Pellman, Hubert Ray (1918-2017)

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Hubert R. Pellman, 1991.
Eastern Mennonite University photo

Hubert Ray Pellman: professor, pastor and historian, was born in Snyder County, Pennsylvania, USA on 29 November 1918 to LeRoy S. Pellman (1 March 1893-29 May 1977) and Elizabeth Lauver Pellman (3 December 1894-30 August 1968). He was the oldest child in a family of four sons and four daughters. On 11 June 1941 he married Mildred Kauffman (13 December 1917- ), daughter of Elmer Kauffman (17 February 1890-10 January 1963) and Anna Leaman Kauffman (21 August 1891-23 June 1972). Hubert and Mildred had one son (Donald) and one daughter (Carol). Hubert Pellman died 16 March 2017 at the Oaklea Nursing Home in Harrisonburg, Virginia; he was buried at the Weavers Mennonite Church cemetery.

LeRoy Pellman was a teacher, postmaster and farmer who encouraged education. Within this context, Hubert Pellman was valedictorian of his Freeburg High School graduating class in 1936. He went on to earn a junior college diploma (Eastern Mennonite School, 1938), an AB in history (Susquehanna University, 1940), an MA in English (Bucknell University, 1940), and a PhD in English (University of Pennsylvania, 1958). His dissertation on the Puritan founder of Connecticut was titled, “Thomas Hooker: a study in Puritan ideals.”

John L. Stauffer encouraged Hubert Pellman to teach at Eastern Mennonite School (EMS), which he did in 1941, both at the high school and college level. During World War II, he had a farm deferment, during which he worked on his father-in-law’s farm and began work on his PhD. He returned to teaching in 1947, and continued until retirement in January 1984.

Hubert Pellman was ordained as a Mennonite minister on 8 November 1953 for service in a new rural mission near Port Republic, Virginia that came to be known as the Mount Vernon Mennonite Church. He served as its minister for 17 years.

His historical interests found voice in the four monographs Pellman wrote, beginning with the 50th anniversary history of Eastern Mennonite College.

In 1996 Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) established the Hubert R. Pellman and Mildred Pellman Literature Scholarship, under the Hubert Pellman Endowed Chair, to financially assist selected EMU students.

In his obituary Hubert Pellman was recalled as a person who could confer with fellow academics at a professional meeting, or visit on the porch of a one room cabin in the mountains with equal interest in and respect for his conversation partner. It was said “He devoted his life to his family, to his teaching, and to service in the Mennonite church.”


"A double ordination service…." Gospel Herald 46, no. 46 (27 November 1953): 1100. Available in full electronic text at

"Hubert Ray Pellman." McMullen Funeral Home. Web. 26 May 2017.

"Hubert Ray Pellman." SAGA (Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association) Genealogical Website. Web. 26 May 2017.

Jefferson, Lauren. "Hubert R. Pellman, emeritus professor of English and accomplished historian, was devoted to family, teaching and faith." Eastern Mennonite University. 22 March 2017. Web. 26 May 2017.

Mertens, Shelby. "Retired English professor and his wife, who met on campus in 1936, celebrate 75 years together." Eastern Mennonite University. 23 June 2016. Web. 26 May 2017.

Books authored by Hubert Pellman

Pellman, Hubert R. Eastern Mennonite College, 1917-1967: a history. Harrisonburg, Va.: Eastern Mennonite College, 1967.

Pellman, Hubert R. Mennonite Broadcasts, the first 25 years. Harrisonburg, Va.: Mennonite Broadcasts, 1979.

Pellman, Hubert R. A Pellman family history: LeRoy S. and Elizabeth Lauver Pellman and their children, ancestors, and descendants, Miriam Pellman Maust, ed. [Harrisonburg, Va.] : H.R. Pellman & M.P. Maust, 1996.

Pellman, Hubert R. Seventy-five years of mutual aid: Virginia Mennonite Property Aid Plan. Harrisonburg, Va.: Virginia Mennonite Conference, 1989.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published June 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Pellman, Hubert Ray (1918-2017)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2017. Web. 22 Sep 2020.,_Hubert_Ray_(1918-2017)&oldid=165398.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (June 2017). Pellman, Hubert Ray (1918-2017). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2020, from,_Hubert_Ray_(1918-2017)&oldid=165398.

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