Pastors' Memoirs

Albert N. Honaker Jr., 1922-2007

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Albert (Al) N. Honaker Jr., 84, of Arlington, Va., died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 16, 2007, at the Arlington Hospital Center surrounded by his family.

Al was born in Pocahontas, Va., on Feb. 25, 1922, to Albert Sr., and Dora Mitchell Honaker. While attending school in Pocahontas, Al worked at the A&P Store and later the Pocahontas Fuel Company Store. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served during World War II. Following the war he graduated from Bluefield (W.Va.) Business College and then earned a degree in finance at the University of Virginia in 1949. After college he had his call to preach, thus entering the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., where he received his Master of Divinity in 1951. He served Methodist churches in Woodridge and Gainesville, Ga., during his enrollment at Candler. He then joined the Virginia Methodist Conference and was assigned to his first church in Batesville, near Charlottesville. He subsequently served the following churches: Arlington Methodist, Arlington; St. Johns, Springfield; Huntington Court, Roanoke; Central, Hampton; Trinity, McLean; Calvary, Arlington; St. Paul, Woodbridge; Lincolnia, Alexandria; Central, Arlington; and Epiphany, Vienna. Al was instrumental in theformation of the National Capital Area Walk to Emmaus and served as spiritual director for many teams, as well as Chrysalis and Kairos.

Following retirement in 1992, Al continued to preach at Falcon’s Landing Military Retirement Home in Sterling for 10 years, and taught Bible at the Hermitage Methodist Home for many years. Throughout his career he led many tours to the Holy Land and other destinations worldwide. Also, Al traveled to India and Pakistan in support of church missionary work.

Upon returning from the war, Al married his high school sweetheart, Pearl Fisher, who succumbed to cancer in 1971. Al and Pearl had four children; Charles David of Denver, Colo.; Richard Albert (and daughter-in-law Ginger) of Dallas, Texas; Robert Jackson of Sterling, Va.; and Ruth Marie of Wilmington, Del.

In 1975 he married Arlin Gearhart Gordon and their marriage was one of joy and peace for 32 years. They adopted a fifth child, Theu Mai (and son-in-law Doug) Weinberg, who came to this country as a teenager from Vietnam during the war. Al had three granddaughters, Michele Honaker, Decatur, Ga.; Delany Honaker, Dallas, Texas; and Kim Mai Weinberg, Chantilly, Va.. He also leaves many nieces and nephews and in-laws, all of whom were much loved.

Rev. Honaker was known and loved for his dedication to his Christian mission, his eloquent style of preaching, his personal commitment to his congregation and his wonderful example as a spouse, father and grandfather. The legacy he left was one of love, dignity, Christian stewardship, devotion to the Lord and his family.

— Arlin Honaker




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