Winston Trever '37 B.D., staunch supporter of YDS, dies at 99

When Winston Trever ’37 B.D. died on Feb. 7 at the age of 99, Yale Divinity School lost one of its most faithful friends and alumni.  Over the years, Trever served tirelessly as Annual Fund class agent for the Class of 1937, and at the time of his death he was the oldest living class agent.

TreverTrever was especially passionate about financial aid for students, and in 1985 he and his wife, Lois, established the Winston and Lois E. Trever Scholarship Fund, aimed specifically at needy students preparing for ordination. Since that time the fund has grown considerably because of additional gifts to the Fund by the Treverses through charitable gift annuities.  The Trever family has designated the Fund for memorial gifts in lieu of flowers.

Over the years, Trever corresponded regularly with deans and administrators of YDS to ensure that the Fund was in good order, and he often wrote as well to recipients of the Trever Scholarship.  He kept an album of the letters he received from each of the students who received the scholarship and was happy to show the album to friends. More than two dozen YDS students preparing for ministry have benefited from Trevers’s generosity.  

John Lindner, director of the Department of External Relations at YDS, recalled, “He was a tall, articulate person  . . . very warm personality who left a positive impression from the moment he entered the room.  He was known as a fine preacher and left behind literally thousands of sermons he had written.”

Trever died on Feb. 7 in Lake Forest, CA, survived by his children, Norman, Carolyn and George; 10 grand children and eight great-grand children. He was preceded by his wife, Lois, in 2005. He graduated from the University of Southern California before entering Yale Divinity School.  He received an honorary doctor’s degree from the University of the Pacific.

He led churches in Jerome, AZ; Azusa, CA; Boulder City, NV; and Burbank, CA. While in Burbank, he led the construction of the Burbank First United Methodist Church. Following his tenure in Burbank, Trever accepted an appointment at the Wilshire United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.

An avid photographer, he presented many slide shows of his travels to the Holy Land, Korea and Borneo, and his “backyard zoo.” In 1959, his next appointment was at the fast-growing Fullerton UMC in Fullerton, CA. But after only one year, he accepted an appointment to the Mt. Lebanon UMC in Pittsburgh, PA. There, he served for 18 years before retiring. He served on several Methodist Conference Boards including Missions and was instrumental in helping develop the minister’s pension program.

Although officially retired, he continued to minister as an assistant to churches in Pacific Grove, CA and Laguna Woods, CA. He also ministered to residents of Freedom Village, Lake Forest and delivered a monthly telephone devotional to the very end.

A memorial service was held at Laguna Country United Methodist Church in Laguna Woods, CA on Feb. 25

Donations to the Winston and Lois E. Trever Scholarship Fund can be made by sending checks, marked “Winston and Lois E. Trever Scholarship” and made payable to “Yale Divinity School,” to Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511.



Date Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 1:54pm