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In memory of Robert R. Walsh (1937-2016)

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 12, 2016

The Rev. Robert Rea Walsh died on June 19, 2016 at the age of 79.

 

Robbie was born on March 2, 1937 to Adeline Rea Walsh and Francis Thomas Walsh. He received a Bachelor of Science from MIT in 1958, and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1980.

 

Rev. Walsh was ordained in 1980 by the Holston Valley Unitarian Church of Kingsport, TN. In that same year he was called to serve as minister to the Unitarian Church of Duxbury, MA. He served the parish for twenty-two years and was honored as Minister Emeritus in 2003.

 

His service to the denomination was quite extensive. While on the UUA Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1981, Rev. Walsh served as chair of the Committee on Committees, among several other roles. Additionally, he served on the Southeast Interdistrict Council, the UU Service Committee Board of Directors, the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute, the Southeast District (formally Thomas Jefferson district), the Steering Committee of the Joint Washington Office for Social Concerns, and the UUA Committee on District Representation and Distribution of Resources. After joining the ministry, he served on the UUA Nominating Committee from 1985 to 1989, on the UUA Pamphlet Commission, and on the UUA Council on Church Staff Finance from 1999 to 2005.

 

Of Rev. Walsh’s denominational service, colleague Rev. Kenneth Read-Brown wrote:

 

It must be noted that in every one of these positions he didn’t simply warm a seat at the table.  Robbie actively did his part, often (almost inevitably it would seem) as chair or president of one or another committee or body, to further the institutional strength of Unitarian Universalism in one way or another so that our message could be more effectively spread and heard.

 

Rev. Walsh authored two Unitarian Universalist meditation manuals: Noisy Stones and Stone Blessings. He was a talented musician, and excelled as a banjo player. He composed a song later published in the UUA Annual Program Fund Continental Committee’s Singing for the Green: Songs for Fun and Money, and wrote new lyrics to several tunes including “The UUs Who Wouldn't Adjourn.”

 

Rev. Walsh is survived by his beloved wife, Kathleen “Kitty” Ladd Ward; his daughter, Elizabeth Walsh (Bill Scott), his sons David Walsh (Debra Ann) and Nathaniel Walsh (Donyele), his step children Samuel S. Ward (Geralyn) and Anthony C. Ward (Karen), and his six grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wife, Reed Walsh.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139; or to the UUA Living Tradition Fund, PO Box 843154, Boston, MA 02284-3154.

 

Notes of condolences may be sent to Robbie’s spouse, Kitty Ladd Ward, 121 Downer Ave, Hingham, MA 02043; and/or Robbie's daughter, Beth Walsh, 14 Bertwell Road, Lexington, MA 02420.

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In Memory of John S. Gilbert (1931-2016)

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 8, 2016

The Rev. Dr. John Stout Gilbert died on June 28, 2016 at the age of 84.

 

John was born on December 10, 1931 to John Wendell Gilbert and Lula Mae Gilbert on a small family farm in Russiaville, Indiana.  John's life journey took him from the farm to Oakwood, a Quaker secondary school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where his uncle was headmaster. There he met Nancy Eckles who later became his first wife. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1964, a Master of Arts from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1974 and a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1977.

 

Rev. Gilbert was ordained to the ministry in 1976 by the Unitarian Church West of Brookfield, WI.  He was first called to serve as minister to the First Unitarian Church of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1977. He served the Winnipeg congregation for ten years. He went on to serve as interim minister to the First Unitarian Congregation in Toronto, Ontario from 1987 to 1988; to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, NC from 1989 to 1990; and to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester, MN from 1990 to 1992. He was elected as Minister Emeritus to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester upon his departure. He then served as minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville, PA from 1992 to 1996 (where he lived with his second wife Judith Patterson for 18 years until her death in 2010). He retired from the ministry in 1996.

 

Rev. Gilbert dedicated years of service to the denomination. He served the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA); Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Canadian and Prairie Star Chapters; UUA St. Lawrence District Chapter; the UUA Ohio-Meadville Chapter; the Western Canada District Board; and the Canadian Unitarian Council. He was also Minister in Residence at Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1984; and Minister on Loan to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greeley, CO in 1986. 

