Chaplain Richard E. Bareiss, 89, of Bourbonnais, Ill., died Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at Bickford House in Bourbonnais.

Born Dec. 10, 1927, in Springfield, Mass., he was a seaman in the Navy at the end of World War II. After attending Houghton College (where he met his wife Elinore) and Gordon Divinity School, he ultimately earned three Master’s degrees. Richard was commissioned as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy in 1954. His twenty years as a decorated Navy chaplain included assignment with the Marines and Coast Guard. He served a tour of duty with the Marines in Vietnam where he ministered in combat situations, eventually retiring with the rank of Commander.

Richard became the first chaplain of Houghton College, where he ministered nine years. Following that, he was the first chaplain of Marion College (IWU) and served there 11 years. While he was in Marion, he was instrumental in establishing the chaplaincy programs in the Marion Police Department and the Grant County Sheriff’s Department. For more than two decades, he served on the denomination’s chaplains’ committee and interviewed or reviewed every military chaplain that The Wesleyan Church offered into service. (Read Chaplain Bareiss’ story here.)

Surviving are his wife of nearly 65 years, Elinore Bareiss, of Bourbonnais, four children, and a large extended family. (See the official obituary here.)

A funeral was held in Bourbonnais with Dr. Brian Bradford officiating. A memorial service will take place in Marion, Ind., on Saturday, April 22, at 2:00 p.m. at Lakeview Wesleyan Church (5316 S Western Avenue, Marion, IN 46953).