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Arthur Ray and Patsy Corder family.

Photo courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives.

Corder, Arthur Ray (1924–1994) and Patsy Carolyn (Quinn) (1924–2018)

By Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo, and Lowel J. Domocmat

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Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo is a theology instructor at South Philippine Adventist College, Digos Davao del Sur, Philippines. He finished his Bachelor of Theology from Mountain View College, Valencia, Bukidnon, Philippines in 2016. He earned an M.A. in religion in church history and theology from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in 2018.

Lowel J. Domocmat is professor of theology at Northern Luzon Adventist College, Artacho, Sison, Pangasinan, Philippines. He has served the church for 22 years as field pastor and professor of theology. He and his wife, Maria Carmela L. Domocmat, DNP, have three children. Currently, Domocmat is pursuing a PhD in religion at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

First Published: November 14, 2020

Arthur Ray and Patsy Carolyn Corder served the church as missionary educators in Philippine Union College (now Adventist University of the Philippines) and Antillean College (now Antillean Adventist University) in Puerto Rico.

Early Life, Education, and Marriage

Corder was the first child of Elwood Ray and Emma Silber Corder. He was born on November 3, 1924, in Knox County, Ohio.1 His parents were both workers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And he had a sister named June Ruth.2 At the age of 15, Arthur was baptized in April 1939 in Mount Vernon Academy by R. F. Farley.3

Corder was a product of Adventist education from primary school to college. He spent his elementary years at a church school in Mount Vernon, Ohio, where he attended from 1932 until 1938. He received his high school education from the Mount Vernon Academy, graduating in 1942.4 He then attended Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) from 1942 to 1946.5 His education was interrupted when he was drafted and enlisted in the United States Army. After his military discharge in 1947, Corder returned to college and enrolled at Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University). He received his bachelor of arts degree in chemistry with minor in mathematics in 1951. Following his graduation, he registered for graduate studies at Vanderbilt University. He obtained a master’s degree, and in 1956, he was conferred a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry.6

While stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Corder married Patsy Carolyn Quinn, his high school sweetheart, on January 28, 1947, in Takoma Park, Maryland.7 The daughter of Gilbert Clarence Quin and Grace Burchard of Oakdale, Tennessee, Patsy was born on March 14, 1924. Through the influence of her mother, she was baptized in April 1941 at Pacific Union College.8

At the age of six, Patsy, and her family moved to Graysville, Tennessee. She attended the Graysville Seventh-day Adventist Church School from 1934 to 1936, and the Oneida junior academy in Oneida, Tennessee, from 1938 to 1940. She briefly attended Graysville Academy before transferring Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio in 1940 from which graduated in 1942. She pursued college education at Washington Missionary College in Takoma Park, Maryland, where she studied nursing and become a Registered Nurse.9 She had a younger sister named Isabelle.10

Together Arthur and Pasty Corder had four children: Carolyn, Susanne, Jonathan, and Patrick.11

Ministry

Arthur Corder started his denominational service in 1947 as a maintenance painter for the Review and Herald Publishing Association.12 He also served as a biological aide at the Army Medical Center, conducting biological and chemical procedures in connection with vaccine research from 1948 to 1950.13 In 1952, Corder gained his first academic experience as a teaching assistant and instructor in the chemistry department of Vanderbilt University.14

On May 24, 1956, Corder, his wife, and their three children boarded the steamship Castleville, bound for Manila from Los Angeles. Corder had accepted a call from Philippine Union College, (now Adventist University of the Philippines) to serve as chemistry professor and head of the science department.15 He began his new duties in June 1956.16 and in the succeeding years Corder held various leadership capacities in the college. In 1958 he was the dean of faculty, in 1959 the dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and in 1960 the dean of the School of Science and Technology. These positions were in addition to his tenure as a professor of chemistry and mathematics.17

In July 1964, Corder was appointed Philippine Union College’s seventh president. He accepted the position with the condition that the college board continued search for a permanent president.18 He continued to serve dean of the School of Science and Technology while president.

During Corder’s presidency the college launched a nickel drive program in the early months of 1965 to help finance the college’s five-year development plan. The goal of this program was to gather 600,000 nickels from the 30,000 Adventists in the Northern Philippine Union. That is, each Adventist member was to give one Philippine peso or twenty nickels. A nickel was a five-centavo Philippine coin. The first beneficiary of this program was the college’s music department.19

On May 9, 1965, during the college commencement exercises, Corder passed the college presidency to Alfonso P. Roda. The Corders decided to return to the United States the following year. Indeed, after nine years in the Philippines the Corders left the country in 1966 for another teaching position Pacific Union College in California. Arthur Corder joined the chemistry department of the college as a full professor. He remained a professor at the college until 1982.20

The last six years of Corder’s denominational work were spent overseas. For the second time, Corder and his family left their homeland for missionary service abroad after he accepted a call to Antillean College (now Antillean Adventist University) in Puerto Rico in 1982. He served as chair of the physical science, mathematics, and computer science department.21 After a furlough, Corder returned to Antillean College to be the chair of the physical science department until his retirement in 1990.22

Later Life

After the Corders’ retirement, they returned to Harriman, Tennessee, where Patsy Corder was able to care for her aging mother. A few years after retirement, Arthur Corder died on February 7, 1994, at the age of 69. He was interred in Roane County, Tennessee.23

After her husband and her mother died, Patsy Corder moved to California in 2001 to live with her youngest son. She moved again to Oregon in 2015 to be near her oldest son. Her final home was in the Northport Flatcreek near her daughter and family. Patsy Carolyn Corder passed away peacefully at her home with her loving family by her side on May 26, 2018.24

Legacy

Arthur Ray and Patsy Carolyn Corder served the church as missionary educators in three different educational institutions on three different continents. As a science professor, Arthur Corder’s primary legacy was his impact on his students. They were mentored to become scientific thinkers and innovators in service to God and humanity. Corder was also the seventh president of the Adventist University of the Philippines. During his tenure, he contributed to advancements in university’s science department. He also spearheaded initiatives to improve the physical development of the institution.

