Published on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Former Associate Publisher Mary Catherine Dean dies at 65

Nashville, July 24

Dear Friends of UMPH:

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Mary Catherine Dean Monday afternoon. Many of you will have known her as the Managing Editor/Editor-in-Chief of Abingdon Press.  

A member of the UMPH staff since 1983, Mary Catherine served as editor for scores of Abingdon authors, including Jim Moore, who wrote Yes, Lord, I Have Sinned, But I Have Several Excellent Excuses and other best sellers. Having served in a variety of editorial and leadership roles, including as an associate publisher, producing materials ranging from books to church curriculum, worship resources, and music products, she most recently oversaw publication of The Advance Daily Christian Advocate, The Daily Christian Advocate, The Book Discipline, and The Book of Resolutions

We celebrated her 35 years at UMPH with a festive retirement party on January 26, 2018. Beyond retirement, she continued to provide expert part-time counsel and helped guide the complex new United Methodist Hymnal project. Though she has courageously and valiantly battled cancer for some time, she maintained an energetic and productive schedule right up until the last few weeks.    

We celebrate Mary Catherine’s abiding love for her family, her deep faith in Christ through the Roman Catholic tradition, her expert command of the English language, her thorough knowledge of the theology, polity, and history of The United Methodist Church, and her extraordinary loyal service to and through UMPH.

President and Publisher Emeritus Neil Alexander notes: “Mary Catherine’s incisive humor, expansive intellect, uncommon competence, capacity for loyalty, and easy kindness were expressed in her outstanding professionalism, love for our ministry, respect for her colleagues, and full-hearted servant’s spirit.”

Mary Catherine blessed our community with her devotion to excellence and her contagious love of life.

The following address can be used to send condolences:

The Family of Mary Catherine Dean
1301 Gartland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Arrangements are as follows:

Visitation will be held on Friday, July 27 at Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home, 201 25th Ave N, Nashville, with a wake from 4-7 pm and rosary to follow. Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, July 28 at 12 (noon) at Holy Name Catholic Church, 521 Woodland St., East Nashville. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Celebration to continue at Holy Name Parish Center.


The United Methodist Publishing House is a publisher and distributor to Christian clergy and laity, with primary responsibilities for the publishing and distribution for The United Methodist Church. The Publishing House is a fully self-supporting agency and receives no general church funds.

Abingdon Press is the primary publishing imprint for The United Methodist Publishing House and has a tradition of crossing denominational boundaries with thought-provoking and inspirational books. Abingdon Press titles include a wide array of quality Bibles, Bible studies, small group studies, Christian living, fiction, devotional, academic, professional, and reference titles published each year to enrich church communities across the globe.  Visit


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Author: Amy Smith

Categories: News