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In Memory of . . . Bruce M. Clary (1939-2011)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The Reverend Bruce M. Clary died on September 15, 2011. He was 72 years old.

Rev. Clary was born in Berwyn, IL, on July 30, 1939, to Bruce H. and Jane (Maxfield) Clary. Rev. Clary received his BA from the University of Tulsa in 1961 and his Bachelor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1965. He was ordained by All Saints Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK on June 14, 1965.

Following ordination, Rev. Clary served as minister at the following congregations: First Parish, Unitarian in Bridgewater, MA; First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, OK; First Church in Barre Universalist in Barre, VT; First Parish Universalist Church in Stoughton, MA; East Shore UU Church in Mentor, OH; and First Church and Parish in Dedham, MA, where he was later installed as Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Clary had served on committees and boards over the years including the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Board, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Executive Committee, the Church of the Larger Fellowship Religious Education Committee, the Liberal Religious Education Directors Association Board, the Ballou Channing District Religious Education Committee, and the Unitarian Sunday School Society. He was listed in Who’s Who in Religion and Who’s Who in America. He had received Special Recognition by the UUSC and had been awarded the Oklahoma Governor’s Award for Community Service. Among his writings, Rev. Clary was the author of Views from the Iceberg.

After retiring, Bruce and his wife Dottie moved to Tulsa and continued to spend summers on Cape Cod, maintaining friendships across the country. He had always loved painting and, upon retirement, vowed to pursue art "with seriousness,” which he did. Earlier in his career Rev. Clary participated in a Native American Studies and Art Painting Project while on sabbatical in Oklahoma. Besides painting, his interests included: photography, writing, cooking, community theatre, antiques, nautical history, and Native American arts and rituals.

Rev. Clary was predeceased in death last December by his wife, Dorothy Clary. He is survived by his sister Barbara Clary Martin and her husband Steve, a son David Clary and his wife Beth, three granddaughters; Emma, Lauren, and Catherine, and a niece and two nephews. Notes of condolence may be sent to David and Beth Clary, 3634 E. 102 St., Tulsa, OK 74137.

A memorial service was held at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK with the Revs. Tamara Lebak and John Wolf officiating. Contributions can be made to Meadville Lombard Theological School, Office of Institutional Advancement, 5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

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