William P. Showalter

March 21, 1930February 23, 2018

The Rev. Dr. William Showalter died peacefully at his home in Orleans on Friday, February 23. Dr. Showalter was born in West Chester, PA on March 21, 1930, the third son of David Norman and Elizabeth (Strong) Showalter. He was raised in a Christian home and made his own profession of faith in Jesus Christ at age six.

Bill and his wife, Carol, were married for fifty-six years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a sister Nancy Dowdy; his five children and their spouses, Timothy and Natalya (Bagrova) Showalter, Elizabeth, and Peter, Helen (Showalter) and Peter Bonney, and Brian and Chris (Schmidt) Davidson; twelve grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and, numerous nieces and nephews.

Bill was a graduate of Wheaton College (BA) in Wheaton, IL, Temple School of Theology in Philadelphia (BA), and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY (DMin). As an ordained Presbyterian minister, he served as pastor at the Presbyterian Church in Minoa, PA, United Presbyterian Church in Whitinsville, MA, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bridgeport, CT, and Parkminster Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, where he was remembered for his strong preaching, his insightful counseling, and his ecumenical outlook.

Bill and Carol became vowed members of the Community of Jesus in Orleans in 1976 and became resident members in 1984 where he was on the clergy staff for over thirty years. Bill served the Community of Jesus on the Board of Directors, as sub-prior, as ecumenical visitor and traveled extensively as a representative of the Community. He was an active fund-raiser and continued his counseling ministry.

Bill was a member of the US Air Force Reserves, serving as a chaplain for twenty years. His involvement in other Christian organizations was extensive. In his denomination he served as moderator of the Genesee Valley Presbytery and as treasurer of the Presbytery of Southern New England, where he carried many other responsibilities. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Mass Council of Churches and the Cape Cod Council of Churches. His professional involvement was with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Christian Association of Christian Therapists, and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He was active in other social and civic minded organizations.

Bill’s viewing will be held from 4-6 pm on Monday, February 26, followed by his funeral service at 11 am on Tuesday, February 27. Both will be held at the Church of the Transfiguration at the Community of Jesus, Rock Harbor, Orleans. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Orleans Church Building Foundation, P.O. Box 700, Orleans, MA 02653, or Arts Empowering Life Foundation, 1732 1st Avenue, #27457, New York, NY 10128.


  • Viewing Monday, February 26, 2018
  • Funeral Tuesday, February 27, 2018

William P. Showalter

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February 27, 2018

February 27, 2018

Bill was a faithful friend and mentor for over forty years. In Rochester, NY, he(for D.Min.) and I (for M.Div.) attended Colgate Rochester Seminary, sharing a class in Luther taught by the late Charles Neilsen. I also was a summer intern with him at Parkminster Church. We met over the years long after we both moved away from the area. When I became Executive Presbyter for Southern New England Presbytery, Bill was on the calling committee and remained an active participant in the life of the Presbytery, even after I retired. His sensitivity and spirit were always in play whenever I visited the Community of Jesus. I am especially grateful for his love and support after my husband died in 1998. Bill drew energy from people. He befriended and enjoyed all he knew, whatever their theological or social background. Bill was faithful to his calling, to his family and his beloved wife Carole, and to Jesus Christ. He will be sorely missed.

Jane L. Searjeant Watt, Rochester, NY

Frank Poole

February 26, 2018

Bill and I shared parish ministry in adjoining parishes in Genesee Valley Presbytery, as colleagues in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and collaboratively during a three year period when I was Interim Executive in Southern New England Presbytery and he served as chair of its Personnel Committee. His life and ministries were marked by attention to personal growth in himself and others and its expression in Christian community. Thank you Bill for your commitment to Christ in all things!

The Staff of Nickerson Funeral Home

February 25, 2018

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.