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Monday, June 6, 2016
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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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