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In Memory of . . . David D. Van Strien (1924-2014)

Posted By Administration, Sunday, July 20, 2014
The Rev. David D. Van Strien died on June 29, 2014 at the age of 89.

David was born on December 23, 1924 to John Van Strien and Cornelia Van Strien. He graduated with his Bachelor of Art from Ursinus College in 1946 and his Bachelor of Divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1954.


Rev. Van Strien was ordained to the United Church of Christ on June 6, 1954. He served the North Congregational Church of Middleton, NY from 1954 to 1957, and the Belleville Congregational Church of Newburyport, MA from 1958 to 1969.

Rev. Van Strien was fellowshipped as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1967 He served as minister to the Peterborough UU Church, of Peterborough, NH, from 1969 to 1990 and was voted Minister Emeritus in 1990.

During his twenty years of service at the Peterborough UU Church, he re-established the Monadnock Summer Lyceum, a community-service program that brings well-known speakers to the greater Peterborough community. He baptized over twenty-five children, united sixty couples in marriage, and led over eight hundred worship services.

Rev. Van Strien dedicated much of his time to Unitarian Universalism, and served the denomination in various capacities. He served on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Board of Trustees for nine years He served as a Good Offices person of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA); and as President, Vice President and Secretary of the New Hampshire Vermont Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

David was a tireless activist for Palestinian human rights and co- founded Unitarian Universalists for Justice in The Middle East (UUJME) in the early 1970’s. He served UUJME for three decades, and chaired the organization from 1977 to 2003. Additionally, he founded the Palestine Education Network and received the New Hampshire Chapter of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee's first annual award for his work in the causes of peace and justice.

David helped establish both the WIC Program and Planned Parenthood in Southwest NH; and was involved in the New Hampshire branches of the American Civil Liberties Union and Peace Action.

He is remembered by a colleague for his “sense of humor” and “devotion to religious community.”

He is survived by his wife, Karin Van Strien; brother in-law, Egmont Fortun (Ursula); four nephews; one niece; and many great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in David’s memory to the Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church, 25 Main Street, Peterborough, NH 03458.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Karin Van Strien at 205 RiverMead Road, Peterborough NH 03458.

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