Obituary: Sherron Hughes-Tremper

SAN ANTONIO, TX (August 24, 2015) — Sherron Hughes-Tremper, one of the first two women to be ordained in the Covenant, died this morning. Services are pending.

newspaper clipping from Chicago Sun-Times

Sherron, 70, was born July 9, 1945, in Ridgecraft, California. She graduated from Fresno State in 1967.

After graduating, she went directly into the Peace Corps and worked in El Salvador until 1969. Sherron told friends she believed the experience would test her mettle, perfect her Spanish, and prepare her to fulfill her calling to serve as a Covenant missionary.

When she returned, she entered North Park Theological Seminary. While there, she married Dale Tremper on March 25, 1970, and redirected her focus to living in the United States and a calling to “urban mission.”

While Dale attended Princeton, she worked as a social worker. She began a master’s program towards California teacher certification at Cal State during the time Dale served as associate pastor at First Covenant Los Angeles.

When Dale accepted a call to Douglas Park Covenant Church in Chicago. Sherron re-enrolled at the seminary in 1974 to complete her M.Div and seek ordination. She graduated in 1977, the year after the Annual Meeting voted to accept women candidates for ordination.

In 1978, she became the first woman to be ordained because her name “Hughes-Tremper” came first in the alphabet before the other woman to be ordained, Carol Shimmin. The Chicago Sun-Times posted a photo of the event on its front page.

SherronShe served for two years as staff chaplain at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. She completed supervisory training in clinical pastoral education (CPE) at Rush-Presbyterian Hospital, and then started the first CPE center in Arkansas at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where she served between 1984-87. She went on to serve as a supervisor at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington, and Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City. Sherron served as pastor of several United Methodist Churches before returning to be CPE supervisor at the Audy Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio from 2009 to 2012, when she retired.

Following her retirement she led an “art and spirituality” group for roughly a dozen homeless and marginalized persons.

Sherron is survived by her husband; a son, Matthew Arrington; a daughter, Stephanie Gameros; and two grandchildren.


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  • Just a note to let you know that my wife’s mother, Ruth Engstrom Anderson, was ordained by the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant Church in 1923, before she left for China as a Covenant missionary. She served there until she left for the USA because of World War II. We have the ordination paper. My wife, Vivian Johnson, was born in China and is Ruth Anderson’s daughter. Another female missionary was ordained at the same time.

    Ernie Johnson, 717 N. Pine Street, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

  • Lynn and I cherish the creative and innovative ministry time we shared with Sherron and Dale at The Covenant Community/ La Comunidad del Pacto (former Edgewater Covenant and now Belen in Chicago). Sherron officiated at the baptism of our infant son Aaron in 1979, baptizing him in Spanish during the bilingual service. La Paz del Señor.
    Keith Tungseth

  • Our gratitude to Dale and Sherron for their years of faithful ministry. May the peace of God which passes all understanding overwhelm you. Prayers from your youth pastor.

  • My memories of Sherron come from when she was in seminary, but not as a seminarian, but as a new mom to Matthew. Several of us had babies about the same time and I especially remember sitting in one of our living rooms, all of us feeding our babies and discussing our roles as new moms. Later, I remember her sharing the process for ordination. Thank you, Sherron (and Carol) for forging the path for other women, one of my daughters being one of them. Peace to your memory.

  • I didn’t know Sherron, nor Dale, that well. But do remember both while Dale was pastor at Douglas Park and Sherron was at NPTS where I also was a student, though in a different class.
    I respected both in their respective ministerial callings – Dale in his mission/ministry to Chicago’s under-privileged and certainly Sherron, as one of the first (I also remember Carol Shimmin) women to be ordained and serve in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Those definitely were formative years for these two ministers, to other women ministers-to-be, as well as to the Covenant at large.

    I thank the Lord for Sherron’s calling and ministry! My prayers will continue to her memory as well as to Dale and their whole family during this time!

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