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Howard C. Leming


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Date published: 8/5/2014

Howard C. Leming

The community lost Howard Leming, a beloved pastor ministering for over six decades on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at the age of 89 years.

The Rev. Leming served The Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg from 1977 until 1990 and, thereafter, numerous churches in the region as interim pastor, including Hartwood Presbyterian Church and Summit Presbyterian Church in Stafford County, and Milford Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green.

Over the years Howard served congregations in South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida and other locations in Virginia. In fact his first student pastorate in 1950 was in Bealeton. During his tenure at The Presbyterian Church, Howard organized three Presbyterian churches in Stafford County, Spotsylvania County and the Korean Presbyterian Church in Fredericksburg.

Howard’s commitment to children was well-established, and as part of his doctoral program at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Austin, Texas, he compiled collections of children’s sermons that he used for decades during his favorite part of the worship service. He also earned a graduate degree in counseling from the University of South Florida in Tampa specializing in problems of the aging. His divinity degree was received from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, and his undergraduate degree was earned at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., where he grew up. His mother, Leona, a dedicated Methodist, was most responsible for his religious training and interest in the Christian Church.

Howard was married for 55 years to Ethel Clark Leming, a schoolteacher and loving mother, who predeceased him in 2006. His survivors include his children, Clark Leming, an attorney in Stafford, and Laura Blackburn, an artist and retired guidance counselor in Spotsylvania; and grandchildren Bryan Blackburn, an Army Ranger, and his infant daughter, Savannah, and infant son, Declan; Miller Blackburn, a real estate agent in Fredericksburg and recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond; and Sara Leming, a student at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.

A memorial service for Howard Leming will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at The Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Students Helping Honduras, a charitable organization established by a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, as well as a dedicated mission of Summit Presbyterian Church and long-established cause of Howard’s granddaughter Sara. The address is 1213 Dandridge St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401.