The Rev. Dr. Robert Dean Kysar, age 79, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, died on Thursday, October 31, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Johnís Creek, Georgia.
Bob was known for his sense of humor, his friendly personality, and his forward-thinking vision.
He was born on July 6, 1934, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He graduated from high school in American Falls, Idaho, and with honors in English Literature from Albertson College of Idaho in 1956. He received his Bachelor of Divinity with distinction from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and was ordained as a Methodist pastor in 1959. He earned his Ph.D. in 1967 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1979.
He was a post-doctoral research fellow at Yale University 1973-1974 and Visiting Scholar, Wesley House, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, in February 1997.
He served as minister at many churches, including United Methodist Church in New Haven, Conneticutt. He served as co-pastor with his wife The Rev. Dr. Myrna Kysar at Christ United Lutheran Church, Gordon, Pennsylivania, and at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in Ambler, Pennslyania.
He taught at many universities and seminaries, including Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He ended his career as Bandy Professor of Preaching and New Testament at the Candler School of Theology and Religion at Emory Univeristy in Atlanta.
Though his 1975 publication of The Fourth Evangelist and His Gospel: An Examination of Contemporary Scholarship established his place in international theological scholarship, John, the Maverick Gospel, published in 1993, was his most significant and widely-read work. Over his lifetime, he published twenty-one books and over fifty academic articles.
He was a champion of human rights and confronted injustices his whole life. In the 1960s, he registered African-American voters in Alabama. Later, he protested the Vietnam War and was active in the DFL party in Minnesota. He defended womenís rights, promoted non-sexist language in scholarly and every day usage, and supported gay and lesbian equality.
Bob loved traveling by motorcycle, motor home, car, or boat cruise; he enjoyed popcorn, ice cream, gin and tonics, and music. Though he is known for his warm smile, he suffered occassionally from depression. In his retirement, he served the church by writing several study guides for local congregations.
He is survived by his wife of forty years, Myrna Kysar; daughters Kathryn Kysar (Scott Velders) and Karen Kysar; grandchildren Cole, Ada, Kael, and Aedan. He is preceded in death by parents Cal Kysar and Ida Pearl Kysar and brothers Cal Kysar and Ted Kysar.
A celebration of life party will be held at Cross of Life Lutheran Church, 1000 Hembree Road, Roswell, Georgia, 30076, on Friday, November 8, at 7:00 p.m. Another celebration will be held in Pennsylvania at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make donations can send their gifts to the Alzheimerís Association, Lutheran World Relief, or Habitat for Humanity.
Arrangements by SouthCare Cremation & Funeral Society, Alpharetta, GA. (678) 735-5500.
Celebration of Life
November 8, 2013, 7:00PM
Cross of Life Lutheran Church
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