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In Memory of . . . Christina M. Neilson (1958-2015)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The Rev. Christina (Chris) M. Neilson died on July 9, 2015 at the age of 57.

Chris was born on April 8, 1958, in French Lake, MN, to Clifford and Beryl Walberg. Chris received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Cloud University in 1981; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Samuel Merritt College of Nursing in 1988; and a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in 2001.

Rev. Neilson was ordained to the ministry in Berea, OH on October 20, 2002. She was subsequently called to serve as minister to the SouthWest Unitarian Universalist Church of North Royalton, OH. She served the church for ten years, and was instrumental in helping them purchase their first building in 2009. She went on to serve as Congregational Life Consultant to the Central East Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association, a position that she held from 2012 to 2015.

Rev. Neilson was committed to bettering the denomination and the world at large. She served as Chapter Leader of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s Ohio-Meadville UUMA Chapter (OMDUUMA) from 2008 to 2012; and as Commissioned Lay Leader Committee Chair from 2008 to 2012. She was an advocate for both social justice and LGBT rights, and was heavily involved with both causes. Additionally, she was a strong believer in economic justice and worked to eradicate poverty and homelessness within Cleveland, OH.

Chris never forgot her working class values. Her first job was in the cafeteria at her grammar school in Annandale, MN. Prior to entering the ministry, Chris worked for ten years as a hematology and oncology bone marrow transplant nurse at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, CA. She was a member of the Nurses Union, and worked to improve services and increase systemic support of patient care. She worked all her life, except for one year in Berkeley, CA, during which she prepared for her meeting with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC).

Chris enjoyed participating in theatre, and was active within Saint Cloud State University Theatre, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, and Theatre L'Homme Dieu where she did stage-managing, lights, and directing. Chris also enjoyed going to the theatre in both Cleveland and Rochester. She recently saw Pippen, and had tickets for a mid-April production of Kinky Boots.

Chris embraced adventure through sailing, flying a small plane, parachuting, snorkeling, and more recently, traveling to Hawaii. She said that going on a riverboat cruise in 2012, from Paris to the Normandy beaches, was the favorite of her travels. Chris loved cooking and entertaining. She completed a course at the culinary school at Lake Canandaigua, NY and was looking forward to taking more courses as well as traveling to Norway, Alaska, and returning to Hawaii.

Chris was devoted to her family and passionate about Unitarian Universalism. In her last reflection, recorded at 4 A.M. the day before she died, Chris said: “I feel really good about my life. I feel really good about my friends and family. I thank everyone for your help and I feel like I've had a long and successful life. My last job was working for the UUA, my hope for our future.”

She is preceded in death by her mother, Beryl Walberg; and her infant daughter, Amanda. She is survived by her wife, Sharon Hoyenga; father, Clifford Walberg; brother, Mike Walberg; sister, Terri Walberg; niece, Samantha; nephews, Cory and Chad; and many friends and colleagues.

A memorial service was held at First Unitarian Church of Rochester on Sunday, July 26th. A second memorial service will be held at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, Ohio 44116 on Sunday, August 23rd at 4:00 P.M. If you are unable to attend the memorial services, but would like to share a remembrance, please send a short memory of Chris to Sharon Hoyenga, hoyengasa@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wilmot Cancer Institute at Strong Memorial Hospital, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Sharon Hoyenga, 64 Hidden Valley Road, Rochester, NY 14624.

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In Memory of . . . Orloff W. Miller (1931-2015)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rev. Orloff Wakefield Miller died on July 1st, 2015 at the age of 83.

Orloff was born on August 8, 1931 to Rev. Lawrence Miller and Alice Miller. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Union College (now University of Mount Union) in 1953, and went on to receive a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology in 1956.

Rev. Miller was ordained by the Methodist Church in 1954, and served as minister to the Federated Church of Francestown, NH (Congregational) from 1956 to 1959. In 1959, he left the Methodist denomination and began serving as Associate Director of the youth organization, Liberal Religious Youth (LRY). He held that position until 1961. He received Unitarian Universalist ministerial fellowship in 1961, and spent the next five years serving as the Director of the Office of College Centers of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and Staff Advisor to Student Religious Liberals. He went on to serve as District Executive of the Mountain Desert District of the UUA from 1967 to 1970; minister to the All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist of Colorado Springs, CO from 1968 to 1972; and minister to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Luis Obispo, CA from 1973 to 1979. In 1984, he was called to respond to the national AIDS crisis. He served as minister and AIDS consultant to the UU AIDS Crisis Ministry in San Francisco, CA, a role he held for five years. Rev. Miller officially retired in 1991; however he served as European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Minister-at-Large from 1993 to 2000. In 2000, he was accorded the title of Emeritus EUU Minister-at-Large.

