The Rev. Dr. William R. Harvey, known to his friends as “Bill,” was born on October 4, 1932 in Cumberland, Allegheny County, Maryland. The son of William R. Harvey Sr. and Mildred Andrews Harvey. Bill was always proud of the fact that his father was the youngest man to be elected sheriff of Allegheny County (1926-1930). Bill grew up in the small coal-mining town of Barton, MD. His only sibling, Carolyn, was born in 1934. He was confirmed and became a member of the Methodist Church when he was 12 years old. His father, a U.S. Treasury Agent, was transferred to Huntington, W. Va. The family moved there and Bill entered the 9th grade. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop #20 at Johnson Memorial Methodist Church and became an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Huntington East High School in 1950. He attended Frostburg State Teachers College (near Barton, MD) and received an Associate in Arts degree. During this time, Bill experienced a conversion under the preaching of missionary Dr. E. Stanley Jones and responded to God’s call to the ministry. He graduated from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), Westminster, MD in 1954, BA, summa cum laude. That summer, during training for short term Methodist missionary work in Africa, Bill met Nancy Lee Blake. She was assigned to Algeria, Bill to the Methodist Mission Station of Kapanga, Belgian, Congo. When Nancy flew to Kapanga for a visit, they were engaged. They were married on June 27, 1959 at Lakewood (Ohio) Methodist Church. Bill graduated from Drew Theological School, Madison, NJ, Master of Divinity, cum laude, May 1961. He was ordained an elder in the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church in June 1961. Son Mark was born in September. In preparation for missionary service in Africa, the family lived in Evanston, IL while Bill studied at Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Africa Studies. They then lived in Grenoble, France where Bill and Nancy had French language studies at the university there. In 1963-1966 they lived at the Methodist Mission Station of Mulungwishi, Congo, where Bill taught in the theological school. Daughter Sarah was born there in 1964. Returning to the States in 1966, twins Amy and Peggy were born, and Bill began a 12-year ministry at Brunswick United Methodist Church, East Ohio Conference. During that time, he earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (Delaware, OH). Bill was superintendent of the Cambridge District, 1978-1984, and was senior pastor at Church of the Savior, Canton, OH, 1984-1998. In 1998-2012, Bill served six interim pastorates. He went on mission trips to Zimbabwe, Congo, Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam, Hawaii, and taught in several schools of Christian mission. In August 2012, Bill and Nancy moved to Copeland Oaks, Sebring, OH. There he served on the Vespers Committee, the Outreach Committee, sang in the chorale, and was a Caring Friend, visiting persons in Crandall Medical Center. Bill is survived by his sister Carolyn Becker (Huntington, W. Va.); four children, Mark Harvey (Bay Village, OH), Sarah McNeil (Branford, CT), Amy Harvey and spouse Jennifer Tucker (Salt Lake City, UT), and Peggy Rule (Olympia, WA); six grandchildren, one great grandson, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends. He was predeceased by his wife, Nancy, on December 4, 2019. A memorial service will be held at a later time. Family is requesting in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to Memorial contributions may be made to the Alliance Community Pantry (PO Box 2581, Alliance, OH 44601), or to the American Youth Foundation (please select "Program Scholarships and Operations" at https://ayf.com/donate-now/ . Friends and family may sign the online condolence book at www.deansfuneralhome.com. Arrangements were entrusted to Dean's Funeral Home Sebring, Ohio.
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