The Reverend Donald L. Karshner - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

The Reverend Donald L. Karshner

Born November 16, 1926

The Reverend Donald L. Karshner, age 89, of Philadelphia, PA, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

Born in Columbus, Ohio on November 16, 1926, Reverend Karshner was a son of the late Glenn Davis and Louise (Knapp) Karshner and was a direct descendant of Conrad Kershner whose rooms are part of the Pennsylvania German collection at Winterthur. After attending public schools in Columbus, he went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and later received his master’s degree in Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was a member of Kappa Phi Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha. A proud veteran, Reverend Karshner served his country as a member of the U.S. Army from 1946 until 1948. After serving in parishes in Massachusetts and Ohio, he was appointed Rector of the former St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where he would spend the next 18 years until his retirement in 1986. Reverend Karshner was the host of the weekly radio show, Religion and Life on WDEL for many years.

Active in his community, he devoted much of his time serving on various boards and committees throughout the years, including Project Equality, the Ecumenical Lenten Noonday Service Committee, the committee for Constitution and Canons, the Clergy Support Division and Communications Division all for the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, the Delaware Association of Episcopal Clergy, Limen House, Wilmington Bicentennial Celebration, Family Services of Northern Delaware, Resource Member of Singles, Venture in Mission (AIIM), the Commission on Ministry and as chairman of the Continuing Education for Clergy.

In addition to his parents, Reverend Karshner was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda C. (Lewis) Karshner. He is survived by his children, W. Christen Karshner of Newark, DE and Donald L. Karshner, Jr. of Lake Havasu, AZ; brother, Jerrold Karshner of Columbus, OH; sisters, Carole Kolumer of Knoxville, TN and Suzanne Karshner of Logan, OH; and by his granddaughters, Alexandra C. Leech and Carolyn L. Coliukos who affectionately referred to their grandfather as Grand-da-da.

Services and interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


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7 Condolences for The Reverend Donald L. Karshner

  • I and the community are grateful for his leadership in Ecumenical matters. Thanks for sharing his life with us. from Resurrection RC Parish

  • I have known Don for many years. After he moved to Philadelphia I didn’t see him, but talked to him on the phone. We went with him on many occasions to the Grand Opera House and one occasion went to the Christmas show at Radio Music Hall. I will miss him.

  • I am saddened by this news and shall miss my yearly correspondence with Don. Forty-five years ago he officiated at our wedding at St. Andrew’s. Our correspondence over the years has meant a great deal. We shall remain thankful in prayer for his presence in our lives.

  • Hi Don and Chris, Its been 20 years but I want to wish our condolences at the loss of your father. Take care Butch and Michelle Howett

  • I was always very fond of “Mr. Karshner” (as he was known to me in my younger years). He always had a way of saying just the right words to bring comfort to others about him who were grieving. And, not only when people were facing the loss of a loved through death but also divorce.To paraphrase his words at my Father’s passing: “Now, he has had his Resurrection.” Thank you for the comfort that you brought me during difficult times. My condolences to the Karshner family.

  • Chris and Don and family,

    I met your dad when I was the assistant at St Luke and The Epiphany on 13th Street in Philadelphia. Chris I remember meeting you too. I am grateful to have known him, for all his encouragement and for his sense of humor and of course, for his book recommendations.
    May he rest in peace.
    God’s Peace to you all.

    The Rev’d Marlene “Mike” Haines

  • Chris and Don and family

    I got to know Don when we both attended St Luke and the Epiphany around the same
    time. We had a lot in common including being retired Episcopal priests, and graduates of Union Theological Seminary which he dearly loved. As did I. I live just around the corner from his Condo, took him numerous times to visit longer term care places, admired his ability courage and perseverance (stubbornness!) to manage where he was. It was a nice suitable unit and he loved it and kept it in perfect order. He loved being in Philly and was always so grateful. For all of you, for his many blessings, his faith, and for his children and grandchildren and great grand child. He Felt deeply for you in your ups and downs and loved you so very much.

    I made more than a few trips with him over the shoes…which were like the white whale he: captain Ahab.
    We were going to make another foray to look at homes ” after the holidays”. I had heard that one before, but it did sound a little more convincing last time he said it- which was Thanksgiving. I will miss him deeply and so I have some idea how much you will. God be with you. Scott