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In Memory . . . Judith Brown Osgood (1942-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Judith Brown Osgood died on June 4, 2009 at Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford, Massachusetts.  She was 66.

Rev. Osgood was born on September 7, 1942, in West Hartford, Connecticut, to Carroll Prentiss and Carolyn Louise (Barnitz) Osgood.  She graduated from the Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford and earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Hartford in 1969 and a MA in Counseling from St. Joseph College, Hartford, CT, in 1987.  She was certified as an alcohol and drug counselor in 1989.

From 1986 until 1991, Rev. Osgood was employed as a counselor in various settings, including an inner city, outpatient drug program in Hartford, CT, which she directed.

While attending the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Provincetown, MA, Rev. Osgood began to consider ministry for herself.  She enrolled in Starr King School of Theology earning a Master of Divinity in 1994.  While at Starr King, Rev. Osgood received the Feminist Theology Award from the UU Women’s Federation for researching and collecting the sermons of Unitarian Universalist lay and clergy women in the Pacific Coast area.

After graduation, she was called to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, WY, where she was ordained in 1994.  She served the Unitarian Congregation of Mendon and Uxbridge, MA from 1996 - 2000, the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society in Madison, CT from 2000 - 2001 and the Unitarian Fellowship of Storrs, CT from 2004 - 2008.  In addition to her parish ministry, Rev. Osgood continued her work as a drug and alcohol counselor, serving for a time at the Shirley Medium Prison in Shirley, MA, and at a Worcester, MA, methadone clinic.

Rev. Osgood felt she had recently found her true ministry as a hospice chaplain and was employed by Jewish Health Services in Worcester, MA at the time of her death.  She was also a member of the First Unitarian Church of Worcester.

Rev. Osgood trained with her yellow lab, Thompson, to become a registered Pet Partner Team with the Delta Society.  They also trained for the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program which encourages children to read by providing a dog as a listener.  Rev. Osgood and Thompson visited residents of the Radius Nursing Homes in Millbury, MA and Worcester, MA and worked with children at the Uxbridge, MA, library.  A life member of the United States Tennis Association, she loved her grandchildren and her dog, Thompson.  She enjoyed gardening, fishing, and the Red Sox.

Survivors include Rev. Osgood’s partner, Wendy Innis; her daughter, Daphne Lynn Sanford of Uxbridge, MA; her son, Benjamin Ward Dunning of Burlington, CT; her brother, Dr. Carroll P. Osgood, Jr. of Altoona, PA; and four grandchildren.  Memorial Donations may be made in Rev. Osgood’s name to New England Assistance Dogs, P.O. Box 213, West Boylston, MA  01583.  A service to celebrate Rev. Osgood’s life was held on Thursday, June 18, at 4:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA.   Please send messages of condolence to Ms. Wendy Innis, 52 Taft Hill Lane, Uxbridge, MA 01569-3142.

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