Sunday, Sep 23, 2018
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Reagan priest is former Toledoan

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An Episcopal priest presiding at Nancy Reagan’s funeral today in California is a former Toledoan.

The Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, interim vicar of Washington National Cathedral in Washington, is a 1969 graduate of Maumee Valley Country Day School.

Father Kenworthy was a member of Monroe Street United Methodist Church, where he attended with his parents. His father, Stuart A. Kenworthy, who died in 1971, was a vice president at Owens-Illinois. His mother remarried, and his stepfather, Floyd Canter, served as executive vice president at Owens-Illinois; he is also deceased. Mrs. Canter now lives in Florida.

The Blade reported in 1979, as a 27-year-old United Methodist minister, Father Kenworthy was the organizational director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, then the country’s largest nondenominational public interest group.

Soon after he left that position, Father Kenworthy, who had already obtained degrees from Boston University School of Theology and Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts, entered General Theological Seminary to become an Episcopal priest.

After serving other congregations, Father Kenworthy was rector at Christ Church in Georgetown in Washington from 1991 until his retirement in 2014. He also served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard, from 1994 through 2007, and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2006. He came out of retirement for the cathedral position, which began June 1.

As the presiding minister at Mrs. Reagan’s funeral, Father Kenworthy brings a National Cathedral tie to the Reagans. President Reagan’s state funeral in 2004 was at the cathedral, after a family service at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Today’s service will be at the presidential library, where Mrs. Reagan will be interred next to her husband.

Father Kenworthy also was one of two ministers leading a family service for Mrs. Reagan Wednesday at a Santa Monica, Calif., funeral home.

Contact TK Barger @ tkbarger@theblade.com, 419-724-6278 or on Twitter @TK_Barger.

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