The Rev. Marguerite “Peggy” (née Carlson) Clason, died on August 29, 2017 at the age of 76.
Peggy was born on April 3, 1941 in New Britain, CT to parents Arvid and Dorothea (née Walleen) Carlson. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Upsala College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Religion in 1963—the year in which she married her beloved spouse Don Clason. The couple settled in Lake County, OH, where they lived ever since. Peggy worked in publishing before serving as the Director of Religious Education at East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Mentor, OH from 1972 to 1981. In that year, having long heard the call toward professional ministry, Peggy earned her Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She would later attain certificates in Clinical Pastoral Education (1984), Hospice Chaplaincy (1986), Marriage and Family Counseling (1990), and Bereavement Counseling (1991).
Rev. Clason was ordained on October 4, 1980 by East Shore UU Church, where she served as Minister of Religious Education until 1988. She was then called to serve the UU Society of Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, OH, where she would minister with dedication and distinction for seventeen years. Upon her retirement in 2005, the Cleveland congregation honored Rev. Clason’s service by naming her their Minister Emerita.
Outside of her ministry, Rev. Clason performed other vital service in the field of religious education. From 1988 to 1991 she worked as an Education Consultant to the UUA’s Ohio-Meadville District (now part of the Central East Region). There she coauthored the adult RE curriculum Consider the Basics, published in 1992. And in 2006 she became a member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association.
In her spare time, Peggy loved to travel, and enjoyed reading, writing, and swimming.
While pursuing her call to ministry in 1980, Rev. Clason offered the following vision of what religious education—when shepherded by passionate souls—can accomplish:
I believe that in our religious education programs persons can be supported, and the search for truths supported. I believe our Unitarian Universalist concept of a religious person, including being free and responsible, sensitive, honest, autonomous, can be conveyed. I believe time for centering on individual thoughts and feelings can be found, awareness of the natural world can be awakened, and that connections between the search for meaning and daily living can be made.
She is survived by spouse of 54 years Don Clason; children Eric Clason (Victoria) and Christine Briede (Mark); grandchildren Nicholas, Natalie, and Lauren; as well as several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by parents Arvid and Dorothea Carlson.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UU Society of Cleveland, 2728 Lancashire Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106; to East Shore UU Church, 10848 Chillicothe Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094; and to the Life Care fund of Ohio Living Breckenridge Village,36855 Ridge Road, Willoughby, OH 44094.
A memorial service took place on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at East Shore UU Church.
Notes of condolence can be sent to Don Clason at 5665 Grace Woods Drive, Unit 209, Willoughby, OH 44094.