DarEll Weist, 81, born April 9, 1940, died December 10, 2021, unexpectedly at a hospital in Orange County, California.
DarEll Weist graduated from Jamestown High School in 1958. He grew up in the Evangelical United Brethren tradition, attended their Westmar college and Evangelical Theological Seminary in Napier, Illinois. He has a doctorate from Claremont School of Theology. He was a UMC pastor in the Midwest, and a campus minister. DarEll was United Methodist through and through; totally concerned about what the next stage of a multi-faceted United Methodist Church might be.
A United Methodist historian, a writer of history and children’s books, at one of the earlier stages of his life he was accepted as a missionary seminary teacher to Sierra Leone the same week he was accepted at UCLA for graduate work in library science. Sierra Leone won out, and he ended up teaching the core theology courses to those seeking to serve the church in their country. That experience turned this North Dakota born and raised young man into a world traveler who learned from the people wherever he was in the world. DarEll traveled to over 70 countries, with strong emphasis on justice and conflict resolution.
DarEll had an era of high distinction, for 17 years in an urban focused ministry during which he carried business cards for three entities: He was Senior pastor of a struggling LA First United Methodist church. He was Executive Director of a pioneering and venturesome Urban Foundation, he was creating founder and CE of the development corporation which built 252 high quality apartments for low wealth seniors and families a block from the Staples center and convention center, a permanent and very distinguished legacy.
DarEll Weist is preceded in death by his Parents, Al & Esther Weist, a brother, Tim and many aunts and uncles.
DarEll is survived by his wife, Diane, two children, Jolane, and Greg & Gaby Weist, 3 Grandchildren, BreeAnn & Cameron Weist and Colby & Katie Weist, a sister Juel & Bill Donner, and a brother, Jason West. 2 Nephews, Karl, Marissa & Emmie Lou Donner & Kris Donner and a niece, Katrina & Aaron Luing.
A Celebration of DarEll’s life will be scheduled for late Spring, when Covid realities make it possible. Todd Funeral Home in Claremont, CA is making the arrangements.