 

Though raised in the Quaker church, John found Unitarianism in Indiana in the late 1950’s, when he and his first wife Nancy felt that they needed a church in which to raise their children. When they moved to Wisconsin in 1962, they joined the Unitarian Church West of Brookfield, WI, where John was an active lay leader. Prior to entering the ministry, he studied engineering at Purdue University, taught Adult Basic English at a Vocational School in Milwaukee, and worked as an employment counselor at the Milwaukee Urban League.

 

John will be remembered for his love of words, books, and cooking, and for growing vegetables (garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes) and flowers (hollyhocks, sunflowers and amaryllis). He was an objector, conscientious (Korea) and otherwise. He was also given to infectious enthusiasms like calligraphy, drawing, origami, string figures, computer correspondences, drawing, crosswords (cryptic, double-crostics, and regular), trekking, pole-walking, biking, and baking bread.

 

Rev. Carmen Emerson, currently minister of the Greater Nashville UU Congregation, recalls, "I first met John during a confluence of intense life events: He had just lost his beloved wife, Judith, and it was my first settled ministry—at a church where he had once been the minister, and now was a congregant. Tricky. He was my very first pastoral care call. ‘I don't know who this new John is,’ he told me, lost in grief. We agreed to learn about the ‘new’ John together, and we did just that over the next five years. As time passed this colleague and congregant also became my friend. Smart and funny, always a good storyteller, often cranky and also possessed of surprising grace at times, it was my pleasure to be his friend and my privilege to be his minister in Meadville, PA."

 

Rev. Stephan Papa, a colleague and friend from John’s seminary days, said, “John loved literature—poetry especially. His Doctor of Ministry dissertation was on story and autobiography as theology. He was one of the first to promote the story model (as opposed to the Sunday morning lecture model) for sermons; he understood worship as an art.  He was idealistic and passionate, sometimes to the point of being righteous, but he loved the UU way in religion which allowed him to be real, honest, free.”

 

John is survived by his siblings Jane Hendrickson, Marge Lake Baurley, and Joe Gilbert; his children Victoria, Bart, and Sarah; as well as his grandchildren Molly, Matthew, Cameron, and Amelia.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the Library-Multnomah County, 919 SW Taylor Street, Suite 220, Portland, OR 97205, or via the following link:https://friends-library.org/.

 

Notes of condolences may be sent to his daughter, Victoria Gilbert, 2832 SE Salmon St., Portland, OR 97214.

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In memory of J McRee Elrod (1932-2016)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Rev. J. McRee “Mac” Elrod died on June 16, 2016 at the age of 84.

 

Mac was born on March 23, 1932 to Angus Elrod and Lona McRee Elrod. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia in 1952; a Master of Arts from Scarritt College of Nashville, TN in 1954; a Master of Arts from George Peabody College of Nashville, TN in 1954; and a Master of Science in Library Science from George Peabody College in 1960.

 

In October, 1964, Rev. Elrod was ordained to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He transferred to the Unitarian Universalist faith in the late 1960’s, and received Unitarian Universalist ministerial fellowship in 1970. He served as Minister-at-Large to the North Shore Unitarian Church of West Vancouver from 1970 to 1972. His community ministry included working with war objectors and refugees. In 1972, he was called to serve as minister to the Westminister Unitarian Church of New Westminster, British Columbia, from 1972 to 1982. Rev. Elrod retired from the ministry in 1982.

 

Mac served as Head of the University of British Columbia's Library Cataloguing Division from 1967 to 1978. After leaving the University, he founded his own company, Special Libraries Cataloguing, which provided remote cataloguing services to special libraries around the world. Mac was an internationally known figure in the world of library cataloguing and was active in online librarianship forums up until a few months before his death.

