Cover photo for Herbert Oakley Wrate's Obituary
Herbert Oakley Wrate Profile Photo
1938 Herbert 2021

Herbert Oakley Wrate

April 26, 1938 — November 15, 2021

Herbert Oakley Wrate, of Berrien Springs, Michigan, passed away on November 15, 2021. He was born on April 26, 1938 in Battle Creek, Michigan, to Joseph and Oneta Wrate.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Glenna Briggs, Doris Underwood, Leon Wrate, and Fern Palfi.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; son, Steve (Sonia) Wrate; daughter, Collene (Ron) Kelly; grandchildren: Nathan (Vivi) Kelly, Kristiana (Ian) Carney, Andrew Kelly, Jennifer (Tony) Thao, David (Kristen) Kelly, Julie Kelly; and one great-grandchild, Clara Thao. He is also survived by his brother, David Wrate; and sisters, Irma Church and JoAnne Snelling.

Herb served 10 years as a teacher and 30 years as an Educational Superintendent for the Northern New England, Indiana, Iowa-Missouri, and Wisconsin Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. Following retirement, he was called back to interim superintendent work four times. Herb participated in mission trips to various countries with his extended family and church members. His influence has reached around the world through his teaching, supervision, and mission work.

In addition to his family, Herb’s passion was Christian education and mission work. He enjoyed gardening and sharing the produce with family, friends and neighbors. Woodworking was one of his many talents and he enjoyed gifting family members with handmade items that have been treasured over the years.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions identified as the “Wrate Memorial Fund” may be made online at; or by mail to Indiana Academy, 24815 State Road 19, Cicero, IN 46034.

Messages and memories may be shared online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Herbert Oakley Wrate, please visit our flower store.


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