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In Memory of . . . Gaston M. Carrier (1920-2012)

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 16, 2012

The Ministries and Faith Development staff offers our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Gaston Marcel Carrier who died on June 20, 2012. He was 92 years old.

Rev. Carrier was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada on January 14, 1920 to Alfred and Adelina (LaPierre) Carrier. Rev. Carrier attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1941. After studies in theology at the Montréal Divinity School and Emmanuel College, he received his B.D. from Meadville Theological School in 1947. He then went on to earn a Master of Education from the University of Bridgeport, CT in 1959, and a Master of Arts in French Literature from the University of Vermont in 1968. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1973.

Rev. Carrier was ordained by the United Church of Canada in Montreal on September 10, 1943. In the early years of his ministry, he worked at Unitarian churches in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and Cohasset, MA. He then went on to work at the First Grace Universalist Church in Lowell, MA from 1952-1957; and the Universalist Congregation of Danbury, CT from 1957-1961. In 1961, he was called to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, VT. He stayed there until his retirement in 1978 when he was also voted Minister Emeritus of the church.

Rev. Carrier was active in the Civil Rights Movement and helped found Planned Parenthood in Burlington, VT. He was a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, the Community Council of Greater Burlington, the Burlington Council of Churches, and the Champlain Valley Clergy Association.

A true bibliophile, Rev. Carrier enjoyed adding to his library whenever possible. Throughout his long life, he pursued an abiding love of all things French Canadian including history, literature, language, culture and antiques. A writer, he published a book, Prayers, in 1971; and in 1973, he wrote and published a children’s story entitled Johnny Peanut.

Throughout his ministry (and in all these endeavors), Rev. Carrier was supported by his wife of 64 years, an active Unitarian-Universalist, Mary (Archibald) Carrier. Although Mary had a demanding full-time career of her own, she was the Director of Religious Education at both the Burlington and Danbury churches, and was tremendously active on committees and in the life of both churches, as well as in Lowell.She accompanied Rev. Carrier to General Assembly, and hosted "Thursday Night Suppers" for small groups of parishioners to encourage community and discussion, rotating through the entire congregation and then starting all over again.A true ministerial partner, she supported her husband’s ministry in extraordinary ways throughout his career and their lives together.

In a personal statement, Rev. Carrier once noted that he established his ministry "upon a foundation of personal dedication, utter sincerity, and rich inner resources of a kind and generous spirit.”

Rev. Carrier is survived by daughter, Michèle Carrier; daughter, Natalie Carrier and her husband, David Ackerman; daughter, Jill Carrier and her husband, David Duncan; daughter, Hilarie Terebessy and her husband, David Terebessy; grandchildren, Samuel and Sarah Duncan, and Matthew and Nina Terebessy; his brother, Jean-Paul Carrier; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary (Archibald) Carrier.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Rev. Carrier’s memory may be sent to the Committee on Temporary Shelter, P.O. Box 1616, Burlington, VT 05402.

A memorial service, overlooking Lake Champlain, will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 2 p.m. at Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Circle, Burlington, VT, 05408.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Jill Carrier, 113 Ocean St., Dorchester, MA 02124.

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