 

While living in Canada, the home of Mac and Norma became a focal point for anti-war activism, with hundreds of war objectors passing through, receiving shelter, food and counselling. Mac campaigned for civil rights, non-violence, and LGBT issues. He came out as a gay man in the 1970s and he gradually became more vocal concerning gay rights. He personally paid for the Canadian Unitarian Council to act as an intervenor in the 2004 Canadian Supreme Court hearings concerning same-sex marriage. In his later years, Mac became involved in drug policy reform, and together with his son, Matthew, he gave numerous talks on the topic.

 

Mac’s longtime friend, Moralea Milne, remembers Mac as, “An unforgettable character, a committed humanitarian, never afraid to share his opinions nor speak on behalf of social justice and the environment, a friend who made me a better person through knowing him.”

 

He is survived by his wife, Norma Cummins Elrod; son, Matthew; daughters Lona, Cara, Christy and Laura; three sons-in-law; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his son, Mark.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders, 333 7th Avenue

New York, NY 10001-5004.

 

Notes of condolence can be sent to: The Elrod Family, 4493 Lindholm Road, Victoria BC V9C 3Y1. Messages of remembrance can be sent in care of Mac’s wife, Norma Elrod norma@elrod.ca and/or daughter, Lona Manning lonaleemanning@gmail.com

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In memory of C. Leon Hopper Jr. (1927-2016)

Posted By Michelle Pederson, Friday, July 22, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016

The Rev. Dr. C. Leon Hopper Jr. died on June 19, 2016 at the age of 89.

 

Leon was born on February 21, 1927 to Charles Leon Hopper Sr. and Ethol Peterson Hopper. After graduating high school, he served for eighteen months in the United States Navy.  He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in 1951; a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1954; an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Meadville Lombard in 1981; and an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1993.

 

Rev. Dr. Hopper was ordained to the ministry in 1954, by the First Congregational Parish Unitarian of Petersham, MA. He served the Petersham congregation from 1953 to 1957. In 1957, he moved to Boston, MA and was appointed Executive Director for the newly formed Liberal Religious Youth (LRY). Come 1963, he was ready to return to parish ministry, and accepted a call to serve as minister to the Jefferson Unitarian Church of Golden, CO. He served the congregation in Golden for the next thirteen years. The congregation named their sanctuary in honor of him. He returned to Boston in 1976, and was appointed as the second Ministerial Education Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). He held that role for five years. In 1981, he accepted a call to serve East Shore Unitarian Church of Bellevue, WA, and spent eleven years there. Rev. Hopper retired from parish ministry in 1992, and was honored as East Shore’s Minister Emeritus.

 

Post retirement, Rev. Dr. Hopper helped establish the UU Partner Church Council (UUPCC) and served the Council for ten years as President and Treasurer. Additionally, he served as President of the Continental Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA), and he was instrumental in setting up the continuing education wing of the UUMA, known as CENTER (Continuing Education, Network, Training, Enrichment and Renewal). Committed to the denomination, Rev. Hopper also served as Chair of the Meadville Lombard Theological School Board of Trustees; member of the UUA Ministerial Aid Funds Committee; and Ministerial Settlement Representative to the Pacific Northwest District of the UUA. He received the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and was the Berry Street Essayist in 2001, speaking on “The Art of Ministry: Being and Doing Revisited.”

 

During his thirty-nine years in active ministry, Leon served on the Board of Trustees of the American Unitarian Association, the UUA, and the UUMA.  He was a dedicated supporter of the International Association for Religious Freedom, and he helped establish the human service agency Jeffco Support Inc. (now the Action Center) in Jefferson County, CO to address human service needs. He served as board member and president for the East King Council of Health and Human Services; president of Eastside Human Services Council; board member of Eastside Domestic Violence Program; and board member of the Center for Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence (now King County Sexual Assault Resource Center).

 

Throughout his college years, Leon attended University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA. It was there that he first heard the call to the ministry. He met his future wife, Dorothy, at the congregation, as both were members of the Channing Club youth group. Leon and Dorothy married in 1951.

 

Leon is survived by his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Hopper; daughters, Sheridan Botts (Richard) and Rachel Tucker (Jim); son, Chuck Hopper (Pidgie); and five grandchildren.

