Church loses a pastor

July 04, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail will run "A Life Remembered." The story will take a look back at a member of the community who died in the past week through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about the Rev. C. Dean Mouk, who died June 24 at the age of 60. His obituary appeared in the June 26 edition of The Herald-Mail.

SMITHSBURG - Despite nagging problems with his knees, the Rev. C. Dean Mouk always carried a placard in the annual Good Friday walk sponsored by Smithsburg's Area Church Association.

At Mouk's funeral Monday, the Rev. Mark Mooney held up that placard so family and friends could draw comfort from the prophetic message - "Today you will be with me in paradise."

Mouk, the pastor of Welty Church of the Brethren, died June 24 at his home. He was 60.


"What I will remember about Dean is that he never failed to respond to all calls for help," said the Rev. Elaine Prince, pastor of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Smithsburg. Those calls would occur at all hours.

As a longtime member and president of SACA, Mouk and the other Smithsburg clergy would meet monthly for breakfast to talk about plans, needs and concerns of particular churches and their shared community.

"Dean never missed those meetings," Prince said.

No stranger to big jobs, Mouk coordinated last fall's CROP Walk in South County. He still found time to write a Letter to the Editor in The Herald-Mail thanking the people who attended a Christmas tour of churches in Smithsburg.

Mouk also sang with a number of barbershop quartets, in the church choir and enjoyed singing solos, one of which was played at the funeral.

On talent night at his church, he brought several treasured pieces of his buffalo collection, including a favorite furry one and a unique copper one. In family photos, Mouk often could be seen wearing his beloved buffalo hat.

He and his wife, Sheila, were married June 20, 1965, in Sidney, Ohio.

"My drama teacher had organized a speech contest - I entered and Dean was a judge," she said. "He gave me a really good score."

The couple started talking and that led to a first date.

"I was very nervous, but I do remember that I ordered a Big Boy," Sheila said, remembering those early days in their native Ohio.

While Mouk was working as a trucker, he received the call to the ministry.

"Dean was going to college, taking the three-year pastoral course for the Church of the Brethren and was still working, too," Sheila said.

For the next few years, Sheila worked off and on while raising the couple's three sons. After serving several churches in Virginia and Ohio, the Mouks came to Washington County to accept the call to Welty Church of the Brethren on Greensburg Road.

"It would have been 11 years in August," Sheila said. "Dean felt very much at home here because the work was so rewarding."

As family and friends gathered for the funeral and the graveside service Monday, Sheila said she was touched by the outpouring of memories that many wanted to share about Dean. One in particular brought a smile to her face.

"I sell Avon products but many, many times when customers would call, Dean would be the only one home and would take the orders," Sheila said, noting that many of those customers attended the services. "They had started calling him Mr. Avon."

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