posted February 27, 2014

Former Religion Professor Dr. Allen Verhey Dies

Dr. Allen Verhey of Durham, N.C., a member of the Duke University Divinity School faculty who formerly taught on the religion faculty at Hope College for more than a quarter century, died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, after a long struggle with amyloidosis.  He was 68.

Verhey was the Robert Earl Cushman Professor of Christian Theology at Duke Divinity School, where he had taught since 2004.

Prior to coming to Duke, he was the Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professor of Religion at Hope, where he continued to hold an adjunct appointment in religion.  He taught at Hope from 1975 to 1992 and from 1994 to 2004.  From 1992 to 1994 he was director of the Institute of Religion at the Texas Medical Center for two years.

Verhey’s work focused on the application of Christian ethics, especially in the area of medical and health practice.  He was published widely and was the author, editor or co-editor of 12 books, including most recently “The Christian Art of Dying.”

In 2009, he returned to Hope to deliver the annual Danforth Lecture.

He was born in Grand Rapids on May 14, 1945, to the late Richard and Catherine Verhey.  He attended Grand Rapids Christian schools, graduating in 1962.

After high school, Verhey received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College in 1966, his Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1969 and his doctorate in theological ethics from Yale Divinity School in 1975.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Phyllis (DeKruyter) Verhey; their three children, Dr. Timothy Beach-Verhey ’90 of Faison, N.C., Elisabeth "Betsy" Verhey ’92 of Davidson, N.C., and Dr. Kathryn Davis ’96 and her husband, Craig, of Holland; five grandchildren, Ryan, Caroline and Janie Beach-Verhey, and Jack and Meghan Davis; and his brothers, Ron Verhey of Grand Rapids and Roger Verhey of Ann Arbor.

A visitation will take place at First Presbyterian Church in Durham, N.C., on Sunday, March 2, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  The funeral service will be held at Duke Chapel on Monday, March 3, at 4 p.m.  Both the visitation and the funeral are open to the public.

Arrangements are through Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory, hallwynne.com