A tireless advocate for civil rights, Rev. Miller was among the hundreds of religious leaders who traveled to Selma, AL, in March of 1965, in answer to an appeal from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The appeal was put forth after a group of African-Americans, advocating for their right to vote by marching from Selma to Montgomery, were attacked by a group of white state troopers. While in Selma, on March 9, 1965, Rev. Miller, Rev. James Reeb and Rev. Clark Olsen, were attacked and beaten by a group of white men as they left Walker’s Cafe. Rev. Reeb died two days later. The attack gained nationwide attention, and served as one turning point in civil rights history. Several months later, in August of 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, banning racial discrimination within voting practices by federal, local and state governments.

Within an interview gathered as part of Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1954-1965), Rev. Miller explained:

I've been asked many times what business white clergy had in Selma, Alabama. What right did we have telling folks how they should run their lives. We not only had a right, we had a responsibility to be there because some of our family, our black brothers and sisters were not being treated fairly and wherever people are not being given their fair shot at having a full and meaningful life we have a responsibility to do what we can to help change that. And if it means we have to argue with other brothers and sisters about that then we better get in there and argue about it. And help them to see that there is another way of living as one human family. Yes, I think white people had a responsibility, and white ministers especially had a responsibility to be in Selma, Alabama. [i]

In March of 2015, Rev. Miller returned to Selma to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march. His son, Orloff Garrik Miller, recalls, “By then [his] sense of balance was a problem, and we rented a wheelchair for the conference. The day of the reenactment of the march, [he] got up and walked across that bridge.”

Rev. Miller was active within the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association; the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee; and the UUA’s (former) Full Recognition and Funding of Black Affairs Council.

Orloff studied within a doctorate program at the Institute for the Advanced Human Sexuality, in San Francisco, CA, in the early 1980’s, working toward a degree in Human Sexuality. When the AIDS crisis hit the United States, he felt a responsibility to respond. He worked as a Field Secretary for the AIDS Interfaith Network, and ministered as a volunteer hospice coordinator, providing support to people with AIDS, and to their friends and families. His son, Orloff Garrik Miller, “believe[s] that this was the hardest work of Dad’s career. Few he assisted survived more than a few months.” He received the Pacific Central District’s Unsung Hero Award in 1987 for his work during the epidemic.

Orloff Garrik Miller, son, has fond memories of a childhood spent with his father; together they camped, sailed, motorcycled, and traveled to regional retreats and encounter groups. In the early 1980’s, Orloff and Orloff Garrik loaded a motorcycle with camping gear and rode from San Francisco to Oregon.

Orloff moved to Germany in 1989, and married his dear wife, Renate Bauer, the same year. Their son, Glenn Erasmus Bauer, was born a year later. Orloff spent the next twenty-six years enjoying his retirement, volunteering, traveling, and taking care of Glenn Erasmus.

Renate remembers the ease with which Orloff made friends, and connected with individuals. “He found a way to bond with practically everyone,” she recalls, “He was dedicated to people, even at the end of his life. Even when he was not doing very well during the past two years, he made a point to call those who were worse off.”

Orloff is survived by his wife, Renate Bauer; his sisters, Karen and Sandra; and his children, Orloff Garrik Miller, Tanya Crete, and Glenn Erasmus Bauer.

There will be two services for Orloff, one for the European family and friends in Ludwigshafen, and one for the American family and friends in Acron, OH. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 30th at 3 P.M., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, 3300 Morewood Road, Fairlawn, OH 44333. A memorial service will be held on August 30th at 2:00 P.M., at the Johannes-Ronge-Haus, Ludwigshafen, Worthstr. 6a, Germany.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-3302 (http://www.uusc.org/).

 

[i]: Interview with Rev. Orloff Miller, conducted by Blackside, Inc. on November 30, 1985, for Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1954-1965). Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.

