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 • Shinglehouse
 • Potter County
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Rev Helen Louise Toner
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Birth: Jun. 10, 1912
Shinglehouse
Potter County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Apr. 23, 1956
Tucson
Pima County
Arizona, USA

Rev. Helen Louise Toner was the daughter of Harold Percy and A. Louise (Nourse) Toner. She was Licensed To Preach at age 17 and graduated magna cum laude in 1934 from Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania. She attained a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Drew Theological Seminary in 1937 and was awarded the John Heston Willey Prize for Excellence in pulpit oratory and manner. She was ordained Local Deacon Sunday October 3, 1937 by Bishop Adna Wright Leonard at Rochester: Monroe Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church - Local Preacher in the Genesee (now Western New York) Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was ordained Local Elder on June 27, 1943 in the Southern California-Arizona Conference by Bishop James Chamberlain Baker. SHE DIED 11 DAYS BEFORE WOMEN WERE GRANTED FULL CLERGY RIGHTS ON MAY 4, 1956.

US Census
January 20, 1920
Manley Ave., Shinglehouse, Potter Co., PA
TONER
Harold P., age 39, b1881 NY, retail confectioner merchant
Louisa age 37, b1883 NY
Irving age 8, b1912 PA
Hellen age 7, b1913 PA

US Census
Apeil 23, 1930
Manley St., Shinglehouse, Petter Co., PA
TONER
Harold age 50, b1880 NY, proprietor of confectionary store
Louise age 48, b1882 NY
Irving age 19, b1911 PA
Helen age 17, b1913 PA

Who's Who - Monthly Supplement
April 1942
TONER, HELEN L., minister; b. Shinglehouse, PA., June 10, 1912; d. Harold P. and A. Louise (Nourse) Toner; A.B., magna cum laude, Grove City (PA) Coll., 1934; B.D., Drew Theol. Sem., 1937; post-grad. study Union Theol. Sem., summer, 1936, Columbia Univ., 1938; unmarried. Licensed to preach at 17, 1929; filled over 50 Eastern pulpits as guest preacher, 1931-37; did part-time social service work at I.O.O.F. Home for Aged and at George Jr. Republic Reformatory, both of Grove City, PA; asst. at Cornell Library, Madison, NJ, while seminary student, 1935-37; asst. at Union Theol. Sem. Library, summer, 1936; co-editor Drew Forum, grad. mag., 1936-37; did intensive research in abnormal psychology at Elgin (IL) State Hosp. for Insane, June-Sept. 1937, under supervision Nat Council for Clin. Training; granted Local Deacon's orders by Genesee Conf., NY, 1937; asst. pastor St. James Meth. Ch., Lynbrook, L.I., 1937-39; began writing lesson materials for church schs., while recuperating from illness in Ariz., 1939; writes on mental hygiene, dramatics, problems facing workers with youth in the church. Awarded John Heston Willey prize (Drew) for excellence in pulpit oratory and manner, 1937; granted Local Elder's orders by Genesee Conf., NY, 1943. Mem. Pi Gamma Mu, Pi Kappa Delta. Democrat. Clubs: Radikos; Speedwell Literary Club (Grove City, PA). Author: When Lights Burn Low (Abingdon-Cokesbury Press; $1), 1942. Address: 1100 E. Fifth St., Tucson, AZ

Memoir
The Methodist Church
Southern California-Arizona Conference Journal
1956, Pgs. 338-339
HELEN TONER was born in Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania, June 10, 1912. she died in Tucson, Arizona, April 23, 1956, at the age of 43. She graduated from Drew Theological Seminary in 1938. She is survived by her brother, Irving Toner, East Aurora, New York. Rheumatic fever had plagued Helen all her life. It ultimately caused her death because of continued damage to her heart. In 1940 she came to Tucson to recover from an attack. Dr. Frank Williams ministered to her while she was recovering. Frank says, "Whenever I called I generally went there last because if I went to her place first it was difficult to make any other calls because it was so interesting to talk to her." During this time, Helen wrote "When Lights Burn Low," and also began her writing for Church School publications. Helen came on the staff at First Methodist Church, Tucson, as a part-time secretary in 1941. Dr. Paul Heubner appointed her full-time pastor at Gilbert and Higley in 1942. Soon after her arrival at Gilbert, she led the congregation in securing a new parsonage, and a new site for the church. Frank Williams again writes, "I will never forget the experience I had in taking Reginald Inwood to meet the building committee. Helen had studied up on building plans and architectural terms so well that she was able to meet the architect on his own terms." Helen Toner was the only minister to carry out a building program during the World War II period. Her record at Gilbert and Higley is an enviable one. In 1947 Helen Toner was appointed to Chatsworth, California. Her dream was to complete further graduate work. However, following an accident early in 1948, Helen's health began to fail and she returned to Tucson. In early 1953 an operation was performed on the valves of Helen's heart by surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. In addition to her B.D. degree from Drew, Helen had studied at Union, Columbia, Garrett and University of Southern California. She held an A.B degree from Grove City College. Her published volumes are: "When Lights Burn Low," Little Prayers For Personal Poise," "The Quest For Personal Poise," and Discovering The Unshakeable." Helen left an unpublished manuscript on "The Beatitudes." On May 20, "Classmate" carried the third in a series on the Sermon On The Mount by Helen Toner, entitled "Blessed Are the Meek." Helen's own words best express her spirit both in life and in death. "Jesus' third beatitude was a daring expression of faith in the gentle-hearted whose spirit will someday possess the earth." 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Harold Percy Toner (1880 - 1950)
  A Louise Nourse Toner (1881 - 1939)
 
 Sibling:
  Irving J Toner (1911 - 1994)*
  Helen Louise Toner (1912 - 1956)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Note: --June 12, 2013 - Cemetery office confirmed that Helen is buried at her mother's feet and there is no marker--
 
Burial:
Maple Grove Cemetery
Shinglehouse
Potter County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: Mary Jane Haight-Eckert
Record added: Nov 22, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61992537
 

 
 
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