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In Memory . . . Barbara E. Hollerorth (1926-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Barbara E. Hollerorth.  She died at the home of her daughter, Rachel Buerlen, in Rutland, Massachusetts on April 14, 2009.  She was 82.

Rev. Hollerorth was born on September 21, 1926, in Waterloo, Iowa, to Winfield Scott and Elizabeth Moulton.  She attended the Universities of Iowa and Chicago where she studied social sciences.  She graduated from The Chicago Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1952.

After her 1952 ordination at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Maywood, Illinois, Rev. Hollerorth directed an experimental nursery school program there.  In 1953, she joined her husband, Rev. Hugo Hollerorth, as co-minister of education at the Union Church of Hinsdale, Illinois.  After years spent raising her children, Rev. Hollerorth was called to serve as Associate Minister of the First Parish Church, Unitarian Universalist, in Lexington, Massachusetts.  It was while serving in Lexington that she created The Haunting House, a widely acclaimed early childhood curriculum which helped young children discover the importance of houses in people’s lives.  The curriculum was published by the Unitarian Universalist Association and used throughout the denomination as well as in secular settings.

While serving at First Parish in Lexington, Rev. Hollerorth became aware of the need for pastoral counseling services and felt called to provide them.  She enrolled in Andover Newton Theological School, receiving her Doctor of Ministry with a pastoral counseling specialty in 1974.  Following graduation, she worked at Boston Psychiatric Associates and at the Middleton Pastoral Counseling Center where she also taught.

In 1975, Rev. Hollerorth, began directing the newly-formed Unitarian Universalist Pastoral Counseling Service of Greater Boston, a position she held for many years.  She also served as Associate Minister in Pastoral Counseling at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, Massachusetts.  Rev. Hollerorth was also an associate in the office of Dr. Michael Sherwood, and a therapist on the staffs of the Homophile Community Health Service and the Gender Identity Service.  Additionally she had a private practice with offices in Boston and Natick.

In retirement, Rev. Hollerorth focused on her lifelong passion for the visual arts, studying at the New England School of Photography, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Massachusetts, and the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.  Her work was exhibited in several venues including the Habitat Center in Belmont, MA and at the New England School of Photography.

Rev. Hollerorth is survived by her husband, Rev. Hugo (Holly) Hollerorth; her daughter, Rachel Buerlen and husband, Paul of Rutland, MA; her grandchildren, Jason Buerlen, Holly Buerlen, and Nicole Hunter.  Her daughter, Rebecca Hunter died unexpectedly a few days after Rev. Hollerorth, on April 19, 2009. 

A memorial service was held on Saturday, May 9, at the First Parish Church UU in Framingham, MA. Please send messages of condolence to Rev. Hugo (Holly) Hollerorth, 3 Patton Dr., Natick, MA 01760-2927.

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