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In Memory of . . . Glyn J. Pruce (1928-2015)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Rev. Glyn Pruce died on June 1, 2015 at the age of 86.

Glyn was born on December 25, 1928, in London, England, to John and Ethel Pruce. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the London Polytechnic Institute in 1954; a Diploma in Ministry from Manchester College (of Oxford, England) in 1958; a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) from Boston University in 1965; and a Master of Arts in Theology from Boston University in 1970.

Rev. Pruce was ordained by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in London, England in 1958, and received Unitarian Universalist ministerial fellowship in 1973. He served as interim minister to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA from 1974 to 1975; minister to the Lakeshore Unitarian Church of Pointe Claire, Quebec from 1975 to 1978; minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, NY from 1978 to 1983; minister to The Great Meeting (Unitarian) of Leicester, UK from 1983 to 1987; minister to the Old Meetinghouse (Unitarian), Bessells Green of Kent, UK and the Maidstone Unitarian Church of Kent, UK from 1987 to 1992; and minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs, FL from 1992 to 1997.

Rev. Pruce was quite active within the denomination throughout his thirty-nine years of ministry. He served various committees and organizations throughout his time in the United Kingdom, including the Unitarian Ministers Association and theUnitarian Commission on Society and the Family. In the United States, he served as secretary of the St. Lawrence District Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association from 1975 to 1980; and moderator of the Arlington Street Unitarian Universalist Church from 1969 to 1970.

Prior to entering the ministry, Glyn served as a British Merchant Marine. He enlisted in 1945, and his ship was headed toward the Pacific Theatre battles at the time the Japanese surrendered. He spent the next three years traveling with the Marines throughout China and India, and the impact of seeing human suffering in those countries led him to the ministry.

Glyn taught sociology at Northeastern University, in Boston, MA, and took part in a doctoral program in the Sociology of Education at Boston University. He worked on the Boston’s Redevelopment Authority, and was an avid reader and World War II history buff. He loved classical music, traveling and spending time with his granddaughter, whom he affectionately called “Mistress Eden Willow." Glyn’s, son, Timothy, recalls that Eden was his “pride and joy, and the love of his life.”

Glyn is survived by his son, Timothy Pruce (Lorna Pruce); granddaughter, Eden Pruce; companion, Constance Traycheff, and her family; stepchildren, Susan, Robert, Michael and their families; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on June 27th, 2015 in Palm Harbor, FL 34683.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Timothy Pruce and Family, 157-10 Riverside Drive West, Apt. 14Q, New York, NY 10032, and to Constance Traycheff, 2664 Pine Ridge Way South, Apt. D1, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

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In Memory of . . . Janet B. Johnson (1942-2015)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 7, 2015
The Rev. Janet Boykin Johnson died on March 25, 2015 at the age of 72.

Janet was born on June 4, 1942 to Thelma and Hubert Dallas. She graduated from Hunter College, in 1966, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and from the University of Chicago with a Master of Social Work in 1972. She went on to attend Starr King School for the Ministry, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2002.

Rev. Johnson was ordained to the ministry in 2002 by the First Unitarian Society of Chicago, IL. Subsequently, she served as a chaplain to cancer patients at a hospital in Richmond, CA. She left the hospital in 2004 and started a private spiritual direction practice. From 2004 to 2007 she worked in the practice and as a part time minister to the Mt. Diablo Church of Walnut Creek, CA. She was called to serve as consulting minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cortland, NY, in 2008, and served at Cortland until her retirement in 2013.

Prior to serving the ministry, Janet worked as a social worker within the Chicago Public School System for 18 years. During that time, Janet was also an active member of the First Unitarian Society of Chicago, and caretaker to two grandsons, whom she adopted, Jason Johnson and (the late) Justin Johnson.

Janet was very involved in community affairs, and ministered to the public long before receiving fellowship. While living in Chicago, she was on the Board of Directors of the River Oaks Towne Houses Cooperative and was a member of Amnesty International. Also during this time, from 1975 to 1992, she served as host and program coordinator of the international nonprofit, Experiment in International Living. Her duties included hosting exchange students from Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil. After moving to California, Janet sat on several pastoral care hospital boards, and co-managed a clothing store operated by the Chaplaincy for the Homeless.

