Rev. Charles Ladd Cureton, III

Birth Date: 
Sunday, November 18, 1934
Date of Passing: 
Sunday, August 29, 2021

Rev. Charles Ladd Cureton III, age 86, of Wooster died Sunday, August 29, 2021, at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare in Wooster.

He was born November 18, 1934, in Hammonton, New Jersey, to Laurie Evelyn Harrell and Charles Ladd Cureton, Jr.  He graduated from Maryville College in Tennessee and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in June 1960 after his graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary.  Charles also pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Virginia. 

Charles was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Annie Laurie Cureton, and his beloved wife and partner, Mary Ann Cureton (née Pakosh), who passed away on December 17, 2013, and to whom he was married on June 8, 1960, at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. 

From 1960 until his retirement in 2001, Charles served Presbyterian churches in Smyrna, Delaware; Arlington, Virginia; Garden City, New York; Charlottesville, Virginia, and Matawan, New Jersey.  For the past 20 years, he served as Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church in Wooster and had the honor and pleasure of virtually participating in a 20th anniversary celebration of his ministry, teaching, counsel, and a recently published book of prayers in July.  

In addition to his ministry and the friends he and Mary made along the way, Charles had a deep love of religious and political history, classical and choral music, Christian education, and travel of any kind.  

Charles is survived by his children, Rebecca (John) Schmidt of Wooster and Stephen (Dawn) Cureton of Catawissa Township, Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Brianna Lee Schmidt and John Paul Schmidt of Wooster; brothers, Bryant (Jeanette) Cureton of Williamsburg, Virginia, and David Cureton of Massanutten, Virginia, and their children, children’s spouses, and grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare (1900 Akron Road, Wooster, OH 44691) or to a charitable organization of your choice. 

As a precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family service was held for Charles at First Presbyterian Church on October 2, 2021.  The family's desire is to share the service with everyone who could not attend it in person, so a video of the service may be found at the following link:  https://youtu.be/IjMenb9_d6Q.

On Saturday, November 6, at 2:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church invites its members and the community to a service honoring Rev. Charles L. Cureton III's ministry, which will be held in the sanctuary of the church and followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.  Social distancing will be observed and masks will be required.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com.

 

Memorial Contributions: 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare (1900 Akron Road, Wooster, OH 44691) or to a charitable organization of your choice.

Visitation: 

No calling hours

Service: 

Below is a link to the memorial service that was held for Charles on Saturday October 2, 2021.

https://youtu.be/IjMenb9_d6Q

On Saturday, November 6, at 2:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church invites its members and the community to a service honoring Rev. Charles L. Cureton III's ministry, which will be held in the sanctuary of the church and followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.  Social distancing will be observed and masks will be required.

Condolences

Sad news in the loss of a good friend and colleague. Pain and suffering are behind him and he is united with Mary. For those and many enjoyable times together with both of them we are grateful. Blessings upon Rebecca, John, and Charles’ family.

We’re honored to have known Charles as a friend and fellow parishioner of many years. He was always gracious, kind and welcoming. We extend our sincerest sympathies to his family.

Becky and Steve, you have both my and Judy's thoughts and prayers. Your dad has always had a special place in my head and heart, being the boss that spoiled me in my first call. I've always wanted another collegial relationship like ours was at Matawan - and nothing since have ever come close. We'll miss him.

Rodger Sellers

I will miss Charles’ kindness and his wisdom. First Presbyterian benefited greatly from his presence.

I am so sorry to learn of Charles passing. We were friends in Monmouth Presbytery and we’re commissioners to the General Assembly in Cincinnati. He was the most compassionate person I have ever known. Truly blessed by his presence in my life.

We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Charles was a wonderful man, and we enjoyed talking with him when we were members of the First Presbyterian Church Choir. Especially thinking about Brianna at this time, since we play in the Wooster Community Band together, and Charles would always come to Brianna’s concerts to hear his granddaughter play the clarinet. Sending thoughts and prayers to you, Brianna, and your family.

I knew Rev. Cureton when he served as temporary moderator at Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church several years ago. He was a kind, gentle man and a pleasure to know. I am sorry for your loss. May God comfort you and give you peace.

We knew Charles when he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church Matawan New Jersey. Both he and Mary were such sweet caring people. We hated to see them leave. May the family please accept our deepest sympathy.

My heart broke to learn of Charles's passing. He was such a kind, educated and caring man. May you find comfort in all the people's lives he touched. May he rest in peace with Mary.

On behalf of the Wooster/Orrville NAACP I would like to extend my condolence to the family and friends of Charles Cureton III. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a NAACP rally on the Square a few years ago and we exchanged ideas on how to make the world better. I did not know him long but he was someone who brought sunlight to others and his presence will truly be missed at First Presbyterian and all that had the opportunity to share his smile.
Juanita Greene President of the Wooster-Orrville NAACP

Charles Cureton was the finest example of a compassionate, wise, gentle, loving, and caring Presbyterian pastor and close friend, along with his wife Mary, of my parents, Ernie and Alfie Campbell, and myself and our family, including especially the Gabriels and Brownes when they were in Wooster. Mother and I would love going to the post-seminarians with him, were illuminated and humbled by his prayers and his beautiful mastery of the English language. My wife Lynn and , and my siblings Jeff and Jini, and cousins Rick, Russel, Brian, Tom and Sarah, an extended family of Ellen Alter were so pleased he could be part of the wonderful Wooster community that gave her social and spiritual sustenance and sparks of joy. Thank you Charles. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family. Please do let me know when the virtual service will take place as well as how to get a copy of his book of prayers. gcampbell@mountain.org

I was an elder and member of the nominating committee that brought Charles to Garden City, NY. I maintained a very close relationship with him while he was at our church. Early on in his ministry there he told me there were some things he wanted to change but did not want to be divisive in the eyes of the congregation. He said to me "Ralph, you have broad shoulders. I am going to do some things and say it was done at your suggestion. I will support you 100%. He did. But I did get into a lot of trouble with the rest of the congregation for a while but it always worked out because I used a valuable lesson Charles taught me . . . "When you have a problem seek the answer in the gospels" He was correct. It worked wonders for me. Many years later a new pastor was ordained and installed in our church and someone in the church formed a committee and went to presbytery to complain that he had a lesbian participate in his installation. Someone in the church tipped me off and the committee was shocked to see me there. I let them do their thing and then I spoke using only passages spoken by Christ concerning our fellow man. I could go on much longer about the issue but the end result was that Presbytery told the session to "Get Their Act in Order" or Presbytery would dismiss them and temporarily take over the church.
Enough said. Sorry to drag it on so long.

Ralph

This is an afterthought to my comments above. If I had to be stuck in a lifeboat with one other person, it would be Charles!

Charles is in heaven with his beloved Mary. Charles is in heaven with life everlasting. Thank you for your wonderful, positivity making life a joy.
John

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