News and Views

Matilda Tavenner

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Matilda Tavenner, 84, the wife of the Rev. Julian A. Tavenner, a retired Elder, died May 24, 2017, at the Quincy Nursing Home in Quincy, Pa., after a short illness. A graveside service was held June 4 at the Blue Ridge Cemetery in Thurmont.

Matilda Lee Tavenner was born June 11, 1932, in Bethesda, Md., the daughter of Clinton E. Thomas and Louise Seal Thomas.

She and Julian Tavenner were married in 1951 at the Hyattsville UMC. They had two children. She helped him with his education in college, seminary, and two years of Clinical Pastoral Education in Washington, D.C., hospitals. At the same time, she worked on her college education, majoring in English and minoring in early childhood development. 

He began attending seminary in 1955, and served his first church from 1957-1960 at Mt. Zion-Emmanuel. From 1960-62, he was appointed to Mt. Zion in Highland, then 1962-1965 to Lay Hill, followed by Havre de Grace, 1965-1971, and Westminster Parish from 1971-1978. At that time he became Religious Activities Coordinator at Asbury Methodist Home and in 1986, the Chaplain for Asbury Methodist Village. From 1992 to 1993, he was Director of the Dept. of Pastoral Care at Asbury Village. He retired in 1993.

She was always a supportive pastor’s wife, active in church activities such as church school teacher, Bible study leader, prayer circle leader and lay speaker. She attended almost all church services.

During these years she also had a variety of employment including as secretary in the Insecticide Division at the Department of Agriculture in Beltsville; Night Telephone Operator for the Telephone Company; accountant for Sears; substitute teacher for special education students; and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

During her leisure time she enjoyed reading, writing and spending it with her children and grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband of 66 years, daughter Katherine L. Figgett of Frederick, son Mark S. Tavenner of Mt. Airy, and five grandsons. 

In a letter she wrote to her family, she said "I was so fortunate to have all of you as family. It was a joy to watch you grow up. My prayer is that you will have love, peace, and success in your future. And remember that God is always with us. When one door is closed, another door will be opened."