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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Bishop Yeakel’s Memorial Service

    Bishop Joseph Yeakel died July 4, 2021 at the age of 93. He served as Resident Bishop of the New York West Area, which at the time included three Conferences (Western New York Conference, Northern New York Conference, and Central New York Conference) from 1972-1984. The Upper New York Conference, as well as Methodists across the Connection, mourn his death.

    His fall 2021 Memorial Service was postponed due to the concern of COVID-19 at the time. The Memorial Service was rescheduled for Friday May 20, 2022, at 3 p.m. at University United Methodist Church, 324 University Ave. in Syracuse, NY.

    Originally scheduled for Oct. 2, Bishop Yeakel's family released the following statement, "Our world paused this summer with the loss of our father. The world paused previously for Covid and now is pausing again. Out of concern for all who planned to travel and gather in October (as well as those they contact along the way), we have decided to postpone the memorial service for Dad. It is our hope and desire to reschedule this celebration of Joe Yeakel’s life when all can gather safely again. Future plans will be posted here. Thank you for your love and understanding. Stay well."

    Bishop Yeakel's cremains will be inurned in the Lakeview Columbarium at Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center in Moravia, NY. Gifts can be made in his honor to Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center by clicking here.

    Questions can be directed to Upper New York Conference Episcopal Office Manager, Mary Bradley, at or 315-898-2020.

    Bishop Yeakel’s leadership roles in the Methodist Church are extensive. From 1972-1980 and 1988-1996, he served on the General Board of Church and Society, and as president from 1976-1980 and 1992-1996. During 1980-1988, he served on the General Council on Finance and Administration. His latest episcopal residency was with the Baltimore-Washington Conference, where he served from 1984-1996. He retired in 1996. Click here to read an article about Bishop Yeakel's service and committment to the United Methodist Church.

    A recording of the Memorial Service is available for viewing.

    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."