dad thanksgiving 2015
LeRoy Henry Aden
  • 86 years old
  • Date of birth: Sep 28, 1929
  • Date of passing: Dec 3, 2015
Let the memory of LeRoy be with us forever
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, LeRoy Aden, 86, born on September 28, 1929 and passed away on December 3, 2015. We will remember him forever.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 4th January 2018

"Dr. LeRoy Aden, Emeritus Professor who taught Pastoral Care 30 years at LTSP, has died
Prof. LeRoy AdenThe Rev. Dr. LeRoy H. Aden, the Luther D. Reed Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Care at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) for nearly 30 years, died December 3, 2015, after a brief illness. He lived in Atlanta, Georgia, in retirement. His wife, the former Ruth Meyer, a long-time teacher at Germantown Academy (just outside of Philadelphia) before retiring, predeceased Dr. Aden earlier this year.
LTSP president Dr. David J. Lose remembered, “I knew Dr. Aden while a student at LTSP and found him always to be an exceptionally caring teacher both in and out of the classroom. A generation of leaders was touched by his clear thinking and graceful living. His scholarship and teaching were very much appreciated, but his willingness to walk with students and congregational leaders through challenges great and small was what really set him apart.”
Aden’s specialization was teaching about pastoral care, as reflected in several books he wrote including Preaching God’s Compassion: Comforting Those Who Suffer (Fortress Press, 2002), which he co-authored with the Rev. Dr. Robert G. Hughes, then LTSP president and historically a teacher of preaching at the seminary. Aden counseled many seminarians at LTSP, and was greatly shaped by his experience in parish ministry leading up to his joining the seminary faculty. From 1956 to 1959, he was counseling minister at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He served in the same capacity for Chicago’s Bryn Mawr Community Church from 1959 to 1963. Following his ordination by the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Synod of the LCA in 1965, he was called as associate pastor at First Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1965-1967), and directed the congregation’s Pastoral Counseling Center. While serving Bryn Mawr Community Church, he also served as Instructor and then Assistant Professor at The Divinity School, The University of Chicago (1959-1965), joining the LTSP faculty in 1967 as Associate Professor of Pastoral Care. He retired from LTSP in 1994.
“LeRoy Aden was a wonderful colleague in many ways, and he and Ruth were really down to earth people,” Robert Hughes recalled. “When I was doing my dissertation in the general area of death and dying and funeral preaching, he offered to team-teach a course we titled ‘Ministry and Death’ where I could try out some of my ideas and he could hone some lectures that later became a book. We later used the same process, a team-taught course, to prepare for writing Preaching God’s Compassion.
“On behalf of the Dean and the faculty, LeRoy agreed to be the person to counsel students with ‘issues’ of various kinds,” Hughes remembered. “He did most of that work in his home office when he lived at the seminary. In general, LeRoy and Ruth were generous in opening their home to students. He regularly supervised a student small group, which met in his home. As a faculty member, he and Ruth were most faithful in following up on students he advised, often traveling to their ordinations and installations.
“When the Adens purchased a farm north of Allentown, Pennsylvania, LeRoy relaxed by working on the land and the home,” Hughes continued. “He was handy with a hammer and paintbrush, and, if I recall correctly, they did some planting as well. LeRoy was also particularly knowledgeable regarding finances and investments and served many years as the faculty representative on the Board of Trustees’ finance committee.”
Aden graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, in 1951 with a BA. He received a Bachelor of Divinity in 1954 from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He was awarded his MA in 1956 by the Federated Theological Faculty of The University of Chicago and received his PhD in 1961 from The Divinity School at The University of Chicago. In 1965 he did postgraduate work in Existential Psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
While teaching at LTSP, his professional associations included serving as President, Eastern Region, for the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (1970-1977).
He was the author of many articles and several books in addition to Preaching God’s Compassion. With J. Harold Ellens, he edited The Church and Pastoral Care (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989) and Turning Points in Pastoral Care: The Legacy of Anton Boisen and Seward Hiltner (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990). With Ellens and David G.Benner, he edited Christian Perspectives on Human Development (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992). And with Benner he edited Counseling and the Human Predicament: A Study of Sin, Guilt and Forgiveness (Grand Rapids,: Baker Book House, 1989).
The Adens are survived by two adult children, David LeRoy and Elizabeth Ann.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, December 19, 2015, at 3:00 pm, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1208 Rose Creek Drive, Woodstock, Georgia, 30189.
Condolences may be sent to Pastor Aden’s daughter, Elizabeth Aden-Buie, 602 Bentley Falls Court, Canton, Georgia 30114.
Donations can be made in memory of Dr. Aden to the Dr. LeRoy Aden Endowed Scholarship in Pastoral Care by sending a check made out to “LTSP” and sent to 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, marking the name of the scholarship fund on the memo line. To donate using your credit card, please contact Kathie Afflerbach, AIM, LTSP Director of Donor Services at or 215.248.6324.
Ruth Aden and Prof. LeRoy Aden, along with Martha Reumann, wife of the late Prof. John Reumann, shared memories of their time on the LTSP campus in this 2014 interview for the LTSP 150 Timeline:
- See more at:"

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 28th September 2017

"This will always be your day. You are in our hearts and mind every day. Thank you for everything... we love and miss you... always..."

