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Dr. Rev. W. Haydn Ambrose

Obituary
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Dr. Rev. W. Haydn Ambrose, 90, a longtime resident of Kalamazoo, Mich., and former vice president of Kalamazoo College, died Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in Kalamazoo.

He was born in Ammanford, Wales, in 1922 and moved to Lehman Township with his family as a child. He graduated from Lehman High School in 1940. He received bachelor's degrees in history and theology from Eastern College and Eastern Baptist Seminary and was ordained to the ministry in 1945. He later studied at the Lancaster Seminary, the University of Illinois and Western Michigan University, where he earned a master's degree in educational administration.

In 1963, he received an honorary doctorate from the American Baptist Seminary of the West.

Dr. Rev. Ambrose became vice president for development at Kalamazoo College in 1983, where he oversaw fundraising, alumni relations, public relations, publications and research, and launched a major capital campaign.

He had served the college since 1967 in numerous roles, including assistant to the president for church relations, dean of admissions and financial aid, and associate director of development. He retired in 1988.

Before joining Kalamazoo College, he was the national director of campus ministry for the American Baptist Churches, based in Valley Forge. He had been the Baptist chaplain at the University of Illinois, and pastor of the First Baptist Church in Mankato, Minn.

In addition to numerous church curriculum texts, he was the author of "The Church in the University," published in 1969. The work reflects Ambrose's lifelong commitment to the role of educational institutions in helping individuals and groups learn together in a context of freedom and creativity.

"It seems evident that the church needs to begin by learning to accept the university as it is," he wrote in that book. "The church must realize that the truth uncovered by this free community of learning is the truth which God attempts to reveal."

He was an avid reader of history, theology, philosophy and science, and was very devoted to his Welsh heritage. He was very active in church and community groups, and met each week with other retired faculty and staff members of Kalamazoo College.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jane, in 1969.

He is survived by his second wife, Lone Bailey, whom he married in 1971. Other survivors include a sister, the Rev. Anita Ambrose, Pittston; daughters, Diana Ball and Nancy Gallagher; sons, Brian and Ross Ambrose; and three grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo, Mich., at 1 p.m. Friday. Visitation will begin at noon.
Published in Citizens' Voice on Sept. 12, 2013
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