Sources

Alsaybar, B. B. “Aim for 600,000 Nickels in Philippines.” ARH, May 13, 1965.

Alsaybar, B. B. “PUC Acting President.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 1964.

“Arthur Ray Corder obituary.” Southern Tidings, June 1994.

“Arthur Ray Corder obituary.” PeopleLegacy.com, 2022. Accessed January 20, 2022. https://peoplelegacy.com/arthur_ray_corder-3q2S1F.

Beach, W. R. “From Home Base to Front Line.” ARH, June 21, 1956.

Biographical Information Blanks. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

Gibb, A. E. “Far Eastern Division.” ARH, October 15, 1964.

“June Ruth Coder Harms obituary.” Union-Bulletin, July 31, 2018. Accessed December 12, 2021. https://www.union-bulletin.com/obituaries/june-ruth-corder-harms/article_04af4828-905c-11e8-8165-4392f15dfef1.html.

“New Faculty Members Announced for the School Year 1966-1967.” Pacific Union Recorder, June 27, 1966.

“Patsy Carolyn Corder obituary.” Statesman, Legacy.com. 2022. Accessed January 20, 2022. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/statesmanexaminer/name/patsy-corder-obituary.

“Regular Missionary Service.” ARH, October 6, 1983, 22.

“Regular Missionary Service.” ARH, January 1, 1987, 29.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958-1960.

Notes

  1. “Arthur Ray Corder,” Biographical Information Blank, General Conference Archives.

  2. “June Ruth Coder Harms obituary,” Union-Bulletin, July 31, 2018, accessed December 12, 2021, https://www.union-bulletin.com/obituaries/june-ruth-corder-harms/article_04af4828-905c-11e8-8165-4392f15dfef1.html.

  3. Biographical Information Blank, Arthur Ray Corder.

  4. Ibid

  5. Ibid

  6. “Arthur Ray Corder,” Biographical Information Blank; B. B. Alsaybar, “PUC Acting President,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 1964, 11.

  7. “Arthur Ray Corder,” Biographical Information Blank; “Patsy Carolyn Corder obituary,” Statesman, Legacy.com, 2022, accessed December 16, 2021, https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/statesmanexaminer/name/patsy-corder-obituary?id=12287915.

  8. “Patsy Carolyn Quinn Corder,” Biographical Information Blank, General Conference Archives.

  9. Ibid.

  10. “Patsy Carolyn Corder obituary,” Statesman, Legacy.com, 2022, accessed January 20, 2022, https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/statesmanexaminer/name/patsy-corder-obituary?id=12287915.

  11. “Ray Arthur Corder.” Biographical Information Blank.

  12. Ibid

  13. Ibid

  14. Ibid

  15. W. R. Beach, “From Home Base to Front Line,” ARH, June 21, 1956, 32.

  16. “Arthur Ray Corder,” Biographical Information Blank.

  17. “Philippine Union College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 241; “Philippine Union College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1959), 250; “Philippine Union College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1960), 258.

  18. A. E. Gibb, “Far Eastern Division,” ARH, October 15, 1964, 24; Alsaybar, “PUC Acting President,” 11.

  19. B. B. Alsaybar, “Aim for 600,000 Nickels in Philippines,” ARH, May 13, 1965, 15.

  20. “New Faculty Members Announced for the School Year 1966-1967,” Pacific Union Recorder, June 27, 1966, 8.

  21. “Regular Missionary Service,” ARH, October 6, 1983, 22.

  22. “Regular Missionary Service,” ARH, January 1, 1987, 29; “Patsy Carolyn Corder obituary,” Statesman, Legacy.com, 2022, accessed January 20, 2022, https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/statesmanexaminer/name/patsy-corder-obituary?id=12287915.

  23. “Arthur Ray Corder obituary,” https://peoplelegacy.com/arthur_ray_corder-3q2S1F. Accessed December 12, 2021. See also “Arthur Ray Corder obituary,” Southern Tidings, June 1994, 23.

  24. Patsy Carolyn Corder, Statesman, Legacy.com, 2022, accessed January 20, 2022,

    https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/statesmanexaminer/name/patsy-corder-obituary?id=12287915.

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Tornalejo, Adlai Wilfred M., Lowel J. Domocmat. "Corder, Arthur Ray (1924–1994) and Patsy Carolyn (Quinn) (1924–2018)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 14, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BAV6.

Tornalejo, Adlai Wilfred M., Lowel J. Domocmat. "Corder, Arthur Ray (1924–1994) and Patsy Carolyn (Quinn) (1924–2018)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 14, 2020. Date of access May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BAV6.

Tornalejo, Adlai Wilfred M., Lowel J. Domocmat (2020, November 14). Corder, Arthur Ray (1924–1994) and Patsy Carolyn (Quinn) (1924–2018). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BAV6.