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In Memory of . . . William A. DeWolfe (1927-2014)

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 24, 2014

The Rev. William A. “Bill” DeWolfe died on October 29, 2014 at the age of 87.


Bill was born on August 21, 1927 to John Campbell Gordon DeWolfe and Miriam Elbridge Ford DeWolfe.  Bill served in the United States Army from 1945 to 1947. Succeeding his service, he graduated Tufts College with a Bachelor of Art 1950, Harvard University with a Bachelor in Sacred Theology in 1953, and Springfield College with a Master’s in Education in 1963.


Rev. DeWolfe was ordained by The First Universalist Church of Norwell, MA in 1952. He was called to the First Universalist Society of Wakefield, MA in 1953; he served the Wakefield parish until 1955. He went on to serve as minister to First Parish Universalist of Stoughton, MA from 1956 to 1960; to 16 Acres Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield, MA from 1960 to 1964; to First Unitarian Church of San Antonio, TX from 1964 to 1970; and to First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, MO from 1970 to 1973. Following his parish ministries, Bill served as Interdistrict Representative to the Eastern Great Lakes Area of the UUA from 1973 to 1985, and District Representative to the Central Massachusetts and Connecticut Valley Districts of the UUA from 1986 to 1992.


Heavily invested in the denomination, Rev. DeWolfe worked as a crew member, staff member and institute leader at Ferry Beach, Star Island, Rowe, and Lake Murray, Oklahoma and Ohio-Meadville Summer Institutes. He held memberships in the Fraters of the Wayside Inn; the Cedar Hill Study Group; the Executive Board of the Northern New England Unitarian Universalist District; the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) and the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association, in which he served a term as president.  He served as president of the Universalist Historical Society from 1958 to 1964; founded the Eastern Great Lakes Leadership School; and served as board member and founder of the Connecticut Valley District of the Unitarian Universalist Association (merged with the Central Mass District in 2000 to form The Clara Barton District).


Bill advocated for civil action and justice. He served as a Rotarian in Stoughton and Springfield, MA; San Antonio, TX; and St. Louis, MO.  He was instrumental in the founding of the Texas American Civil Liberties Union; and served on its national board of directors. Additionally, he was very active in Planned Parenthood.


Bill enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren; following sports, particularly the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins; and traveling. His wife, Barbara, fondly remembers camping throughout the United States with Bill and their young children. 


“Bill was a wonderful husband and father,” his wife, Barbara, explains. “One of the things I appreciated about Bill was that even in the days before women’s lib, he was always urging me to follow my career as much as I wanted to. He would readily take care of the kids while I went off to work.”


Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara DeWolfe; sons, Richard DeWolfe (Hillary Colt) and Paul DeWolfe (Ellen Sherwood DeWolfe); grandchildren, Reid DeWolfe, Jack DeWolfe , Abby DeWolfe (Seth Patch), and Emily DeWolfe; and great grandchildren, Sebastian and Madeline. He is predeceased by son Rev. Mark Mosher DeWolfe.


A memorial service will be held on November 21st at 2 P.M. at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta, Maine, 69 Winthrop Street, PO Box 8, Augusta, ME 04330.


In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Ferry Beach Park Association, 5 Morris Ave. Saco, ME 04072 or to Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association, C/O Joel Weaver, Treasurer, 535 Gradyville Rd. Unit V212, Newtown Square, PA 19073. If donating to Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association (UURMaPA),  please make checks payable to "UURMaPA" and include "Bill DeWolfe" on the memo line.


Notes of condolences may be sent to Barbara DeWolfe, 4 Hickory Lane, Augusta, ME, 04330.  

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