Arvella Schuller, wife of the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, with whom she helped found Crystal Cathedral Ministries, died today at UC Irvine Medical Center after a short illness.
An exact cause of death for Schuller, 84, was not released. She suffered a stroke last year and was briefly hospitalized.
According to the family, Schuller -- who was a church organist – played a key role in developing the music department at the Crystal Cathedral and produced the Hour of Power telecast for 40 years. She and Robert Schuller have been married since June 1950.
Schuller started the Garden Grove Community Church in 1955, renting the Orange Drive-In Theatre and conducting services from a snack bar roof. The ministry grew over the years, and moved to the Garden Grove campus in 1961.
Arvella and Robert Schuller resigned from the board of Crystal Cathedral in March 2012, more than a year after the once-powerful ministry filed for bankruptcy, citing debts of $43 million. The couple had battled with the board over operation of the ministry for years. Their resignations from the board came shortly after the firings of their daughter Gretchen Penner, and her husband, Jim Penner, as producers of the Hour of Power, and son-in-law Jim Coleman as director of creative services.
In February 2012, the church's property was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for $57.5 million. The church is making $29 million in renovations to the famed Garden Grove cathedral.
Arvella Schuller is survived by her husband; son Robert; and daughters Sheila Coleman, Jeanne Dunn, Carol Milner and Gretchen Penner.
--City News Service