The Rev. Kenneth Roland Warren died on April 16, 2016 at the age of 93.
Kenneth was born on January 21, 1923 in Oklahoma City, OK to Chester Llewellyn and Marguerite (Packham) Warren. He served as a Merchant Marine from 1942 to 1945. He received a Bachelor of Art from Oklahoma City University in 1949; and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1952. In 1979, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School.
Rev. Warren was ordained to the ministry in 1952 by the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, OK. He was called to serve as minister to the Unitarian Church of Barnstable, MA in 1953. He held the pastorate for the next thirty-eight years, and upon his departure in 1991, was elected Minister Emeritus. From 1953 to 1968, while serving in Barnstable, he also served the Unitarian Universalist Church of Yarmouth Port, MA. He officially retired on the last day of 1991, but spent the next six years serving interim ministries in Canton; Sharon; Dorchester; and Hanover, MA. From 1998 to 2001, he served as Interim Minister to the First Universalist Church of Assinippi of Norwell, MA (now Assinippi Universalist Church), and the congregation elected him Minister Emeritus in 2001.
Committed to the denomination, he served on various committees, including the Plymouth Colony Conference and the Southern New England Unitarian Council. He held membership with the New England Ministers Association and served on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Nominating Committee.
Additionally, he served the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); the Cape Cod Council of Churches; the United World Federalists; the Barnstable Housing Authority; Cape Cod Mental Health Association; and the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Throughout his career, he was a champion for civil rights. In 1962, he was instrumental in the efforts to provide housing and employment to the "Reverse Freedom Riders" arriving on Cape Cod from the Southern states. He participated in the 1963 March on Washington.
In addition to his ministry, Ken enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling to Europe and the Middle East, conducting genealogical research, and reading - especially in the areas of history and biography.
Of her father, Mary-Elizabeth Brague, writes:
My father, Kenneth Warren, was always outgoing and interested in people. He asked questions of everyone he met to learn more about them. Throughout his lifetime he made friends wherever he went. I believe my father was a model for us all in standing up for what he believed in, even if his beliefs were unpopular. He expressed his thoughts respectfully, and worked to achieve harmony and understanding. Although he received quite a few accolades in his life, my father was unfailingly modest, turning the conversation to others, instead of himself. Even at the end of his life, when he required help from others for everyday tasks, he was described to me by many of his caregivers as "always a gentleman."
He is survived by his daughter Mary-Elizabeth Brague and husband David; his grandchildren Katie Wasserman and husband Dave, and Jackie Brague. He also leaves his sister-in-law Wanda Loring, and his close friend Deborah McLister, along with many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Claire (Loring) Warren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable, P.O. Box 285, 3330 Main Street, Barnstable, MA.
Condolences may be sent to Mary-Elizabeth Brague and David Brague, 31 Kerry Drive, Mansfield, MA 02048.