Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Warner Scheeley passed away gently on June 3, 2019, at the age of eighty-four from complications of pancreatic cancer. He was preceded in death by his wife of forty-nine years, Doris Helen McDowell Scheeley, his parents, Lucille and William Scheeley, and one brother, Leon Scheeley. In addition to his brother Jon (Jane), Bill is survived by his daughter, Nanette (Bob), son, Roger (Sherrie), granddaughter, Amanda (Virgil) and four great grandchildren (Jeramiah, Jonathan, Jaxson, and Jazmyn), granddaughter, Jessyca, grandson, Matthew (Brittney), sister-in-law, Janice Nash, nephew, Bruce McDowell, and niece, Kathy Newton (Eric).
Bill was born August 2, 1934, in Erie, Pennsylvania. Following high school in Erie, he received his undergraduate degree from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. He then attended seminary at the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School in Berkeley, California, and was ordained a Baptist minister. Later he received his Doctorate of Ministry, also from the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School. His church ministry called him to serve in several churches in Colorado: Evangel Baptist Church, Wheat Ridge, Littleton United Methodist Church, Littleton, First Baptist Church of Denver, and Calvary Baptist Church, Denver. He also was a member of The Baptist Home Association, Denver, and the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Denver. Bill considered himself a lifelong learner and enjoyed his ongoing study, reading, lecturing, teaching, and counseling related to his vocation of church ministry. Additionally, he ministered to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and recovery programs. His love of intellectual discussion can still be viewed via the program “Spiritual Spectrum Online.”
Bill’s myriad interests included art, opera, symphony, musical theater, gardening, acting, writing, directing and producing melodramas, clown ministries, entertaining as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and making balloon animals for others. He enjoyed cooking and loved hosting family dinners during the holidays. He was a docent at the Arvada Center and was a generous supporter of the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanical Gardens, and Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Traveling the country and the world was one of Bill’s passions. He, and Doris when her schedule allowed, traveled to Japan, China, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and numerous other countries in Africa. Bill and Doris also traveled in their motorhome to the northernmost reaches of Alaska and enjoyed many memorable trips with Doris’s sister, Janice. His final road trip was with his close friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Dick Delleney, with whom he traveled to Santa Fe for five nights of opera and a visit to family in Texas. Bill found a new artistic passion in painting. He took classes and produced multiple acrylic, oil, and watercolor pieces that he gave to family and friends. His artwork showcases animals, modernistic design, and, Bill’s favorite, mischievous gnomes. He was an avid photographer and amassed thousands of pictures from his travels and of his family.
Bill was deeply spiritual, and his love of God was a part of his nature. He gave of his time to help others, he loved his family deeply and always strived to live life according to the tenets of the Bible. He worked hard ministering to others while delighting in providing fun and laughter for those around him. He loved entertaining in his yard at his home in Arvada, engaging all with stories of growing roses, building ponds, and raising koi.
He learned seventeen months ago that he would likely not attain his goal of living well to 100 years of age. Following his diagnosis, Bill chose to have family assist him in planning his 84th birthday party with friends, colleagues, and fellow facility residents. He observed that “a truly wonderful time was shared that day with a live jazz band, games and balloons, delicious food, and lots of fun!”
Bill was a true Renaissance man. He felt blessed throughout his adult life that he had strived to love, learn, read, share, and teach for the benefit of others. He wanted everyone to know that he considered his a “life well lived.” He is loved and will be missed.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 2:00 p.m. June 23, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Denver.
* In lieu of flowers, donations/contributions may be made to the Doris Scheeley Memorial Rose Garden Fund c/o First Baptist Church of Denver 1375 Grant St., Denver, CO 80203.