Janet enjoyed camping, knitting, crocheting, reading poetry, and listening to music

Janet is survived by her two daughters, Kimari Johnson and Kairis (Boykin) Bonella; her grandsons, Jason Johnson, Joseph Clayton, Jr., Johann Curry, Nieko Bonella, Angelo Bonella and Anton Klinnert; a son-in-law, Valentin Klinnert; step-children, Michele Freeny and Teren Johnson; first cousin, Thelma Williams and many distant cousins.

A memorial service was held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the First Unitarian Church of Ithaca, 306 N. Aurora St., Ithaca, NY 14850. There will be another memorial service at a later date for family and friends outside of the Ithaca area.

For more information about where to send cards, flowers, and/or donations, please e-mail johnsonklinnert@yahoo.com.

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In Memory of . . . H. Carlton Moore, Jr. (1934-2015)

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 6, 2015
The Rev. H. Carlton Moore, Jr. died on February 19th, at the age of 80.

Carlton was born on May 5, 1934 to Herbert Carlton, Sr. and Lillian Moore. He graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1956, and from Crane Theological School with a Master of Divinity in 1967.

Rev. Moore was ordained by the First Congregational Parish (Unitarian) of Norton, MA, in 1967. He was subsequently called to the First Congregational Parish, and he served as full time minister until 1970. From 1970 to 1995, Rev. Moore guest preached at over fifty congregations throughout Massachusetts, and spent his weekdays teaching and counselling students as a Professor of Engineering at Wentworth College. His pastorate at First Congregational Parish did not end in 1970, however. He continued to serve as the congregation's Minister of Religious Education and part time minister for the better part of the following twenty five years, leading many Sunday worship services, and keeping the doors of the church open to all.

Rev. Moore served as co-chairman of Board of Directors of the Cedar Hill Retreat Center, in Duxbury, MA, and chairperson of the Cedar Hill Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Norton Public Library and the Daggett Crandall Newcomb Home in Norton; he served on both boards for over 30 years.

Carlton kept busy during his free time by beekeeping, baking bread, and making wine. He was an avid reader; his daughters remember that he was “always in his reading chair.” He presided over the marriages of his three daughters, and he is remembered by congregants and friends as a “gentle giant,” who was “very active in the community.”

Carlton is survived by his daughter, Emily C. Minihane (James), Rebecca M. Raymond (David), and Meredith M. Owens (James); sister, Carol MacLennan; and grandchildren, Lillian, Charlotte, Madeleine, John, Lydia, Alice, Cole, and Mason. He is predeceased by his wife Camilla C .Moore; and son, Warren C. Moore.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, February 24th at 11:00 A.M. at the Norton Memorial Funeral Home, 19 Clapp St., Norton, MA 02766.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Herbert may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215 or to Daggett Crandall Newcomb Home, 55 Newland St. Norton, MA 02766.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Mrs. Emily Minihane, 15 Vine Street, Franklin, MA 02038.

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In Memory of . . . Philip A. Smith (1930-2015)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Rev. Philip A. Smith died on March 3, 2015 at the age of 84.

Philip was born on September 15, 1930 to Philip and Blanche Smith. He graduated Tufts College (now Tufts University) with a Bachelor of Art in 1954, and from Crane Theological School of Tufts with a Master of Divinity in 1957.

Rev. Smith was ordained by the Second Parish (Unitarian) of Marlboro, MA in 1957. He served as minister to the Second Parish (Unitarian) from 1957 to 1960. While holding that pastorate, he also served as associate chaplain to a prison in Norfolk, MA from 1958 to 1960. He went on to serve the First Unitarian Church in Louisville, KY from 1960 to 1963; and the Riverside Unitarian Church from 1963 to 1980.

Rev. Smith was a committed civil rights activist, and a spokesperson for social justice. Following the murder of James Reeb in 1965, Rev. Smith traveled to Selma, AL and marched from Selma to Montgomery. Throughout the 1960’s, he fearlessly led desegregation marches for the activist group, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and served as an active member of the group. Additional community activities involved serving as an adult adviser to CORE in Louisville, KY; member of the Louisville Executive Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union; and co-founder and co-chairman of Kentucky Committee to Abolish Capital Punishment.