This tribute was added by Thomas Olson on 28th September 2017

"It is entirely appropriate to commemorate LeRoy's contributions to us all on his birthday!  God bless all whom he touched."

This tribute was added by Thomas Olson on 3rd December 2016

"Beth-  May God's blessings attend you on this day and give you the hope and joy of Jesus' birth. We all miss your Dad!"

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 3rd December 2016

Today is tough. I'm trying so hard to remember your worlds, to live my life, but today I need you more than words can say. I miss and love you and mom always.

"Never Alone"

May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when its time to go home
May you always have plenty
Your glass never empty
And know in your belly
You're never alone

May your tears come from laughing
You find friends worth having
With every year passing
They mean more than gold
May you win but stay humble
Smile more than grumble
And know when you stumble
You're never alone

Never alone
Never alone
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn't goodbye
My love will follow you, stay with you
Baby, you're never alone

Well I have to be honest
As much as I wanted
I'm not gonna promise the cold winds won't blow
So when hard times have found you
And your fears surround you
Wrap my love around you
You're never alone

Never alone
Never alone
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn't goodbye
My love will follow you, stay with you
Baby, you're never alone

May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when its time to go home
And when hard times have found you
And your fear surrounds you
Wrap my love around you
You're never alone

Never alone
Never alone
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn't goodbye
My love will follow you, stay with you
Baby, you're never alone

My love will follow you, stay with you
Baby, you're never alone"

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 28th September 2016

"“Happy 87th anniversary," Lee.  Your presence in the world has made it a much better place through the many different people you have influence and encountered.

We remember with fondness the time in 1012 when Ginny was facing surgery at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, and you and Ruth very kindly and lovingly offered to go with us and be there to support us through that time.  We appreciated that offer very much, but felt that because Vern was staying overnight in the  Hospital, that you could not share the ride with us.  However that offer meant the world to us.

We also remember with love the many Tuesday evenings at Sweet Tomatoes for dinner, but one Tuesday stands out in particular.  Both Ruth and Lee seemed almost secretive, and anxious to have that evening go well, and then at the end, kind of shyly told us that it was their wedding anniversary !  They shared pictures with us, and we took some of them.

Another time of remembrance is the last time Lee sat with us on our porch in Clearwater.  Rather wistfully Lee looked across the room and commented, “That’s where Ruth used to sit.”   We shared with wet eyes that night.

With many fond memories,

Ginny and Vern Squire"

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 28th September 2016

Today will always be your day. I wish I had something profound to say that would be the key to understanding grief and death, but I don't. The only thing that comes to mind is that I'm so thankful for the time I had with you, that I learned and grew so much from your presence and that your place in our family is still deep and empty. You gave us all such gifts with your life and love. Love and miss you always - B"

This tribute was added by Thomas Olson on 28th September 2016

"LeRoy continues to be active  in my life. I often use his works for research and guidance. Much of what I write has a reference or a quote from him. His presence among us lives on."

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 21st July 2016

"Dad, Miss you too much... grief is a hard road to travel. Thanks for everything you were as a person, father and best friend. Love you! B

"Grief never ends but it changes. It's a passage not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith... it is the price of love.""

This tribute was added by George Roleder on 14th January 2016

"The sad news of Leroy's passing brought back some of the most treasured memories we have--the years we spent as Wartburg College classmates.  LeRoy and Ruth were among our closest friends.  That friendship continued through the years with visits and many conversations about our lives and concerns.  

George looked through his library today and found a gift book edited by LeRoy, "The Church and Pastoral Care".  Five articles that Leroy contributed to this volume could serve as a memorial to his life of service in the Church.  They are full of concern for the well-being of us all.  As he concluded in one of his essays, "The Christian faith transforms our mentality by making death the gateway to new life."   LeRoy has now experienced what he believed and left us with the same hope.

With sincere sympathies to the Aden family,
George and Betty Roleder"

This tribute was added by Jim Skov on 29th December 2015

"Thank you, Beth, for sharing some of the tributes from the memorial service.  Blessed memories!!

Your dad and mom were amazing people who loved God, put others first, and were faithful to the end.  I know they are loving the beginning of their eternity together and are enjoying to the fullest seeing so many of their friends and family in God's presence!

"May the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

With love,
Jim & Mary Skov"

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 22nd December 2015

"Please check the stories tab at the top to see copies of what was said at the Memorial Service. I will add more stories as I receive them.
Our hearts are filled with such gratitude for everyone who came to Dad's memorial service, sent wonderful messages and has written on this web site. Your comfort and caring is greatly appreciated. Thank you!"

