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The Rev. William E. Exner Obituary

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The Rev. William E. Exner

Goffstown, New Hampshire

April 8, 1954 - April 24, 2022

The Rev. William E. Exner Obituary

The Rev. William E. Exner (Bill), born 8 April 1954, died peacefully in his sleep on 24 April 2022. He was the son of the late Elizabeth (Myers) Exner and Edward Exner of Fairport, NY. Rev. Exner grew up in upstate New York, graduating from Fairport High School, where he met his future wife of 46 years, Jane Bluhm. An avid, lifelong athlete, Bill was on the varsity hockey and soccer teams before graduating in 1972. He went to college at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he played hockey for two years before transferring to Ithaca College (BA in Sociology). In 1982, he received his Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. His first position in parish ministry was shared between Christ Church, Sackets Harbor, NY and Trinity Church, Watertown, NY, where he began as a deacon and was ordained to the priesthood in 1983. In 1985, he accepted the call from St. Matthew’s Church in Goffstown, NH, where he served as Rector for 31 years until retiring in 2016. In addition to his spiritual leadership of generations of St. Matthew’s parishioners, Bill was devoted to building community beyond the church’s walls. He convened the Youth Forum, coached youth hockey and baseball teams as well as GHS’s Destination Imagination team (then: Odyssey of the Mind), served on the board of Crispin’s House, and was a library trustee. He also worked to establish the Community Clothing Center and inspired the Goffstown Network Food Pantry’s transition from a parish ministry to the wider program as it exists today. Bill was an avid supporter of the Poor People’s Campaign and a believer in peace and social justice. He served on the Diocesan Outreach Commission for the Episcopal Church, was Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and a Senior Deputy for the Diocese of New Hampshire to General Convention. Rev. Exner received numerous awards and recognition for his work, but considered nothing as rewarding as the personal connections and relationships he formed with members of his community. In his role as Rector, he will be remembered by countless individuals as a man who was there for them on the darkest days of their lives as well as on the most joyous. Whether blessing a marriage, honoring the end of a life well-lived, or offering a listening ear in challenging times, Bill brought the same steady presence, belief in a generous and forgiving God, and conviction that love and kindness will always prevail. In addition to his zeal for peace and fellowship within the community, his personal passions were many and varied: he had a life-long love for music, with a particular taste for classic rock and roll, country western, blues guitar, and folk. He had a deep appreciation for classic cars, and an encyclopedic knowledge of American muscle. Though he grew up in upstate New York, he was a die-hard Boston sports fan, counting the Red Sox World Series Title of 2004 and the Bruins Stanley Cup Championship of 2011 among the happiest moments of his life. Bill was also a cherished husband, father, and friend to many. He was at his happiest when surrounded by his family; teaching his grandchildren to fish, playing golf, telling jokes of questionable merit, or getting a game of pickup hockey going on the backyard rink on which he worked tirelessly every winter. He was well known as one of the slowest card players in the history of cards and good-naturedly lost to his wife at Bridge on a near weekly basis. All who had the pleasure of knowing him are better for his presence in their lives. He leaves behind a legacy of showing us all how to live with intention and to treat one another with kindness, respect, and love. He is survived by his wife, Jane (Bluhm) Exner, four children (Ellen Exner Zohn and Steven Zohn of Philadelphia, PA; Joseph P. Exner and Jill Cassidy Exner of Goffstown, NH; Stephen J. Exner and Victoria Serues of Boston, MA; Anna Exner Sullivan and Michael Sullivan of Bow, NH), six beloved grandchildren (Isaac McKay, Cassidy and Lucy Exner, Emma and Attix Exner, and Casey Sullivan), a brother, Eric Exner, and sister-in-law, Kathy Roberts Exner of Virginia Beach, VA, an aunt, Nancy Myers (Manhattan, NY), along with a large and beloved extended family. As Bill often reminded us, “Be big. Be a builder”. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2022 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at French and Rising Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at Rev. Exner’s beloved St. Matthew’s Church in Goffstown, NH at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 29, 2022. The service will be livestreamed for those who wish to attend virtually. (www.facebook.com/stmatthewsgoffstown) In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Rev. Exner’s preferred charities, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (https://epfnational.org) and the Goffstown Network Food Pantry (https://goffstownnetwork.org/donate/).