While serving the Riverside Unitarian Church, Philip trained as a psychotherapist. He received the CA license in Marriage, Family, Child Counseling in 1970, and from 1970 to 1980, he practiced psychotherapy while ministering to the Riverside Congregation. Upon his retirement from ministry in 1980, Philip practiced psychotherapy full time.

Philip was very much a maverick, and valued individual creativity. He encouraged others to hold on to their uniqueness, and exhibit it with pride. He is remembered by family and friends for his love of laughter and his appreciation of life; his final words were “thank you.”

Philip is survived by his wife, Sharon Rose Smith; son, Gabe Smith (Cindie); daughter, Bryony Smith; grandchildren, Ryan, Andy and Ashley; two great-grandchildren; and brothers, Jim, Tom, and Paul.

A celebration of Phil's life will be held later in the year.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union (American Civil Liberties Union).

Notes of condolences may be sent to Sharon Smith, 242 N. East St. #22, Amherst, MA 01002.

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In Memory of . . . Robert M. Hemstreet (1930-2015)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The Rev. Robert “Bob” Merrill Hemstreet died on February 11, 2015, at the age of 84.

Bob was born to Albert B. Hemstreet and Beatrice Merrill Hemstreet on May 25, 1930 in Rochester, N.Y. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from New York University in 1952. Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, and he served until 1955, at which point he was honorably discharged. He went on to study at Crane Theological School at Tufts University, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1964.

Rev. Hemstreet was ordained by the First Unitarian Church at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1964, and served as minister to the First Unitarian Church from 1964 to 1968. From 1969 to 1972, he served as Minister-at-Large to the Greater Wilmington Council of Unitarian Universalist Societies, ministering half time to fellowships in West Chester, PA and Newark, DE. He next served as full time minister to the Unitarian Fellowship of Newark, DE from 1972 to 1975, and as weekend minister in York, PA from 1973 to 1974. He went on to serve as minister to the UU Church of Flushing, NY from 1976 to 1995; and was elected Minister Emeritus from UU Church of Flushing in 1999, a title he held until his death.

Rev. Hemstreet was devoted to, and active within, the denomination. Following the 1961 merger of Unitarianism and Universalism, he pushed for the adoption of a set of purposes and principles as a unifying guide that all congregations could affirm and promote. Throughout his ministry, he engaged with the faith in varying capacities - he served as president of three Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association chapters (St. Lawrence, Joseph Priestley and Metro NY); board member of the New York Metro District; trustee of the St. Lawrence Foundation for Theological Education from 1979 to 1985; member of a Flushing interfaith clergy group; and founder and elected president of Unitarian Universalists for Socialism in 1988. Bob strongly identified as a UU Humanist, and wrote extensively about Humanism as a religious path. He famously created the Thanksgiving Cider and Cornbread Communion, a service that has been widely anthologized and is now an annual feature of many UU congregations across the continent. He loved Star Island, and was an enthusiastic participant in the annual Institute for Religion in an Age of Science conference.

Dedicated to bettering his community and the world at large, Bob was very active in the IARF. He held the position of IARF American Chapter President from 1981 to 1984, and traveled to Europe several times for IARF related events. Bob got his start in the anti-racist and socialist movements in his mid-teens, as a follower of C.L.R. James, an activist and author from Trinidad and Tobago. He remained an activist on behalf of the disenfranchised his whole life. When the call went out to go down to Selma, Alabama after James Reeb's murder, Bob knew he needed to go. A former congregant of Bob’s felt it was so important for him to travel to Selma that he emptied the cash register in the store he owned, and gave Bob the $300. Bob answered the call.

Closer to home, he co-founded the original Queens Amnesty International chapter during the late 1970's; and served on the boards of the Queens Historical Society, the Queens Council of Churches, and the Queens Network for Intergroup Harmony.

Bob was introduced quite early in life to religion and ministry. As a child, he was mentored by an Episcopal priest, and served as an altar boy in the Episcopal Church; additionally, Bob’s grandfather served as an Episcopal priest to the deaf. Bob’s childhood home was located in Canton, NY near St. Lawrence University Theological School, and his grandmother rented out rooms to theology students. Ever curious and eager to learn, Bob spent many nights with his ear pressed against a bedroom door, intently listening to the students’ theological discussions.