 

Rev. Dr. Hopper will be honored and memorialized at a service on Tuesday, July 26th at 2:00 P.M., at East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 SE 32nd Street, Bellevue, WA 98005-4317. The service will be led by Revs. Barbara ten Hove and Elaine Peresluha. Colleagues are invited to robe and process. Please send short memories and stories of Leon, to be possibly used in the service, to Barbara Ten Hove, btenhove@uuma.org.

 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry, Leon Hopper Scholarship Fund.

 

Notes of condolences may be sent to Dorothy Hopper, 900 University Street, Horizon House, 4C, Seattle, WA 98101, clhopperjr@aol.com

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In memory of Cynthia L. Prescott (1951-2016)

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 1, 2016

The Rev. Cynthia Louise Prescott died on May 28th, 2016 at the age of 64.

 

Cynthia was born in Lewiston, ME to William and Barbara Prescott. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Mills College in 1974; and with a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1997.

 

Rev. Prescott was ordained by the First Universalist Church, Unitarian Universalist, of Auburn, ME in 1998. She served as full-time extension minister to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clemson, SC from 1998 to 2000. In January of 2000, Clemson voted Rev. Prescott as their first, full-time settled minister since their founding in 1954. She served Clemson for twelve years total, and then went on to serve a two year interim ministry with the Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church of Cordova, TN from 2010 to 2012. From 2012 to 2014, she served as Interim to High Street Church - Unitarian Universalist of Macon, GA. In 2014, she settled as Interim to the Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North Congregation, of Roswell, GA, and she held that role until her death.

 

From 2006 to 2009, Cynthia served the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association as a Chapter Leader.

 

Cynthia grew up in the First Universalist Church of Auburn, ME and was born a third generation Unitarian Universalist. She reconnected with the denomination in 1988, and became very involved with First Universalist. She served as chair of the social action committee and President of the Board.

 

Her close friend and colleague, Rev. Johanna Nichols writes, “As President of the Board, Cynthia guided the congregation with political aplomb. I hated losing her to seminary but I rejoiced that we could be colleagues.”

 

Prior to seminary, Cynthia worked in fashion merchandising, marketing, and graphic design. Her passions included travel, cats, literature, poetry, and beautiful things of all kinds.

 

Of Cynthia, her dear friend Holley Ulbrich wrote:

 

Cynthia and I became very close friends within a year of her arrival [to Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clemson]. She, her Dad and I, and my husband Carl traveled together to Nova Scotia and to St. Croix and many points in between.  When her Dad was no longer available and my husband was in declining health, we traveled together, most recently to Venice, returning home the day before her death. She told other friends, who told me after she died, that I was the older sister she always wanted and never had.  Certainly we considered each other sisters.

 

Cynthia is survived by eleven first cousins, Nancy Sylvester, Robert Knowles, Mary Newman, Peter Perkins, Robert Perkins, Jim Chadburn, Ann McFadden, Marjorie Picard, Ann Thurlow, David Thurlow, and Douglas Thurlow. Her father, William Prescott, died on June 23, 2016 at the age of 91.

 

Cynthia’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, July 30 at 1:00 P.M. at Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North, 11420 Crabapple Road, Roswell, GA 30075. Celebrations of life were also held in Auburn, ME and Clemson, SC.

 

Memories, condolences and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the following website: www.khrfuneralhomes.com. Condolences may also be sent to Cynthia's cousin, Nancy Sylvester, 561 Fish Street, Leeds, Maine 04263.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Starr King School for the Ministry, 2441 Le Conte Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709 or Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children, 11 Sabattus Street, Lewiston ME 04240.

 

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In Memory of Robert R. Walsh (1937-2016)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rev. Robert R. Walsh died on June 19, 2016 at the age of 79.

