Rev. George A. Gribben Jr.

May 10, 1925 ‒ December 14, 2019

Fredericktown, Ohio

After a life filled with abundant joy and love, George A. Gribben Jr. made his journey to meet his Lord and Savior face-to-face on December 14, 2019.

He was born to George and Lucille Gribben (née Rowan) on May 10, 1925.  He was the second of four boys in a family that learned how to work, love and submit to God together.  He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother Bob, younger brother Earl and his fourth child Linda Diane Aper.

George’s world evolved around family.  He leaves behind his precious wife of 70 years, Lucille (née Bias), four children and a son-in-law:  George (Linda), Bonnie (Merritt) Strunk, Judith (Rand) Kell, Rick Aper and Kimberly (Ivan) Leavitt.  He loved his children with an undying love.  His love for his grandchildren was passionate:  Kristina, Rand, Tiffany, Renee, Kurtis, Tanna, Jonathan, Michael, Brianne, David, Kaitlin, Hailey, Lily and Maxwell. His great grandchildren held a special place in his heart:  Malachi and Amelia.  He leaves his brother Jim who meant the world to him.   George loved his nieces and nephews and filled the gap when their parents passed away.  He was a compassionate and loyal friend.

He served during WWII in the 75th Infantry Division, 290 regiment, as a field communication specialist, establishing wired communications and keeping those lines open between command and the front lines.  George’s Division fought in the “Battle of the Bulge” in Belgian, the Colmar Pocket in France and the Ruhr Pocket in Germany.  He was a decorated soldier with two Bronze Stars.

Having lived through WWII he gave his heart, after the war,  to Jesus Christ.  George was an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene for 61 years, pastoring numerous churches throughout Ohio, working for Mount Vernon Nazarene University and the General Church of the Nazarene until 2005. He was a master carpenter, an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman, confidant and mentor.

Although his passing leaves a void in our lives, we have hope eternal that we will be united again in the home God has prepared for His children.

The family will receive friends from 10 am until the time of funeral service celebrating the life of George at 11 am on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at the Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home, 201 Newark Rd., Mount Vernon with Pastor Mark Dettmer officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to  The Gideons International.

To share a memory or send the family an expression of sympathy visit

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Rev. George A. Gribben Jr.

  • George my condolences to you and your family. Your dad was always an encouragement to me. I remember when I was at Caledonia he came to the church to talk to us about giving . He took time to get to know me and Sue, he became a close friend.
    I know he is in the presence of the Lord.

    Love you, praying

  • George, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of your loss. Your Dad was a great man who always had a word of encouragement. Lean on the Lord for His strength, friend. In God’s Love,

  • George (and Lucille) has been a great friend to our family for many years. We will miss him greatly.

    Bob, Joyce, Mark, & Lita

  • Gribben family:
    George JR. was a great encourager. Loved his spirit and his dedication to the Lord. I will miss him. Praying for God’s abiding presence. Love to you all.

  • Although we were just family we always called him Uncle George and we are heartbroken to hear this news. Aunt Lucille and you kids and family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Gribben Family, Our hearts are broken with the news of Rev Gribben’s passing. He and your family have been great friends as well George was our pastor for several years and a delight to listen to him preach. May God give you peace and comfort at this sad time.
    Love and prayers
    The Ralph Hines Family

  • We have special memories of George, serving together in that unique group known as Founders of MVNU. A member of The Greatest Generation, George has left a legacy matched by very few, a wonderful servant of the Lord, and friend of all.

  • Lucille, George, Bonnie & Families,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. My memories of your husband & dad inspire me to be my very best. I always admired his wisdom and obvious faith. He has won his race and left a clearly marked path for joining him at the finish line. May God hold you close in the days ahead.

  • The MVNU Pioneer Class of 1970 is greatly saddened that you are no longer here with us, but we do rejoice in where you are in heaven now. We were so very honored to have you join our class meeting in the Lakeholm Mansion two years ago, and we honor your service to us and the university! You were truly a distinguished classy individual and always to be remembered!

