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In Memory . . . Richard F. Drinon (1932-2008)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Richard F. Drinon died on October 12, 2008, at UMASS Medical Center in Worcester, MA.  He was 76.

Rev. Drinon was born on April 28, 1932 in Lynn, MA to the late George and Doris (Wilson) Drinon. He graduated from Lynn English High in 1951.  He attended St. Lawrence University, where he studied philosophy and psychology, graduating in 1956.  He earned his divinity degree in 1959 from Crane Theological School of Tufts University.  He engaged in post-graduate study at Tufts in anthropology and social theory and continued studying anthropology at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University while serving as an academic and personal counselor for the Dean of Men's Office.

Throughout his early years of ministry, Rev. Drinon spent summers working with young people. He served for four years as counselor to high school students at Leedalab, a conference held at Ferry Beach in Saco, ME.  He was Director of Leadership Training for the YMCA summer counseling program at Camp Rotary in Lynn, MA for ten years.

In 1963, Rev. Drinon was appointed by the UUSC to serve as director of the Mugobansongo Village Development Project near Masaka, Uganda.  He was to establish the first non-missionary, non-racial secondary school in the country.  While there, he continued his anthropological studies, focusing on the youth culture of the Bantu-Boganda peoples.  Rev. Drinon's other international work took him to Germany where he worked with youth and to Saudi Arabia where he served as summer minister to the Unitarian Fellowship of Dhahran.

Ordained at the Universalist Church in Lynn, MA, in 1961, Rev. Drinon served many congregations during his 47 years of ministry, including:  First Unitarian Church of Toronto, Ontario; Channing Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockland, MA; First Religious Society of Carlisle, MA; North Universalist Chapel Society of Woodstock, VT; First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, WI and St. Paul's Universalist Church of Palmer, MA.  He also served as Executive Secretary of the Unitarian Council of Metropolitan Toronto and Executive Director of the Ferry Beach Park Association.  For the past 10 years, Rev. Drinon served the Hopedale Unitarian Parish in Hopedale, MA. 

Rev. Drinon is survived by his loving daughter, Sarah Drinon, of Somerville, MA, who shares these words that guided Rev. Drinon throughout his life,

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." - Stephen Grellet, 1773-1855 (French-born Quaker Minister)

A service of remembrance took place on October 19, 2008 in the Hopedale Unitarian Parish with Rev. Frank Hall officiating.  Memorial contributions may be made in Rev. Drinon's name to the Hopedale Unitarian Parish, PO Box 367, Hopedale, MA  01747. Please send messages of condolence to Ms. Sarah Drinon, 49 Temple St Apt 2, Somerville, MA 02145-2400.

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