 

Rev. Walsh is survived by his beloved wife, Kathleen “Kitty” Ladd Ward; daughter, Elizabeth Walsh (Bill Scott); sons, David Walsh (Debra Ann) and Nathaniel Walsh (Donyele); step children, Samuel S. Ward (Geralyn), and Anthony C. Ward (Karen); and six grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wife, Reed Walsh.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139; or to the UUA Living Tradition Fund, PO Box 843154, Boston, MA 02284-3154.

 

A Memorial Service will be held on July 17, at 2:00 P.M., at First Parish (Old Ship) Church, 90 Main Street, Hingham, MA, 02043. Clergy are invited to robe and process, meeting at the Old Ship Parish House, 107 Main Street.

 

Notes of condolences may be sent to Robbie’s spouse, Kitty Ward, 121 Downer Ave, Hingham, MA 02043; and/or Robbie's daughter, Beth Walsh, 14 Bertwell Road, Lexington, MA. 02420.

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In memory of Earle R. Ramsdell (1921-2016)

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 6, 2016
The Rev. Earle R. Ramsdell died at home in Baton Rouge on April 23, 2016.
Earle was born May 27, 1921 in Somerville MA, to Lloyd and Anna McDonald
Ramsdell. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1939 and from
Boston University with a BS in Education in 1944. He obtained a Master of
Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton MA, in 1946 and a
second masters degree in counseling in 1972 from the University of North
Texas. He served two American Baptist pastorates, one in Allston MA from
1946 to 1949 and another in Pawtucket RI from 1949 to 1953. He then served
as the Associate Director of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches from
1953 to 1959, where, as the Director of Radio and Television, he produced
and participated in religious programming.

In 1959 he became the Executive Director of the Greater Flint (Michigan)
Council of Churches, where he had an active role in the unfolding events of
the civil rights movement in the 1960's. He served as co-chair of the
successful effort to pass an open housing ordinance, with Flint becoming the
first city in the nation to enact such an ordinance by public vote. He was
also instrumental in the creation of that city's Human Relations Commission.
In 1973 he joined the staff of the Pastoral Counseling Center in Dallas TX,
retiring in 1995 after twenty years as Director of Education and Training.
He held approved supervisory status with AAMFT and was a diplomate in AAPC
and a certified sex therapist with AASECT. In retirement he served as the
Volunteer Director of Pastoral Care at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge,
having moved to Louisiana in 1995 with his wife Penny as she joined the
faculty of the LSU School of Social Work. Rev.
Ramsdell became an associate member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers
Association in 2002. An active member of the Southwest UUMA chapter, he was
awarded Life Associate Membership upon his departure from the Unitarian
Church of Baton Rouge.

Rev. Ramsdell is survived by his wife Penny Smith Ramsdell; two daughters,
Cheryl Ramsdell-Speich and her husband Colibri, Lyons CO, and Lynne Jones,
Orlando FL; two grandsons, Christopher Johnson, Grand Prairie TX, and Sean
Jones, Denver CO; two great-grandsons, Alexander and Andrew Johnson; sister
Olive Helen Sweeney and niece Margaret Lucey and her husband Fred,
Newburyport MA; brother Alan Ramsdell and his wife Mary Jo, Mesa AZ; nieces
Nova Nichols, Baton Rouge LA, and Shana Corbiere and her husband Zac, Round
Rock TX; three great-nephews, Zane, Errett, and Wyatt Corbiere; and
great-niece, Brie Matter, San Rafael CA. In lieu of flowers, donations in
memory of the Rev. Earle Ramsdell may be made to the Unitarian Church of
Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. People can visit
rabenhorst.com for on-line condolences.

Edited as published in TheAdvocate.com on Apr. 24, 2016

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In memory of Mwalimu Imara (1930-2015)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Reverend Doctor Mwalimu Imara died on October 6, 2015 at the age of 85.

 

Mwalimu was born on April 21, 1930 to Blanche Irene Allen and Cyril Gomez. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH in 1964, and obtained a Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville Theological School in 1968.