This tribute was added by Connie Seaman on 19th December 2015

"Beth, David and Families,

You are all in my thoughts and prayers today. As I read the tributes to Uncle LeRoy, my thoughts are, I couldn't say it better. His humorous style always tickled me. His charm and wit with Ruth and his family was enjoyable to watch. A tribute to a man, husband, father, grandfather today as he is laid to rest in the arms of his Heavenly Father and of course Ruth:) My only regret is not being able to get together more to experience his warmth wisdom and gentleness that has been shared here."

This tribute was added by Vern & Ginny Squire on 16th December 2015

"We have been privileged to know Lee and Ruth for the past seven years.  We found him to be a Great Friend, warm, caring, brilliant yet very down to earth, a great scholar who influenced a generation of pastors to be at LTSP,  one who recognized the value and worth of every individual he met, a man who cared deeply for his wife Ruth, and his family Beth and David, and proud of his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  There are not adequate words to describe Lee.  Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"

This tribute was added by Frank Anderson on 14th December 2015

"I remember being required to meet with Dr. Aden as a student at LTSPhiladelphia. I knew he, and Ruth, to be welcoming and fun to be around from the general community contact Mary and I had with them. What I wasn't totally prepared for was how wonderful a counselor he would be as I struggled with my vocation in those early years. Thanks LeRoy for your kind heart, quick wit, and deep faith!"

This tribute was added by Thomas Olson on 14th December 2015

"During our brief time together, LeRoy was larger than life to me. His Christian message was always enlightening and expanding. His mere presence was a daily lesson in humility. His listening ear and receptive heart made conversations leap with revelation and joy. There is a void in my life. I will continue to miss him.  I pray God's healing blessings on all of his family and friends"

This tribute was added by Steve Rourke on 12th December 2015

"A very good man: As a boy I remember Christmas with my cousins and their parents.  Uncle Leroy, the father, was quiet and calm but when he spoke it was always entertaining and thoughtful.   Whatever he said would make you think just a little more deeply than usual but it was always worth it.  He would subtly poke fun at others, at himself, at you or the situation.  He would add levity to a conversation that needed levity and he would bring a thoughtful/logical approach to situations that required just such an approach.  He loved and respected his family and faith and was rewarded with a wonderful life.   I admired and respected my uncle and will miss him."

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 12th December 2015

"Aubrey's Facebook post - "'Grief is not a sign of weakness, not a lack of is the price of love.'
We lost a great man one week ago today. He was brilliant. Loving. A published author. A beloved professor. An athlete. A comedian.
He let me read his manuscripts before they published. He read me poems. He taught me about the stock market. Talked to me about faith. When I got injured and couldn't play soccer anymore, he's the one that made me believe there was something bigger. He went with me to visit grad schools and was proud of the work I ended up doing.
I will miss our conversations. Will miss his advice. But mostly I will just miss him. Like crazy. And even though I always knew I'd never get to have him around forever, it's an especially hard goodbye.

This tribute was added by Beth Aden on 12th December 2015

"Britta's Facebook post- "For the past week I have been trying to find the words to express the overwhelming sadness I feel after losing my grandpa. He was an amazing man and the best grandfather I could ever ask for and I still can't believe he is gone. While I'm still struggling to deal with my grief and let go of the regret I have that I wasn't able to see him again, that I was so close, two weeks away from seeing him and telling him that I love him, I'm trying to focus instead on all of the good memories I have of him. All of the advice he gave me, all the stories he told me, and all of the time we spent together. I'll never forget the trick he used to play on us when we were kids and he finished his piece of pie before us and would point over our shoulders to get us to look around so he could swap our plates with his perfectly licked clean one. Or the way he used to put prunes into all of our birthday presents (filling a coke bottle with prune juice and the time he meticulously inserted a prune into every single piece of chocolate in an entire box of chocolates are the two that stand out the most). He was also the hardest worker I've ever met and he accomplished so much in his lifetime. It's been really hard to be so far away from home and my family this week, but I want to thank everyone, both here and there, for all of your love and support. I couldn't have gotten through this without out it.""

This tribute was added by Jonathan Rich on 10th December 2015

"LeRoy was such a warm, decent, gentle man. How fortunate that he lived to see those same qualities in his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.  You are in our thoughts and prayers, always."

This tribute was added by Kevin Waldeck on 10th December 2015

"I think they are DANCING every night. Eating Ice Cream every night.
Holding Hands every night, Smiling every night.
To two great out laws, you will be " forever missed""

This tribute was added by Rosaan Barker on 9th December 2015

"Beth, thank you for the privilege & honor of sharing your Dad... Please accept my deepest sympathy to you & your entire Family for your loss. Your Dad was a Gentle Giant with a heart filled with kindness & a life lived with Faith. In Tribute to Mr. LeRoy Henry Aden... You Are Missed, Sleep In Peace!"

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Beth Aden


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