Memorial Wall Dedication - August 6, 2023
The memorial wall in the Memorial Hall of Union Church of San Juan was dedicated on Sunday, October 10th, 2010, with the memorial service for Lisa Edenton. The plan for the wall was prepared by architect Eitel (Ike) W. Schmidt III, the son of Fritz Schmidt, who was the architect of the present church located at Calle Laurel. The purpose of the wall is to honor former members of the church who have made exceptional and outstanding contributions throughout service and or donations as determined by the Church Council. Since 2010, including the four honorees today, we have recognized fourteen members of The Union Church of San Juan.
Today, August 6, 2023, we added four members to the Memorial Wall in Memorial Hall, long-time members who contributed to the growth and stability of The Union Church of San Juan: Alan T Udall, Virginia Mari Pennock, Patricia Jurgens, and Louis V Petit.
Photos from the Plaque Dedication Ceremony:
LOUIS VERNON PETIT
1934 - 2017
Louis was born in Alabama, one of two sons. His early and prep-schooling was in Mobile and he later completed a degree at the University of Phoenix. He served in the U.S. Army after completing his ROTC training and retired from service as a 1st Lieutenant.
He came to Puerto Rico to work at Mobile Paint Company and joined Union Church of San Juan on September 17, 1972, along with the 3 sons of Rev. Raymond and Dr. Lillian Strong. He dedicated his efforts for our church as early as 1977 by serving on the Social Concerns Committee and later served on several other committees: Budget & Finance, Pastoral Call, to name a few.
Louis had always loved sacred and classical music and chaired our Worship & Music Committee as far back as 1995. When it came time to replace our original Allen Organ, he served on the Replacement Committee along with Brenda Ferrer, Claudia & Ed Bost and Ellen Glz-Humbert. After evaluating models from other organ manufacturers, the Committee recommended our present 4 Manual Allen Organ. During the removal of the old instrument and the installation of the new one, he supervised and assisted the installers from Florida. Additionally, Louis sang for many years in our Chancel Choir.
When the Building Fund was organized, he was instrumental in raising the monies for that purpose and always assuring that UCSJ obtained the excellent quality of Mobile Paints for that purpose.
Working with Gary Humbert on the Sanctuary’s lateral and large rear, Holy Spirit, window, these two friends found local stained-glass artist, Roberto Lucca and created yet another project with members to beautify our church. Louis’ personal donation is the representation of the Holy Dove. Louis belonged to San Juan Rotary and the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Puerto Rico District.
After an extended illness, Louis passed away and according to his wishes, his ashes were placed at the Columbarium in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery with the following inscription on his niche: “A Child of God.” Rest in Peace, dear Friend!
VIRGINIA MARI PENNOCK
1935 - 2020
Virginia was born in San Juan in 1935 and was raised on the grounds of her family’s beautiful farm, Pennock Gardens, in Río Piedras. She spent her elementary years at St. John’s School; High School at Miss Harris School for Girls in Miami, FL, and Completed her studies at the prestigious School of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia. It was at UG that she met her husband, David Mari. After several years of living in Florida and Germany, they returned to PR.
Virginia worked as a landscape Architect in some extraordinary projects. She won the Outstanding Design Award by the American Association of Nurserymen for her site design at the Hotel Americana (today the Royal Sonesta Hotel) in Isla Verde. Virginia then took some time off to have and raise her three daughters, Barbara, Deborah and Cathy.
Virginia’s love for Landscaping and for her beautiful island of Puerto Rico remains alive via a scholarship in her name at the Colegio de Arquitectos y Arquitectos Paisajistas de PR for the LARE (examen de registro de arquitectos paisajista) awarded every year.
Virginia shared her fond childhood memories of attending the Union Church, then located in Miramar. Later in life, Virginia found her way back to the UCSJ and became a member in October 2007.
In 2012, Virginia and Candy Rivera partnered to open the UC Thrift Shop, a major ministry of the Social Concerns Committee. By their clever attention to detail the “Shop” became the more upscale “Boutique“ but never lost sight of its mission of sharing clothing with the needy.
Virginia contributed four years as Secretary of the Union Church Council (2013 -2017) and the following two years as Council Vice President. She was also instrumental in improving the landscaping of the church ‘s front lawn.
In addition to being a good and faithful servant, Virginia blessed us with her kind and gentle ways.
ALAN T. UDALL
1941 - 2022
Alan Taylor Udall was born in Ithaca, New York on May 5, 1941. His superior intelligence led him to studying at Stanford University and then Yale University where he completed a Ph.D. in Economics. His professional journey took him to Colombia, Panamá and in the late 70’s, to Puerto Rico.
Shortly after his arrival to PR, Alan started attending the Union Church of San Juan. He became a member in December 1979. From the onset Alan was involved on church committees. That very year he was serving on the Christian Education Committee.
Alan began taking Spanish classes with a parishioner, Angie Caforus, whom he met at UC. It was Angie who introduced Alan to her friend, Felicita affectionately known as Lita. As they say, the rest is history… Alan and Lita were married in 1983.
Alan’s professional experience as an advisor in the banking industry and his financial savvy would make him a valuable asset to managing the UC finances. He was immediately recruited! Over the years he faithfully served alternating as the Council Treasurer and the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. At the time of his passing in March 2022, Alan was serving as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
As a close friend described Alan, “He was a noble and humble man with a good heart. God gave him intelligence and wisdom; able to maintain a calm and collected demeanor even in the midst of heated discussions. Alan projected the kind of peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit in his heart. He was a man faithful to his family, his church and Jesus Christ, his lord and Savior.” This is how we all remember him!
PATRICIA K. JURGENS
1933 - 2023
Patricia, fondly known to us as Pat, was born on Valentines Day in Rockford, Illinois where she resided, graduating from High School as the Class Valedictorian. She married her HS sweetheart, Loren Jurgens. Pat worked in Rockford as a store Manager for Sears until the family moved to Puerto Rico in 1960.
Prior to coming to the Union Church, she sang with her alto section at the San Juan Navy Base Church. She followed her daughter, Lori, who was singing in the Union Church Chancel Choir. Pat joined the Union Church on March 10, 1985.
During her years in PR, Pat managed well-known decorator Bill Boydston’s upscale store "ETC" and was there, until Mr. Boydston retired. Pat later worked for her daughter, Dr. Lori Jurgens (an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon) and Dr. Juan Vigo (a Neurosurgeon), managing their medical businesses.
Pat served on a number of Council committees throughout the years. Particularly memorable were her years as Chair of the Fellowship Committee. Under her leadership and financial support, in 2003 the Memorial Hall was renovated: new stage with dressing rooms, lighting, and the blue curtains that are still hanging today. The Hall was painted; new tables and chairs purchased. Memorial Hall became the perfect venue for the various “productions” and talent shows showcasing Union Church members.
It was Pat who first fostered our Social Concerns outreach ministry to Bill’s Kitchen, a charity that continues to be one of our outreach ministries.
It was only natural that by her participation on the Church Council, serving on various committees, and her leadership skills that she was a qualified candidate to be President of the Council. As President, Pat served two consecutive terms: 2006-07 and 2007-08. During those years Roland McGregor was our Interim pastor and Charlie Pridmore was called to be our Senior Pastor.
In 2013, on Christmas day, Pat moved to Boston with Lori and granddaughter, Lorena. Until the last two weeks of her life, Pat walked everyday, did all the bookkeeping for Lori, enjoyed jigsaws and her daily crossword puzzles. Pat passed away shortly after her 90th birthday.