  • He was a man of God who I looked up to. He held a Holiness Revival where I Served as pastor in Tallmadge Ohio. He loved and mentored me. So pleased to hear that He has received his long awaited reward. May the knowledge of knowing his faith be comforting to all who loved him

    Pastor Terry Schmelzenbach

  • He was a man of God who I looked up to. He held a Holiness Revival where I Served as pastor in Tallmadge Ohio. He loved and mentored me. So pleased to hear that He has received his long awaited reward. May the knowledge of knowing his faith be comforting to all who knew and loved him

  • George was incredible man… tough as steel! If my memory serves me well, I helped him hang windows at a college in Marietta, Ohio, when he was 80 years old. I’m a few years younger than his son, George III, and I consider myself a hard worker, but that man outworked me like I was older than him – and never a complaint! He was kind, gentle and generous. He treated people like he would have wanted to be treated. He lived his faith in Christ… and, oh, he had a great sense of humor! We laughed A LOT when together. He made you feel special. I share something of the sadness this family feels by his absence. We WILL meet again, George… thank you for showing love to me.

  • Our sincere condolences to Bonnie and Merritt Strunk, Kristina and Kurtis and to all the family in your loss.

  • We love and respect the Gribben family. Enjoyed going to church camp and MVNC with the kids. I thanked him often for serving in the military. He was truly a hero to me. Every day I thank God for and enjoy the freedom that he so bravely fought for. He had a great faith in our Lord and now his faith has become sight. Hallelujah!

  • As my brother Tim mentioned in his remarks, we knew him as “Uncle George.” The pastors of his era were some of the great men and women of faith many of whom understood the primary role and calling of a Pastor to be a shepherd of the sheep. He was a wonderful friend of my Father, and the stories of faith that the two of them told were a continuing inspiration to many. I am grateful for his integrity and for the fact that he has finished strong. Our prayers are with all of you during this season of the celebration of his life.

  • We all have wonderful memories with your family from the Pioneer days. There’s quite a reunion in heaven. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you all. The Bennett Kids
    Bill, Mary, Randy and Carol

  • George was my Pastor in th late sixties at the Greentown Church of the Nazarene. He and Lucille were the best. I felt blessed to have had our paths cross even though for a far too short a time. Earth loss is Heavens gain.

  • Lucille, Judith, Rand, and the Gribben family:

    Offering my sincere sympathy and keeping you in thoughts and prayers. I enjoyed George’s warm, quiet demeanor and his great smile.
    He certainly was a man of great faith and conviction and has been, and will be, missed in worship at Gay Street.
    He has run his race in great fashion and now has gained his reward on high.

    May good memories be a blessing as you celebrate his life and in the days ahead.

    Roger Marra

  • Our condolences to the extended family. May God grant you peace and strength as you remember your loved one.

    Carlos and Jeanne Serrao

  • I extend my condolences to the family of George. I only met George once, but it was a powerful confirmation. Kim and Ivan and children had always told me marvelous stories about George’s faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. I loved hearing the God stories of how he ministered to people in his life, whether in health or sickness. The legacy of George’s life remains for all eternity. May the Lord bless the family at this point of George’s home going also. Hugs and prayers to you. Love, Victoria-Miss Bell to all the Leavitt dancers.

  • We are thankful for George’s life of service to God and humanity. We miss him, and pray for more who are like him. We pray that the family will be comforted by the faith that ran so deep in George.

    Jim and Bonnie

  • Jennifer and I along with our children extend our deep sympathy to you Lucille and to all of you children at the passing of your husband and father from life here into the life eternal in the presence of Jesus, George’s Savior and Lord. Over the nearly 30 years of crossing paths with all of you at Leavitt family gatherings and events, George unfailingly would greet us with a smile, warm “Hello” and a firm handshake always taking take to engage in conversation and inquire about our family and lives. He was indeed a man of good cheer who enjoyed a good story with laughter liberally sprinkled in and over those memories. We know he will be missed by all of you and many others but are so very thankful for the life of faith and family he led for all to see and appreciate. His legacy for the generations that follow is a rich one. May God bring His peace and much in the way of memories and laughter to comfort you in the days ahead.