Rev. John William Symonds, 54, passed away on Father’s Day, June 19, 2022, at his home with his family in Elverson, PA. He endured a brief battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer, being diagnosed in December 2021. He was the beloved husband to Kim Symonds, with whom he shared 11 yrs. 9 months of marriage. They were married in Lancaster, PA.
Born in Lancaster Pennsylvania, John was the son of Gordon and Carole (Beck) Symonds. He attended Penn Manor High School, Millersville University, Cook College Rutgers, Lancaster Theological Seminary and Seminary of the Southwest. He studied environmental planning and design, theology, and went on to get his Masters of Divinity. He was ordained into priesthood in February 2009. John was the Priest at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Downingtown, PA for the past 6 years. He also lived in Omaha, NE and served as Priest of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Blair, NE for 5 years. His formative years in the church included time in Lancaster County at Bangor Church, St. John’s and St. James Episcopal Church. Before he was called to serve in the church, John was the director for the Lancaster County Conservancy. He thrived being a part of land preservation as well as helping people.
John was a member and lead clergy of the Downingtown Ministerium. He was also a board member of The Church Foundation. He was a lover of the out of doors and he would jump at any chance to hike, get out on the water, camp, enjoy a bon fire, or play soccer. He met his wife after 40 and had the blessing of a young family. John spent much of his free time caring for his home and property, outings with his family, playing board games, and exploring new and old interests, such as hobby trains or learning the best ways to find an approach to trees. He had the gift of a listening ear and patience. His kindness will always be remembered. He maintained many friendships over the years, new and old. John was known as “coach” by his soccer buddies, dadda by his kids, and Father John by his parishioners.
He is survived by his spouse, Kimberly (Rood) “Kim”; children Macayla, David, and Evan; mother, Carole A.; sister, Sheryl A. Symonds; brother, Gordon P. Symonds III “Ted”. He was predeceased by his father Gordon P. Symonds, Jr.
A Service of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, June 29 2022 at 2pm, at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 409 E. Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335. The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutiérrez, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, will officiate the service. Visitation with the family will be at the church prior to the service from 12:30-1:45. There will be a reception to follow, off church grounds, as well as an interment, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Honey Brook, later in the day.
Memorial donations, if so desired, may be made to St. James’ Episcopal Church Downingtown at the address listed above or the Lancaster Conservancy, 117 S West End Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603.