Cornelius (Cornie) Charles DeGroat, affectionately known as Pastor D, passed peacefully to his eternal reward on Thursday, January 19, 2023, at the age of 90. Cornie was born May 16, 1932, in Watertown, NY, to Cornelius and Grace (Moon) DeGroat and grew up on the family farm in Lyons, NY.
After graduating high school, he joined the US Air Force where he served his country for 10 years, after which he prepared for ministry through Berean School of the Bible. He served Geneva Assembly of God as Associate and Youth Pastor for a couple years then accepted his first pastorate at the Assembly of God in Friendship, NY. Cornie worked with Teen Challenge, Rehrersburg, PA, and the Boston T.C. Center, Brockton, MA, for a few years when he was asked to return to Friendship, NY. He led a merger of the Assembly of God and the American Baptist Church, founding the United Church of Friendship in the mid-70s, serving as the beloved community pastor, actively involved in the community as a school bus driver, Rotarian, and a member of the volunteer ambulance crew. Upon retiring, he moved to Spencerport where he worked as Associate Pastor for visitation and seniors ministry, becoming everybody’s grandpa and famously known for his bear hugs.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Grace Kellner, whom he met at church in 1949 and married June 30, 1953, and a son, Bobby. He is survived by his second wife, Charlotte; children, Chuck (Cindy), Dick (Denise), Dan (Danielle), Bonnie (Jack), and step-son, Mike (Sherri); 10 grandchildren, Andrea (Matt), Olivia (Jeremy), Jonathan (Inah), Cara (Stephen), Bradley, and Renee, and 3 step-grandchildren, Kristy, Dan, and Megan; and 9 great-grandchildren, Josiah, Ella, Grant, Jude, Aria, Jael, Caden, Nathan, and Noel, and 1 step-great-grandson, Jaxson.
A memorial service will be held at Spencerport Assembly of God, 3940 Canal Road, Spencerport, NY, June 15, 2023 at 11:00 AM with repast following. A graveside ceremony will be held at South Lyons Cemetery, 8202 Gristmill Drive, Lyons, NY, at 3:30 PM that same day. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Spencerport Assembly of God.
My condolences on your father’s passing. May he RIP
Sorry to hear about dad, prayers for your families.
Chuck and Cindy, my heart breaks for you and your children for this Going Home of Your Most Love Family Member! Please trust God, as I know of His Grand Love will carry you through.
Dear Chuck and Dick, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s recent passing. Your dad and mom were excellent pastoral role models for me while attending Friendship Assembly of Gid. They influenced me in my current role as pastor’s wife at the United Parish, Winchendon, MA. They will be remembered with fond memories.