Kent graduated from Portis High School in 1943 and attended McPherson College from 1944-1947.

He enjoyed woodworking and playing basketball, but by college, he mainly focused on music, singing in the McPherson college choir and men’s quartet. He played in the pep band, served on several ministry boards and got his pastoral license. It was in college that Kent met Elva Jean Harbaugh, the love of his life, and after graduation the two were united in marriage on June 3, 1947 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Kent and his wife left for Carrara, Italy to serve two years in Brethren Alternative Service assisting with relief work in the aftermath of WWII bombing. It was here that daughter, Jan, was born. Upon returning to the states and entering seminary in Chicago, Illinois, son, Ron, was born. Kent’s first pastorate was in Octavia, Nebraska and then moved onto Cabool, Missouri where son, Max, was born. The family moved then to Warrensburg, Missouri and onto Magadore, Ohio in 1964 and Waterloo, Iowa in 1967. These pastoral locations were warm and friendly places to raise a family. In 1971, he accepted an Elgin staff position with pastoral ministries at Brethren headquarters in Illinois. His final full time pastorate was in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. In 1983, Kent became industrial chaplain for Copeland Corporation in Sidney, Ohio.

Retiring in 1991, Kent and his wife moved to McPherson, Kansas, a place they knew and loved. It became “old college days” again as they joined up with many previous friends at The Cedars Retirement Center, even sharing a duplex roof with their college roommates. It was now time to stay active and undertake some interims. Kent served several interim pastorals in Kansas, was interim Western Regionals field representative, and McPherson College campus interim minister.

Kent cherished his wife, Elva Jean. He was grateful for his family and it was a badge of honor for him to have such wonderful children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Kent wished to be remembered as “thankful”. He was very thankful for all the blessings in his life.

Kent entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, August 25, 2015. He was 89 years old.

Survivors include: his wife, Elva Jean; daughter, Janice Naylor Tracey and husband, James, of McBain, Michigan; son, Ronald Naylor and wife, Cynthia, of Kansas City, Missouri; son, Max Naylor and wife, Ann, of Myerstown, Pennsylvania; seven grandchildren, Suzanne Sanchez and husband, Justin, Nicholas Yeager and wife, Joanna, Jennifer Clossick and husband, Steve, Elizabeth Heath and husband, Ryan, Sarah Bird and husband, Joshua, Tori Dissinger and husband, Miles, and Lisa Naylor; step-grandchild, Colleen Tracey; six great-granddaughters, Emma, Lily, Maya, Aysjah, Kynzie, and Cora; a great-grandson, Cyrus; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Kurtis Naylor, and Kirk Naylor.

The Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, October 3, at the McPherson Church of the Brethren. Rev. Chris Whitacre and Rev. Kathryn Whitacre will officiate the service.

Memorial donations may be given to the McPherson College Scholarship Fund or the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 N. Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Kent E. Naylor please visit our Sympathy Store.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Kent E. Naylor, please visit our flower store.


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