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of The Rev. William E. Exner hosted by French & Rising Funeral Home.

The Rev. William E. Exner (Bill), born 8 April 1954, died peacefully in his sleep on 24 April 2022. He was the son of the late Elizabeth (Myers) Exner and Edward Exner of Fairport, NY. Rev. Exner grew up in upstate New York, graduating from Fairport High School, where he met his future wife of 46 years, Jane Bluhm. An avid, lifelong athlete, Bill was on the varsity hockey and soccer teams before graduating in 1972. He went to college at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he played hockey for two years before transferring to Ithaca College (BA in Sociology). In 1982, he received his Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. His first position in parish ministry was shared between Christ Church, Sackets Harbor, NY and Trinity Church, Watertown, NY, where he began as a deacon and was ordained to the priesthood in 1983. In 1985, he accepted the call from St. Matthew’s Church in Goffstown, NH, where he served as Rector for 31 years until retiring in 2016. In addition to his spiritual leadership of generations of St. Matthew’s parishioners, Bill was devoted to building community beyond the church’s walls. He convened the Youth Forum, coached youth hockey and baseball teams as well as GHS’s Destination Imagination team (then: Odyssey of the Mind), served on the board of Crispin’s House, and was a library trustee. He also worked to establish the Community Clothing Center and inspired the Goffstown Network Food Pantry’s transition from a parish ministry to the wider program as it exists today. Bill was an avid supporter of the Poor People’s Campaign and a believer in peace and social justice. He served on the Diocesan Outreach Commission for the Episcopal Church, was Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and a Senior Deputy for the Diocese of New Hampshire to General Convention. Rev. Exner received numerous awards and recognition for his work, but considered nothing as rewarding as the personal connections and relationships he formed with members of his community. In his role as Rector, he will be remembered by countless individuals as a man who was there for them on the darkest days of their lives as well as on the most joyous. Whether blessing a marriage, honoring the end of a life well-lived, or offering a listening ear in challenging times, Bill brought the same steady presence, belief in a generous and forgiving God, and conviction that love and kindness will always prevail. In addition to his zeal for peace and fellowship within the community, his personal passions were many and varied: he had a life-long love for music, with a particular taste for classic rock and roll, country western, blues guitar, and folk. He had a deep appreciation for classic cars, and an encyclopedic knowledge of American muscle. Though he grew up in upstate New York, he was a die-hard Boston sports fan, counting the Red Sox World Series Title of 2004 and the Bruins Stanley Cup Championship of 2011 among the happiest moments of his life. Bill was also a cherished husband, father, and friend to many. He was at his happiest when surrounded by his family; teaching his grandchildren to fish, playing golf, telling jokes of questionable merit, or getting a game of pickup hockey going on the backyard rink on which he worked tirelessly every winter. He was well known as one of the slowest card players in the history of cards and good-naturedly lost to his wife at Bridge on a near weekly basis. All who had the pleasure of knowing him are better for his presence in their lives. He leaves behind a legacy of showing us all how to live with intention and to treat one another with kindness, respect, and love. He is survived by his wife, Jane (Bluhm) Exner, four children (Ellen Exner Zohn and Steven Zohn of Philadelphia, PA; Joseph P. Exner and Jill Cassidy Exner of Goffstown, NH; Stephen J. Exner and Victoria Serues of Boston, MA; Anna Exner Sullivan and Michael Sullivan of Bow, NH), six beloved grandchildren (Isaac McKay, Cassidy and Lucy Exner, Emma and Attix Exner, and Casey Sullivan), a brother, Eric Exner, and sister-in-law, Kathy Roberts Exner of Virginia Beach, VA, an aunt, Nancy Myers (Manhattan, NY), along with a large and beloved extended family. As Bill often reminded us, “Be big. Be a builder”. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2022 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at French and Rising Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at Rev. Exner’s beloved St. Matthew’s Church in Goffstown, NH at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 29, 2022. The service will be livestreamed for those who wish to attend virtually. (www.facebook.com/stmatthewsgoffstown) In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Rev. Exner’s preferred charities, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (https://epfnational.org) and the Goffstown Network Food Pantry (https://goffstownnetwork.org/donate/).

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of The Rev. William E. Exner hosted by French & Rising Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of The Rev. William E. Exner.