On Sunday, December, 30, 2018, at about 2 p.m., Rev. Dr. Albert Wesley Scarffe passed away at his home. As a pastor at more than 13 United Methodist Churches, he would have finished his traditional church service by then, most recently at John Collins United Methodist Church in Denver, and traditionally would have returned home for lunch.
This Sunday, though, after fully retired from the church, he was unable to get out of bed. Members of the John Collins Church came to sing to him that morning, and later that day he passed away in the company of family, a volunteer from the Namaste hospice group and dogs Sheba and Bella.
Albert W. Scarffe was born on September 7, 1925, in Colorado Springs, CO. His father Rev. Robert E. Scarffe was a Methodist minister for 37 years, and emigrated from the Isle of Man with his brother, Charles. His mother Lilac Lenore Crouse was from Canon City, Colorado. His brother, Robert Willard, was born in 1919 and lived in eight towns including Roswell, NM, and served as president of Chambers of Commerce in Santa Fe, NM, and Pueblo, CO.
Albert graduated from Bent County High School in Las Animas in 1943, the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1946 and Iliff School of Theology in 1949. He earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Adams State College in 1977 and Dr. of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1989.
He married Lois Elaine Welle in Denver in 1949. Lois was an organist who graduated from the University of Denver Lamont School of Music in 1949 and was a choir director at many of the churches she served with Albert.
Together, they served in Rocky Mountain United Methodist churches in Saguache from 1948 to 1951; Holly, 1951 to 1954; Price, Utah, 1954 to 1957; Merino-Atwood, 1957 to 1959; Fort Collins as associate pastor, 1959 to 1965; Denver, Asbury, 1965 to 1967; Springfield-Pritchett, 1967 to 1973; Fountain, 1973 to 1975; Pueblo Trinity – Beulah, 1979 to 1983; Denver Alameda Heights, 1983 to 1987; John Collins, Interim, 2000 to 2018.
During his ministry, Albert wrote more than 2,200 sermons and conducted more than 1,500 baptisms, funerals and marriages. Albert served as a teacher and counselor at five youth camps for more than 30 years, where he lead singing with his Ukulele and was befriended by many young people.
In 1977, he wrote chapter two of the Rocky Mountain Conference history. He led bible study classes in five churches and care giving classes in three. He was active in music activities with his wife and son John, and were fortunate to put on holiday concerts for members of the retirement communities where they stayed.
Lois’s parents, Frank and Edith Welle, bought a cabin in Pinecliffe, Co, in the 1940s. Frank was a master plumber in Denver, and through the years they turned it from a one-room cabin to a house with bedroom, kitchen, two bathrooms and a full basement.
Albert and Lois celebrated their honeymoon there and many subsequent special times. They inherited the cabin and then passed it down to family members. It is still a treasured home for the family.
He is survived by two children, daughter Carol Lois Scarffe Rhoads and her children Isaac, Rebecca, Mary Jane and Michelle Hamilton, their children and grandchildren; Carol’s husband, Warren Rhoads, Warren’s sister and assistant pastor with Albert, Marilyn Rhoads, Warren’s daughter Cindy Hamlyn and sons of Warren’s daughter, Cathy, Jonathan, Alex and Christopher Hollandsworth.
His son John and wife Anne Scarffe, his sons Kendall and Wife Catherine and Brendan and his wife Molly and their four children; Anne’s sons Michael and Christopher Zeddis; daughter Jenn Buzis and her husband Nick, and eight grandchildren,; Nephew Charles Scarffe and wife Nancy and their children David and Victoria, niece Juneen “Jaye” Whorton, her husband Robert and sons Patrick and Casey and Daughter Kendall, and Nephew Paul Healey and his son, Corey.
Family and friends will celebrate his life at 11 a.m. on January 28, 2019, at John Collins United Methodist Church at Iliff and Bannock streets in Denver, CO.