Philip Neufer

Philip Dale Neufer

GREENVILLE - Reverend Dr. Philip Dale Neufer passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Due to these challenging times, Smith Funeral Service & Crematory, has graciously arranged a "virtual" service to be held Monday March 23rd at 4 pm ET. To attend, go to and click on his name on the homepage.

The youngest of three boys, Dale was born May 19, 1928 in Bloomsburg, PA to Lester and Mary (Bredbenner) Neufer. Like his older brothers, Dale valued education and began his life-long learning in a humble one room school house in the rural hills of PA. From there, he received his Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College and his Master of Divinity from Drew Theological Seminary. While at Drew, he was granted a year-long scholarship to attend Cambridge and London Universities. Upon return, he earned his Master of Sacred Theology from Boston University School of Theology, and in 1972, after much perseverance, he completed his Doctor of Theology Degree at Iliff School of Theology in Denver CO. His passion for scholarly research continued throughout his life with several publications exploring the mysteries of systematic theology, with his most recent publication in the Journal "Encounter" in 2011. Right up until his death, he was pursuing study of the complexities of the trinity and many other unanswered theological questions.

Dale also had a tremendous heart for ministry and serving the underserved. Starting at 17 years old, he served a wide range of urban and rural United Methodist Churches throughout PA, NY, MA, CO, and CT. His ministry continued well into his mid-seventies, cataloging over 2200 sermons (no repeats!). He touched countless lives and was always beloved by his many parishioners. He was particularly known for his patience and tireless compassion for the homebound, elderly and ailing members and friends of his churches.

While serving at College Ave United Methodist Church in Somerville, MA, he became smitten by a beautiful young woman named Judith Howard. They married July 15, 1961. For 58 years they were devoted partners in relishing all the many ups and downs of church life.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents and his two older brothers, Franklin Earl and Lester Paul Neufer. He is survived by his beloved wife, Judy; his son, Peter Darrell Neufer and wife Robin of Greenville NC; and grandchildren, Rachel Neufer of Denver CO, Kayla Neufer of Charlotte NC, and Drew Neufer of Nashville, TN. He is also survived by his daughter, Lynelle (Neufer) Phillips and her husband Steven J. Westgate of Columbia MO; grandchildren, Carter Phillips of Columbia MO, and Dalton Phillips of Blacksburg WV. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Marna Neufer, wife of L. Paul Neufer.

In lieu of flowers and to help in these challenging times, friends and families may consider a donation to the United Methodist Global Ministries Committee on Relief through St. James United Methodist Church in Greenville NC at 200 East Sixth Street Greenville, North Carolina 27858 or at

Arrangements by Smith Funeral Service & Crematory. Online condolences may be expressed at