Richard A. “Skip” Whitcomb, 77, a retired Naval Officer and Pastor, was promoted to heaven on March 20th after a brief illness at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Roanoke , VA. He died peacefully in the presence of family.

Rev. Whitcomb was born July 11, 1930 at Melrose , Massachusetts . He graduated from Mt. Hermon School and Sully’s Preparatory School before earning his BSc in Engineering from the Naval Academy in 1953. He served for 20 years as a Naval Officer, rising to the rank of Lt. Commander and completing assignments on submarines, in Viet Nam , Taiwan , and Washington , DC .

After retiring from the Navy in 1973, Rev. Whitcomb entered the Christian ministry and served as Dean of Family Affairs at Christ for the Nations Institute, Dallas , TX for three years. He accepted the call to pastor at Risen Savior Fellowship in Milwaukee , WI , and served there14 years. While in Milwaukee , he was prominent in promoting racial reconciliation and fellowship among pastors from all denominations. He also led March for Jesus.

During his time in Milwaukee , Rev. Whitcomb assisted his son, Rick, in founding the Agape Gospel Mission, a worldwide missionary organization. He made several trips to Africa with AGM, during which he taught and preached God’s Word. He was a founding Board member of AGM, and was Board Member Emeritus at the time of his passing.

He moved to Roanoke , VA in 1994 and continued ministerial service by spearheading March for Jesus in the Roanoke Valley . Rev. Whitcomb was awarded a Doctorate in Theology from Jacksonville Theological Seminary, and taught at the River of Life Bible College in Roanoke . He also continued his work promoting racial reconciliation and ministerial unity, and volunteered at the Food Bank and at nursing homes.

Rev. Whitcomb is survived by his wife, Sheila, of Roanoke; by his three children, Karen Probus of Manassas, VA; Heidi Holland of Stanley, VA; and Rick Whitcomb of Accra, Ghana; and by 23 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday March 25th at 11:00 a.m. at the Maranatha Fellowship, 2715 Greenridge Rd. , Roanoke VA 24019-3430 . Burial will be held Wednesday March 26th at 2:00 p.m. at Culpeper National Cemetery , 305 U.S. Avenue
Culpeper , VA 22701 .

His family is requesting that memorial gifts be made to the Agape Gospel Mission, R.A. Whitcomb Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1458 , Manassas , VA 20108 .