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Donn P. Doten

dp doten

2 December 1918 - 21 April 1982


Dr. Donn P. Doten

Dr. Donn P. Doten, 63, editor of the Michigan Christian Advocate, passed away at St. Joseph Hospital, Ann Arbor, on April 21, 1982. Donn was born in Gaylord on December 2, 1918, the son of Rev. and Mrs. Alvin Doten. He graduated from Newberry High School, and Albion College in 1941. He followed his father's footsteps into the ministry, and graduated from Garrett Biblical Institute. He married Dorothy Heimburger in 1942. Having already served the church at Northport, at the age of 21, and Lake City, he joined the Michigan Annual Conference on trial in 1942. His subsequent conference appointments were Grandville 1943-47; Cadillac First 1947-50; Traverse City Central 1950-62; Grand Rapids Trinity 1962-71; and East Lansing University 1971-80. In 1980 he became the ninth editor of the Michigan Christian Advocate. Adrian College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity in 1974.

Throughout his ministry Donn took a special interest in youth. The International Youth for Understanding captured Donn's and Dottie's attention; they coordinated many exchange programs and made several journeys to Europe on behalf of the venture. They took five foreign excahange students into their home. Donn was an avid youth camp leader, a pioneer in back-pack camping. He was a friend of Lake Louise, and this past year headed an Advance Special committee in his Conference to raise money for the new building at Lake Louise Camp. Evidence of his concern for the poor, hungry, and oppressed of the world was his long tenure as missionary secretary for the West Michigan Conference. He took trips to South America, Bangladesh, and Egypt to learn at first hand about the needs and opportunities for Christian witness and service there.

Donn was a student of poetry and had memorized hundreds of poems which he could bring to mind. His dramatic readings were heard at many family night dinners and lenten services. In his ministry he assumed leadership in many community organizations. He was profoundly concerned for the cause of peace. In the late 1960s he made an unequivocal stand with his son, Dale, who spent two years in the federal prison at Milan, because his conscience conflicted with the Vietnam war. In recent years Donn's hearing had become severely impaired. This spurred him to study journalism at the University of Michigan, so that he might be prepared for a different ministry if it became necessary to leave the pastorate. Thus he prepared for his final assignment as editor of the Advocate.

Donn is survived by his wife, Dottie; two children Dianne Lee and Donn Dale; his father Rev. Alvin Doten of Traverse City; two grandchildren, and two sisters. A Memorial Service, "a celebration of his life", was held on May 2 at the University United Methodist Church in East Lansing. A second Memorial Service on May 23, was held at Central United Methodist Church, Traverse City.

- Detroit Annual Conference minutes of 1982, p. 1563

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