 

Mwalimu was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1968, by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana, IL. The congregation called him as their Senior Minister, and he held that role until 1970. He went on to serve as minister to Arlington Street Church of Boston, MA from 1970 to 1974. In 1974, he moved over to community ministry, and was voted Minister-at-Large to the Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian Churches (now Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministries). That same year, he founded the Boston Center for Religion & Psychotherapy, Inc.; and he served as the Founder and Executive Director of the foundation from 1974 to 1979. In recognition of his work, he was accepted as a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors in 1975. Rev. Dr. Imara went on to establish the Hospice Program at the Methodist Hospital of Indiana in 1979, and from 1979 to 1983, he served the program as Founder, Director, Program Developer, Trainer and Pastoral Counselor. In 1982, he reconnected with his Anglican background and was ordained to the Episcopal Priesthood in the Dioceses of Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

Rev. Dr. Imara fought tirelessly for racial justice, both within the denomination, and the United States as a whole. In 1967, as a response to deep injustices occurring daily, and the murders of Black leaders and activists, Black Americans organized riots and protests. The former UUA Committee on Religion and Race and Department of Social Responsibility, headed by Director Homer Jack, called an Emergency Conference in 1967, to address the racial unrest. Mwalimu was one of four Black seminarians who attended the conference. The conference was a pivotal event in Unitarian Universalist history - many think of the conference as one catalyst for the Black Empowerment Controversy. The Black Empowerment Controversy continued until the mid-1970s, and Mwalimu was involved throughout. He was a member of the Black Affairs Council, and the Greater Boston Black Unitarian Universalist Caucus. The wounds from the Controversy are still present.

 

Rev. Dr. Imara’s academic career was extensive. From 1978 to 2009 he taught at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, OH. His teachings included post-graduate training programs, organizational methods, and workshops on grief and loss. From 1983 to 1988, he served as Chairman of the Department of Counseling Services and Director of the Human Values in Medicine Program at Morehouse School of Medicine of Atlanta, GA. Additionally, he served as Associate Professor of Human Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry with a cross appointment with the Department of Family Medicine; and as Institutional Chaplain. He continued in the Priesthood during his academic career, and served as Priest-in-Charge at St. Stephens’s Episcopal Church in Griffin, GA from 1984 to 1991.

 

Rev. Dr. Imara was instrumental in adopting the principles of Maulana (Ron) Karenga’s Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of Kwanzaa. He was a revolutionary leader in the Kazana extended family of Philadelphia, and led his family and community in special celebrations for birthdays, Kwanzaa, births, and deaths.

 

Sala Hilaire remembers her father as, "The greatest man I ever met.” She explains, "He was able to meet people where they were at. He was able to sit down with someone and make them feel like they were the most important person in the world.”

 

He is survived by his devoted wife, Saburi; his children, Sala Hilaire (John), Hiari Imara, Akosua Davis (Tarik); seven grandchildren: Kidist Getnet, Aminah Hilaire, Nzinga Davis, Emeka Davis, Ashe Davis, Amirah Jabbie, and Kabiyesi Davis; nephews, Michael Van Smith and Marcus Smith; sister-in-law, Nia Latimore; cousins, Bobbie and Charles Pearson; and countless friends and loved ones.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Imara Center’s Rev. Dr. Mwalimu IPD Mentorship Program. The Imara Center, LLC is a behavioral health agency that provides quality behavioral health services and utilizes a trauma informed approach to empower individuals and their communities. The Rev. Dr. Mwalimu Imara IPD program is designed to provide mentorship to youths as they transition from adolescents to adulthood. The program was launched in 2015 in the legacy of Dr. Imara. Please make checks payable to the Imara Center, with "Mwalimu IPD Mentorship Program” written in the memo line, and mail checks to The Imara Center, LLC, 3915 Cascade Road, SW, Suite 205, Atlanta, GA 30331.

 

Condolences may be sent to Saburi Imara, 4550 Orkney Lane, SW, Atlanta, GA 30331.

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In memory of Kenneth R. Warren (1923-2016)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 19, 2016

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.

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In memory of Farley W Wheelwright (1916-2016)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Rev. Dr. Farley Wilder Wheelwright died on February 27, 2016 at the age of 99.

