Cover photo for Rodney Alan Whitacre's Obituary
Rodney Alan Whitacre Profile Photo

Rodney Alan Whitacre

December 28, 1949 — May 22, 2023


Rodney Alan Whitacre, age 73, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, went to be with the Lord on May 22, 2023. He passed peacefully in his home from lymphoma, with his loving family by his side.

Rod was born on December 28, 1949, to Charles and Leah (Keller) Whitacre in Des Moines, Iowa. He grew up in Richland, Washington, on the banks of the Columbia River in southeastern Washington State. When a child, Rod was baptized in the Methodist Church and fell in love with the Bible. By the time he was in junior high school he was active in a small inter-denominational mission and headed towards full-time ministry in the future.

After graduating from Richland High School, Washington, in 1968, Rod went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts (1972), a Master of Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts (1976), and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Cambridge University, England (1980). He was later awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Cranmer Theological House, Dallas, Texas.

Rod was Director of the New Testament Greek program at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Hamilton, MA, from 1981 to 1983 before moving to Pennsylvania to become New Testament professor at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge. He authored a commentary on the Gospel of John along with several Greek text books, and was a well-loved teacher, counselor, and mentor from 1983 until his retirement in 2015. After retirement Rod continued to teach, sharing with students his love for the Word of God. Rod was an ordained priest in the Reformed Episcopal Church. For many years he served as part-time assisting priest at Grace Anglican Church, Edgeworth, where he also led a monthly acoustic music Roots Jam.

Rod is survived by Margaret, his wife of 50 years; son, Seth; son and daughter-in-law, Chad and Jessica; four grandchildren, Leah, Miriam, Samuel, and Ruth, all of Sewickley. He is also survived by two brothers, Timothy Whitacre and Thomas Whitacre, of Potlatch, Idaho.

Rod’s hobbies included playing ukulele, guitar, and chess.

All are invited to a funeral service at Grace Anglican Church, 325 Church Lane, Sewickley PA 15143, on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM, followed by burial in Sewickley Cemetery, and a Roots Jam reception at Grace Church from 1:00 PM until the evening. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Grace Church and/or Trinity School for Ministry .

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