Rev. H. Bryan Werner passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh on June 16 surrounded by family and upheld by the prayers of many who were touched by his life of care and ministry. Born January 15, 1938 in Pittsburgh to Harry C. Werner and Dorothy M. Werner (née Bryan), his family relocated to the Buffalo area in his third-grade year, where his older sister, Marlene continues to live. After graduating high school, he went on to study physics and electrical engineering, achieving bachelor degrees in both from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University).
While in college, he met Nancy Fowler, a student of teaching at Indiana University (PA), whom he would marry in 1959. During that time, Bryan became a Christian and began a long and fruitful life of ministry. They established their family in his childhood neighborhood of Forest Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where they would have their three children, Sally, Heidi, and Noel. While he pursued a full-time career as an electrical engineer with the research-and-data division of Westinghouse Corporation, and got his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Nancy became the full-time manager of a very busy household.
After the Werners moved to New Alexandria, living in the former Presbyterian manse, Bryan and his family quickly became a part of the fabric of the town, making many friends and actively participating in church life, both at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Murrysville, and in prayer and praise fellowship hosted in their home. He immersed himself in supporting the civic life of the town, starting with the establishment of a local paper, The New Alexandria Sentinel (printed in the basement and delivered by hand), and culminating in his leadership of the town council, marked by many achievements including a town-wide sewage system and the development of the Grey Wing Park.
Their children went on to secondary education and successful careers, finding love in their lives and bringing new life into the world. Becoming grandparents was a special joy for both Nancy and Bryan during their 49 years of marriage. Nancy passed away in 2008, and it was during this time that Bryan answered God’s call to ministry, becoming ordained to Christ Church Ministries in 2011. In the midst of ministry to a variety of congregations, leadership of bible study and grief share groups, and service to those needing assistance with tax preparation, he began his long struggle with cancer and suffered the loss of his daughter, Heidi in 2015.
It was in 2016 that a new chapter in Bryan’s life began when he met fellow musician and minister, Rev. Rosalyn Rodgers, at a Christian Singles Retreat in Jumonville, PA. They happily married in St. Petersburg, FL in 2017, and he became part of a large and generous family. Since that joyous occasion, they were involved with Christ Church Ministries and filled in as musicians and preachers at various local churches, including Second Baptist Church in Blairsville and Old Salem Church in Derry. They sang and ministered for prayer groups, bible studies, and services in homes, and became beloved friends of many other congregations, including the United Methodist Church and the Community United Presbyterian Church in New Alexandria. During the pandemic, their outdoor Sunday porch hymn sings became a source of encouragement and joy to many. Their loving relationship continued to the end as Rose provided care during Bryan’s illness, surrounded and upheld by the friendship of many community members and neighbors.
Bryan is remembered by many for his quirky and often corny sense of humor and all-around sense of fun. He was well known for donning goofy hats and wearing gnarly, funky false teeth, then acting as if all was normal. He really knew how to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
He is pre-deceased by his first wife, Nancy Werner, and his daughter, Heidi Werner. He is survived by his second wife, Rev. Rosalyn Werner, sister Marlene Werner, cousin Mary Ellen Mundy, children Sally Stewart and her life partner Pete Hoch, Elizabeth Dingle, Rosa Lynn Winborne and her husband Rev. Wilbur Winborne Sr., Noel Werner and his wife Rev. Wendi Werner, William Rodgers, daughter-in-law Veronica Cordova, step-children Beverly Rodgers and Raymond Rodgers, grandchildren Joanna Smith, Nancy Cordova, Sophie Werner, Emily Werner, Kevin David Rodgers, William Blake Rodgers, Bevan Rodgers, Danielle Kesler, Wilbur Winborne Jr., Yvonne Winborne, Novella Winborne, Rosalynn Dingle, and numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Friday, June 25, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 P.M. at P. DAVID NEWHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, 215 Church St., New Alexandria, PA 15670, 724-668-2248, and Saturday, June 26, 2021 from 10 A.M. to 10:45 A.M. at Community United Presbyterian Church, 1640 Keystone Park Road, New Alexandria, PA 15670, where a Funeral Service will take place Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Dr. Wilbur Winborne Sr. officiating. Burial will follow in Union Cemetery, New Alexandria, PA. In lieu of flowers, Bryan's family requests that memorial donations be made to: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Arnold Palmer Pavilion (Medical Oncology) Mt. View Site; ATTN: Practice Manager - to benefit patient needs; 200 Village Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601. Visit www.NewhouseFuneralHome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. H. Bryan Werner, please visit our floral store.