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Mitties McDonald DeChamplain

October 23, 1948 – May 8, 2018

The Rev. Mitties McDonald DeChamplain, professor at General Theological Seminary, New York; former professor at Fuller Seminary, Pasadena; and former associate priest of St. Athanasius Church at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, Los Angeles, died May 8 in New York City.

A service will be held Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, 840 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles. Vesting clergy should wear white stoles. Bishop Catherine Roskam will celebrate; the Rev. Betsy Hooper will preach.

DeChamplain’s husband, Ronald DeChamplain, to whom she was married in 1983, died in 2005. Survivors include her brother, Scott, and her stepchildren Jeff (Calu) DeChamplain, Laurel (Kurt) Plankenhorn, and Chantel (Randall) Gershon; and two grandchildren.

DeChamplain was born in Pasadena, California. After receiving bachelor of science and master of arts degrees in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, she earned her doctorate in communications from the University of Southern California in 1987.

She was ordained to the diaconate in 1995 and to the priesthood in 1996 by Bishop Frederick H. Borsch, and remained canonically resident in the Diocese of Los Angeles for the rest of her life. She taught homiletics at Fuller Theological Seminary before moving to New York in 1998 to become Trinity Church Professor of Preaching at GTS.

She was active as a priest and preacher throughout New York City. From 2007 to 2014, she served as vicar at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, she volunteered as a chaplain at Ground Zero, which GTS cited when awarding her the Clement Clarke Moore Medal on May 10, 2016.

Memorial gifts may be made to the following:

  • City Critters. This non-profit organization rescues and places stray and abandoned cats in New York City. Mitties loved pets and was an active supporter of this organization. Checks may be mailed to City Critters Inc., P.O. Box 1345, Canal Street Station, New York NY 10013 or online at www.citycritters.org.
  • The Mitties McDonald DeChamplain Preaching Scholarship. In honor of Mitties’ love for and many decades of teaching preaching in seminaries, a fund has been established at Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, to offer financial support to students taking preaching courses. Tax-exempt contributions may be made by check, with “Mitties McDonald DeChamplain Preaching Scholarship” in the memo line, to Bloy House/ETSC, 1325 North College Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711 or online at www.bloyhouse.org.
  • The Mitties DeChamplain FDNY Chaplains Fund. This fund has been established by friends and family, with the approval of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), to be a discretionary fund for the FDNY chaplains ministering to FDNY personnel and their families. The fund honors Mitties’ ministry as a chaplain at Ground Zero after the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The fund will soon be incorporated as a non-profit; until then, tax-exempt contributions may be made by check payable to “Greenpoint Reformed Church,” with “Mitties DeChamplain Fund” in the memo line, and sent to “The Mitties DeChamplain FDNY Chaplains Fund,” c/o Greenpoint Reformed Church Church, 136 Milton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222.