Bob’s interests were deeply embedded in his work; he found joy within social justice work and preaching. Very much the intellectual, he was an avid article clipper, and appreciated reading, writing and music. His loving wife, Wendy, remembers Bob as one who was “always searching,” even in his final days.

He is survived by his wife, Wendy Moscow, and his stepsister, Gail Fiorelli.

A memorial service will be held on March 21st at 4:00 P.M., at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens, in Flushing, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-3302 (http://www.uusc.org/).

Notes of condolences may be sent to Wendy Moscow, 25-18 Union Street, #5E, Flushing, NY 11354.

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In Memory of . . . Stanley Aronson (1933-2015)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 19, 2015
The Rev. Stanley Aronson died on January 12, 2015, at the age of 81.

Stanley was born on June 5, 1933 to Abraham and Tillie Aronson. He attended Temple University, and graduated with a Doctor of Podiatry in 1958. He served in the United States Army Medical Service Corps from 1959 to 1962; then worked as a podiatrist and a disc jockey before entering seminary. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1982.

Rev. Aronson was ordained to the ministry in 1982 by the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley, CA (now the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley in Kensington, CA). He was first called to serve as Interim Minister to the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, and he served there for one year. From 1982 to 1985, he served as extension minister to the Unitarian Fellowship of Houston, TX, the Bay Area Unitarian Fellowship of Houston, TX, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Galveston County, TX. He then served as Urban Extension Minister to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit, MI from 1985 to 1988; Interim Minister to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, NY from 1988 to 1989; Interim Minister to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County of State College, PA, from 1989 to 1990; and Minister to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Stamford, CT from 1990 to 1999. He was elected Minister Emeritus to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Stamford, CT in 1999.

Rev. Aronson served in various denominational and community organizations. His involvement included, but was not limited to, serving as Co-Chair of the Urban Church Coalition of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA); Co-Chair of the Unitarian Universalist District of Michigan (UUDOM) Extension Committee; and Good Offices Person and Chapter President of the UUDOM-Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. He also served as Board Member of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights; Member of the Interfaith Conference on Liberal Religion; Board Member of the Pacific House Shelter for the Homeless; Vice President of the Council on Churches/Synagogues; Committee Member of the Interfaith AIDS Advisory Committee; and Founding Member of the Interfaith Dialogue Task Force

Stanley had a wide range of interests, including writing, music, exercising, and film. A Harley Davidson enthusiast, he rode his Harley coast to coast, from Berkeley, California to Toronto, Canada during the late 1970’s, a journey that took almost a month to complete. He loved the New York Times crossword puzzles and would often be able to complete the Sunday editions. Stanley was very social, and according to his son, Brad, “died having had more friends than most could only dream of having.”

Stanley’s son, Brad, remembers his father as an “empathetic person” with a “great sense of humor.” Brad is proud of his father’s counseling skills, and his ability to listen and guide without passing judgment. “He was a very giving and generous father,” said Brad, “and he was always there for us.”

He is survived by his sons, Greg (Aileen); Kevin (Christina); and Brad (Joey); grandchildren, Sean and Ryan; and great grandchildren, Christian, Alexis, Gracie, and Preston.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Brad Aronson, 1262 Truchard Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648.

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In Memory of . . . Roberta M. "Bobbie" Nelson (1935-2015)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 19, 2015
The Rev. Dr. Roberta M. “Bobbie” Nelson died on January 2, 2015 at the age of 79.

Bobbie was born on June 9, 1935 to Raymond A. Martin and Vera R. Martin. She graduated from Tufts University, with a Bachelor of Science, in 1958. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1996.

Bobbie was certified as an Accredited Director of Religious Education by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in 1967. She served as Director of Religious Education to First Parish in Needham, MA from 1959 to 1973, and to Fairfax Unitarian Church of Oakton, VA from 1973 to 1980. She was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by the Fairfax Church, and then served as their Minister of Religious Education from 1980 to 1987. She went on to serve as Minister of Religious Education to Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church of Bethesda, MD from 1987 to 2001, and was named their Minister Emerita in 2002.