 

Farley was born on December 5, 1916 to a family that included four generations of Unitarians. He received a Bachelor of Art from St. Lawrence University in 1957; a Master of Divinity from Hartford Seminary Foundation in 1961; and a Doctor of Ministry from Andover-Newton Theological Seminary in 1977.

 

Rev. Wheelwright was ordained to the ministry in 1961 by the North Greenwich Congregational Church, CT. He was called to serve as minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Central Nassau, NY in 1962. He held pastorates with the Unitarian Society of Cleveland, OH from 1968 to 1972; the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, MA from 1974 to 1980; and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sepulveda, CA from 1981 to 1985. The Sepulveda congregation named him Minister Emeritus upon his retirement in 1985. Post-retirement, he served interim ministries at the Unitarian Church of South Australia of Adelaide, SA; Arlington Street Church of Boston MA; and the Murray UU Church of Attleboro, MA.

 

Rev. Wheelwright was deeply invested in the denomination, and his service extended far beyond the parish. He was a founding trustee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for Religious Humanism; President of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (UU Peace Fellowship); co-founder of Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness (with the late Robert Wolsch); Chair of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s Ballou-Channing District; Board member of the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association; member of the Pastoral Education Network; and Arrangements Person to the Executive Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

 

A staunch social activist, Rev. Wheelwright fought against the racial injustices of the 1960’s. Between 1962 and 1968, he traveled Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, doing voter registration, becoming more politically radical and being incarcerated more than once. Upon his arrival to Garden City, NY, in 1962, he led the Church of Central Nassau to Washington for the now- legendary March on Washington. He was one of the first to respond to the call of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to come to Selma, AL in March, 1965. Their friendship became such that three years later, Dr. King accepted Farley’s invitation to preach his installation sermon when he was called to the Cleveland Unitarian Society. Three days before Farley’s installation, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

 

While serving the church in Cleveland, OH, Rev. Wheelwright founded the Cleveland Clergy Counseling Center on Abortion. All other area UU clergy and many other denominations’ clergy were involved, each voluntarily putting themselves in jeopardy of being arrested and jailed for breaking the law for scouting out-of-state doctors willing to provide safe abortions. Hundreds of young and middle-aged women were sent as far away as London for safe abortions. The group made national news when Farley’s photo in clerical robes made banner headlines reading, “He leads young girls to abortion.”

 

For all his notoriety as a social activist, however, Farley treasured his career as a pastoral minister above all else. “When I think of an afternoon spent supporting a grieving mother because of the crib death of her two-month old baby, my participation in the social activist movement seems almost inconsequential,” he said. “It is the most exalted job I can possibly conceive of for myself and my talents,” he continued.

 

Farley and his wife Virginia moved to San Miguel, Mexico in 1993. Both were involved in the Mexican community and with the UU Fellowship of San Miguel (UUFSMA), serving on the board of directors, periodically delivering sermons, and helping shape the Fellowship’s identity in an expat community. In 2015, the Fellowship nominated Farley for the Annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism. Never one to slow down, at age 97, Farley published his first book, Twice-Told Tales, a collection of some of his favorite sermons from over the years. Twice Told Tales is available for purchase on amazon.com.

 

He is survived by three daughters and two sons: Delia Moon; Cindi Harnicher; Barbara Kafka; John Kafka; and Tom Kafka.

 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Escuela de Educacion Especial (eeesma.com) and/or to Jovenes Adelante (JovenesAdelante.org).

 

Condolences may be sent to Delia Moon at 303 Mesa Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.

 

Swap Farley Stories:  Sunday, May 22nd at 3 PM, Arlington Street Church chapel, Boston. 351 Boylston Street entry.

 

To remember the Rev. Farley Wilder Wheelwright we shall celebrate a 99 year, illustrious life of wisdom, wit, social action, compassion and more. All with stories and memories of Farley are welcome. Those who cannot attend but want to add their thoughts can send them to michael@michaelball.com.
RSVP for the gathering to the same address to help with a count. Direct questions to Mike Ball or George Whitehouse. 

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