Saturday, July 7, 2001


Minister, counselor
greeted all as family


Star-Bulletin staff

Phyllis C. Roe brought a background as ordained Methodist minister and trained counselor to the position of executive director of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Hawaii.

Roe died June 30 in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City of complications from cardiac surgery. She was 53.

During her 10 years of leadership, the center, which offers counseling and therapy sensitive to religious beliefs and traditions, has added satellite offices at six sites on Oahu and the Big Island.

Roe was married to the Rev. Michael Anderson, founding director of the center, and had served as associate director until his death in 1991.

"To have pastoral counseling well established and maintained was her hope," said Gary Augustin, interim director of the interfaith agency.

He said they would annually select recipients of a scholarship established by Roe's husband for students in pastoral counseling or doctorate programs nationally.

Roe was delighted to meet one of the recipients at a recent national conference of the National Association for Pastoral Counselors. The young woman from Chicago is now a professional counselor.

"Phyllis had the ability to relate to people," Augustin said. "She could develop a friendship. ... She was always receptive. She would tell people, 'You are my family.' She viewed them as brothers and sisters."

Roe, the daughter of a Methodist minister, was ordained in the Nebraska conference of the United Methodist Church in 1976.

She was formerly an adjunct professor at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Chicago. She spent four years as adjunct professor and coordinator of supervised ministry at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. She was a counselor with the Georgia Association of Pastoral Counseling.

Born in Dumas, Ark., she graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University and attended Union Theological Seminary and Candler School of Theology, earning a doctorate in sacred theology.

She is survived by mother Enid Roe of Norton, Kan.; brother J. Benjamin Roe of Denver; and sister Deborah Strathmann of Pacific, Mo.

Memorial services will be held at 5 p.m. next Saturday at First United Methodist Church. The family requests that aloha attire be worn, and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Samaritan Counseling Center of Hawaii, 1020 S. Beretania St., Honolulu 96814.

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