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The Rev. Reynolds Smith Cheney II


1936 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
The Rev.  Reynolds Smith Cheney II Obituary
The Rev. Reynolds Smith Cheney II

Memphis, TN

The Rev. Reynolds Smith Cheney II, 80, died peacefully at home from complications of diabetes and kidney disease. He was born on July 19, 1936 in Jackson, MS to Winifred and Reynolds Cheney. He entered God's Kingdom of Heaven on July 10, 2017.

He grew up in Jackson where he received his undergraduate degree from Millsaps College. He attended Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1961. During his years in seminary, he received a Danforth Scholarship to intern as college chaplain for a year at the University of Pennsylvania. He was ordained to the priesthood by the Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, Jr. at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Jackson on June 16, 1961. From 1961-1963, he served as curate to St. Matthew's, Kosciusko; St. Mary's, Lexington; Grace Church, Carrolton and St. Clement's, Vaiden in the Diocese of Mississippi. From 1963-1968, he served as rector of St. John's, Aberdeen and as priest-in-charge of St. Michael and All Angels, Amory, and Grace Church, Okolona. In 1968, he became rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville, Mississippi where he served for thirteen years and priest-in-charge of Redeemer from 1968-1971. In 1981, he became rector of Church of the Holy Communion in Memphis where he served until he retired in 2001. During his tenure there, the parish surprised him by naming its new parish hall in his honor. Following his retirement, he continued to assist congregations throughout the Diocese of West Tennessee for several years.

During his 56 years of ordained ministry, the Rev. Mr. Cheney served in many capacities both in local settings and for the broader Episcopal Church. There were numerous ministries of which he was most proud. In Greenville, he was instrumental in establishing the Head Start program for the Delta region. He served for many years as chairman of the board for the Diocese of Mississippi's camp and conference center in Canton and was the co-founder of its camp for handicapped children, a program that is ongoing. He was a long-time deputy to the Episcopal Church's General Convention and served on many of its legislative committees, as well as six years on the Executive Council of the Church. He has also served in many leadership capacities in the Diocese of West Tennessee.

His gifts of story-telling, of remembering everyone he ever met and calling them by name, and of genuine care and concern for his flock have endeared him to family and a broad network of friends.

He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Stephanie Turnbull Cheney, his three children, Antoinette Bibb Cheney (Don DeRooy) of Memphis, Reynolds Smith Cheney III (Arden) of Columbus, Georgia, and Ruth Cheney Patton (Kurt) of Memphis, his three wonderful grandchildren, Dorothy Cheney, Bauer Patton and Glover Patton, and his stepsons, Brian Helm (Susan) and Ben Helm (Mark Jones). He is also survived by his brother, William Garner Cheney (Martha) of Birmingham, Alabama, his sister, Winifred Cheney Barron (Pat) of West Point, Virginia and many cousins, nieces, and nephews across the country. He was predeceased by his first wife, Allan Glover Walker Cheney.

The Burial Rite and Holy Eucharist in celebration of his life and ministry will be held at Church of the Holy Communion on July 31st at 2 p.m. The family welcomes all to join them in Cheney Parish Hall from 11:30-1:30 prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to Church of the Holy Communion, 4645 Walnut Grove Road 38117, Millsaps College Cheney Family Scholarship Fund, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39202, Camp Bratton Green, 1530 Way Rd., Canton, MS 39046, or the .
Published in The Commercial Appeal from July 13 to July 30, 2017
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