Remembering Rev. Warren Tropf

Posted on August 18, 2011

Lakeside lost a dear friend and former staff member this week. The Rev. Warren R. Tropf, 88, died Aug. 11, 2011.

He was born Aug. 2, 1923 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a United States Army veteran serving in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. The Rev. Tropf was a graduate of John Adams High School, Cleveland; North Central University, Naperville, Ill.; and the College of Divinity at Yale University in 1951. He married Martha “Joan” Powell on March 11, 1950.

The Rev. Tropf was appointed as pastor of Windham (Ohio) Methodist Church, Nottingham Methodist Church (Cleveland) and Westlake (Ohio) United Methodist Church (UMC) where he served for 24 years until retiring in 1986.

The Rev. Tropf came to Lakeside each season for annual conference with his wife and three children. In addition to conference week, the Tropf family spent summer vacations exploring and camping in Lakeside.

Drawn to the character of Lakeside, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, and most of all, to the strong spiritual life of the community, in 1986 the Tropfs moved to a permanent home on Central Avenue in Lakeside. 

The Rev. Tropf and his wife were a team. For 18 years, they shared the responsibilities of coordinating Vespers. He was also one of the founders of Lakeside’s Annual Peace with Justice Week, a significant ministry that celebrated its 25th year this Chautauqua season.

He was a member of the Lakeside UMC, where he was active in the church choir, United Methodist Men, taught Sunday School and served on the Missions Committee. He was also the coordinator of Sunday devotions at Otterbein North Shore Retirement Living Community.

“For many members of the East Ohio Conference UMC and Lakeside community, the word ‘peace’ is immediately associated with Warren Tropf,” commented the Rev. Jay Althouse, chair of the Lakeside Religion Advisory Team. “Matthew 5:9 says that Jesus taught his followers, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ Warren filled that teaching.”

“Warren’s passing during Peace Week this year will serve to remind us of his legacy and love of Lakeside,” added Kevin Sibbring, Lakeside Association president/CEO. “He will always be remembered.”

He is survived by his wife Joan, sons Nathan and Thomas, daughter Lois, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19 at the Lakeside UMC and at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at Westlake UMC in Westlake, Ohio.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Lakeside UMC or the Westlake UMC. The Lakeside Association is also receiving contributions in the Rev. Tropf’s name to support Peace with Justice Week programming. Online condolences may be shared with the family at