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In Memory . . . Arnold Farrow Westwood (1921-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Arnold Farrow Westwood died on Sunday, August 16, 2009, at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a result of injuries sustained in a fall the previous day.  He was 88. Rev. Westwood was born on May 19, 1921, in Toledo, Ohio, to Unitarian minister Rev. Horace Westwood and Elizabeth Farrow Westwood.  He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and Tufts University graduating in 1942.  He earned his STB from Crane Theological School at Tufts in 1948.

While attending Tufts, Rev. Westwood served as continental president of the Unitarian Young Peoples Religious Union.  He also served as student minister under the Rev. Harold G. Arnold at the Theodore Parker Unitarian Church (now First Parish) in West Roxbury, MA. It was there that he met Carolyn Freeman Arnold, daughter of Rev. Arnold.  They were married in 1945.

In 1944, he served as Student Minister of the First Parish (Unitarian) in Brewster and the Universalist Church in Yarmouthport, both on Cape Cod, MA.  He was ordained in 1947 in the Brewster church by both congregations. Rev. Westwood was called to the Unitarian Church of Urbana, IL, serving from 1948 to 1958.  He established the Channing-Murray Foundation at the University of Illinois, at the time one of the most active and best organized liberal religious organizations in the country.  Rev. Westwood also served the Unitarian Church of Westport, CT; the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, OH; the Unitarian Universalist Society of East Manchester, CT; and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA.    

Both the Westport and Manchester congregations built their own buildings under his leadership, the first for each congregation; in Westport he worked with the noted architect, Victor Lundy.  He served the Manchester, CT, and Amherst, MA, congregations at the same time and both named him minister emeritus upon his retirement in 1984.

In retirement, Rev. Westwood and his wife, Carolyn, operated Windfields Farm Bed and Breakfast in Cummington, MA.  In addition to hosting hundreds of guests from all over the world, they produced maple syrup which won four blue ribbons at the Cummington Fair.  Rev. Westwood also organized The Friends of Windsor, Inc., to publish the town of Cummington’s community newsletter, Windsor Now and Then, as well as the town's free annual community telephone directory. He served as editor and publisher until 2002.

After Carolyn died in 2001, Arnold found comfort, support, and a new outlet for his talents in the West Cummington Congregational Church. He instituted the church's newsletter and annual directory, organized and ran the annual goods and services auction, and worked enthusiastically on the conversion of the parish house into a heated, year-round, handicapped-accessible center for church functions and other community events. In all these endeavors, he gathered and groomed others to take over after him. He made many beloved friends through his experience in the church, including the second love of his life, Mary Hale, with whom he loved talking, reading, traveling and just being together.

Rev. Westwood was a devoted supporter of Rowe Camp and Conference Center in Rowe, MA, where he served eight years on the board of directors, four as chair. He was an enthusiastic early supporter of Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA, and of VIA Dance Collaborative, a New York-based company founded in 2001 by his granddaughter, Adrienne Westwood. He was thrilled to witness the company's performance at Jacob's Pillow the night before he fell. Beloved by family and friends, he lived life with zest and enthusiasm and embraced death without fear or regrets.  

In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by three older siblings, Horace, who was also a Unitarian Universalist minister, Florence, and Lucy. Survivors include son John F. Westwood of Plainfield, MA; son Jefferson Westwood and his wife, Wendy, of Fredonia, NY; daughter Phoebe Bushway and her husband, Stephen, of Plainfield, MA; son Harold A. Westwood and his wife, Barbara, also of Plainfield; and seven grandchildren, Jody and Ethan Westwood; Adrienne Westwood and her husband, Seth Easter; Phoebe Westwood; Hannah Bushway and her husband, Felipe Aedo; Mason Bushway and Willow Westwood.

Please send notes of condolence to Jefferson Westwood, 53 Maple Ave, Fredonia, NY 14063.

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