Rev. Nelson stayed engaged with the denomination at large throughout the entirety of her career, and was involved in groundbreaking projects. She was active within the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), and served as Secretary, Vice-President and President. She chaired the Sexuality Education Task Force, a former project of the UUA and United Church of Christ (UCC), and served on the UUA and Meadville Lombard joint Envisioning Committee concerning the Transition of the Independent Study Program (ISP) from the UUA to Meadville Lombard, and the establishment of the Sophia Lyon Fahs Center at Meadville Lombard. She was an advisor to candidates in the ISP and Modified Residency Program from 1971 to 2008. She served on a myriad of UUA committees, and served on the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) and as vice president from 2001 to 2004.

Rev. Nelson was a major interpreter and trainer of the UUA’s About Your Sexuality (AYS) Program, and led countless AYS teacher training workshops. The program was launched in 1971, and was run by Unitarian Universalist congregations for over 25 years. With her husband, Chris Nelson, Bobbie coauthored the curricula, Parents as Resident Theologians, Parents as Spiritual Guides, and Parents as Social Justice Educators.

Rev. Nelson received the Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education in 1975; the Larry Axel Award for Teaching Excellence from Meadville Lombard and the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation Ministry to Women Award, both in 2001. In 2002, she was selected as the UUMA’s Berry Street Essayist.

Rev. Nelson’s colleagues and family members recall her willingness to speak up for things that she felt strongly about. “She was never afraid or hesitant,” her husband, Chris Nelson, remembers. Bobbie’s commitment to speaking her truth led her to serve as the spokesperson chosen to defend the About Your Sexuality program when it was under attack on the national television segment, Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel. Former colleague Judith A. Frediani writes, ‘For forty years, when Unitarian Universalist religious education needed a voice, Bobbie spoke out. Whenever leadership was called for, Bobbie was called.”

Bobbie enjoyed traveling, reading, cooking, and entertaining. Post-retirement, she volunteered at an elementary school and treasured the hours she spent with first and second graders.

"A wink or a hint of a smile became her last words but love, courage, and faith sustained her to the end. She died at peace," said her husband, Chris Nelson.

Bobbie is survived by her husband of 54 years, Christopher “Chris” B. Nelson; daughters, Heather Nelson, Joy Saams (John), and Jennifer Nelson; grandchildren Jack, James, and Julia Saams; and brother, Donald A. Martin (Jean).

A memorial service was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ellsworth, ME, at 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 10. Another service will be held at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, MD, on Saturday, April 25th at 1 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to: Roberta Nelson Prize for Excellence in Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603 or to The Star Island Corporation Morton-Benedict House, 30 Middle St., Portsmouth, NH 03801

Notes of condolences may be sent to the family at 41 Astbury Lane, Sedgwick, ME 04676-3423.

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In Memory of . . . Albert H. Thelander (1925- 2014)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 9, 2014
The Rev. Albert “Al” Hill Thelander died on October 20, 2014, at the age of 89.

Al was born on August 8, 1925 to Margaret and Albert Levi Thelander. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Harvard University in 1949, and went on to serve the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1970. He then graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1973.

Rev. Thelander was ordained at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saddleback Valley of Laguna Hills, CA, (now Tapestry, A Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Mission Viejo, CA) in 1977, and served as minister to the church from 1977 to 1979. He was called to serve as minister to the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bayside, CA in 1979. He served Humboldt until his retirement in 1993, at which point he was voted Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Thelander was deeply committed to the denomination. He served as founding member and secretary of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Cooperative, Pacific Central District of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) from 1975 to 1977; Northern California area coordinator to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee from 1975 to 1976; chair of the denominational affairs and communications committee of the Pacific Southwest District of the UUA from 1978 to 1979; Board of Directors of the Pacific Central District from 1983 to 1987; and President of the Pacific Central District from 1985 to 1987.

Al was interested in chess, carpentry, reading, and spending time with family. He was affectionately called GrandAl, by his family. Al’s granddaughter, Emmy, remembers, “GrandAl approached everything in life, including the whimsical and the grave, with the assumption that it was--or could be--meaningful. He was and is a model for intentional living.”

Albert is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary; children, Carl Thelander (Billy Thelander), Margo Thelander (Don Matthews), and Kate Alvarez (Paul Alvarez); grandchildren, Emmy, Max, Alicia, Alex, Cara and Shane; and great-grandchildren, Davin, Anderson, and Collin.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Mary Thelander, 12833 Lake Wildwood Drive, Penn Valley, CA 95946.

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