IRVINE ( — The wife of Rev. Robert H. Schuller and the co-founder of Crystal Cathedral Ministries died Tuesday at UC Irvine Medical Center after a short illness.

An exact cause of death for Areva Schuller, 84, was not released. She suffered a stroke last year and was briefly hospitalized.

According to the family, Areva Schuller was a church organist who 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 her husband have been married since June 1950.

Robert Schuller started the Garden Grove Community Church in 1955 and moved it to the Garden Grove campus in 1961 as the ministry grew.

The couple resigned from the board of Crystal Cathedral in March 2012 after the ministry filed for bankruptcy, citing debts of $43 million. 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.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply