|Birth: ||Sep. 23, 1926|
|Death: ||Apr. 24, 2006|
Bishop Richard W. Ingalls entered eternal life at the age of 79. He died after complications from a stroke at Bon Secours Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He was the longtime Bishop-in-Residence and Rector Emeritus at Mariners' Church, the stone church in downtown Detroit, founded in 1842 along the Detroit River. Thousands of tons of Great Lakes cargo pass by the church each year.
On Nov. 10, 1975, the 729-foot Great Lakes freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, carrying a full load of iron ore, sank in a fierce storm off Whitefish Point in Lake Superior. The next morning, upon confirmation from the Coast Guard that the entire crew of the giant carrier had perished, Rev. Ingalls rang the church bell 29 times, once for each victim. His action was memorialized in Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot's haunting ballad, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
"Even though the song brought much attention to the church, my father's primary concern always focused on the spiritual comfort of the families who lost loved ones," said his son, the Rev. Richard W. Ingalls Jr., who became rector of the independent Anglican church on February 12, 2006. "He wanted the attention focused on where it should be: the danger on the Great Lakes, the sacrifices made by countless families, and how vital the commerce on the lakes is."
The Grosse Pointe Park resident was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He served in the Army during World War II, attained the rank of 1st sergeant and was stationed in Hawaii. After his discharge in 1946, he attended Olivet College in Kankakee, Ill., and received a bachelor's degree in English and biology in 1950. He then studied and received the majority of his seminary training at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He did post graduate work at St. Luke's Seminary at University of the South in Tennessee.
Rev. Ingalls served in the ministry for nearly six decades. He became rector of Mariners' Church in 1965. He was ordained a bishop on May 2, 2004. Besides tending to his active parish, Rev. Ingalls was known throughout maritime circles for annual public services, such as the Blessing of the Fleet, Navy League Sunday, and an annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service for the victims, with the ringing of the bell 29 times.
His son, Rev. Ingalls, Jr. also said, "He was a great pastor for the same reason he was a great father. He lived what he preached, was very dedicated, a great communicator, and loved the relationships established with other people."
"The best way to describe him is a very charismatic person — a true presence. When he came into a room, people were drawn to him," said church trustee Brit Gordon.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Wilma (nee Cross); sons, Rev. Richard W. Ingalls, Jr. (Lynn), Dr. Brian K. Ingalls, and the late Craig Ingalls; daughters, Ann (Sean) Gillespie, Bette (Don) Wisniowiecki, five grandchildren, Richard III, Robert, Brian J., Andrew, and Rebecca; four brothers, John (Libby), Wayne (Joyce), Jim (Lois) Virginia, and four sisters, Carol, David, Sharon, and Bonnie. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Memorial gathering: Friday, May 12, 2006, 2:00-8:00pm at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe.
Requiem Eucharist: Saturday, May 13, 2006, at 11:00am at Mariners' Church of Detroit, 170 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48226.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mariners' Church of Detroit.
"Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."
Mariners Church Columbarium
Plot: Upper Columbarium
Created by: Elizabeth & Ron
Record added: Feb 16, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24676925