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In Loving Memory of Arnold Thaw (1931 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 29, 2018

The Rev. Dr. Arnold Thaw died on July 15th, 2018 at the age of 87.

Arnold was born on April 21, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY to Max and Hilda Thaw. He graduated from New York University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts in History, following which he earned his M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry, CA in 1956. He then served residency as a chaplain intern at the Napa State Mental Hospital, CA and did fieldwork at the Unitarian churches in Oakland and San Francisco. In 1974, Arnold earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, CA.

Rev. Dr. Thaw was ordained on February 10, 1957 by the Unitarian Church of Natick, MA where he carried out his ministry until 1962. From 1962 to 1968, he served the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga, Canada. Then, over the next two decades, Rev. Dr. Thaw carried out series of vital ministries at the Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Flagstaff, AZ (1977-1978) and the Gestalt Institute Training Faculty, Phoenix, AZ (1978-1998). In 1998, the Gestalt Institute Training Faculty honored him as an Emeritus Member.

Rev. Dr. Thaw carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. He served as a President for Alumni Association at Starr King School for the Ministry, and as an Editor for the Starr King Alumni Association Bulletin. He functioned as an Advisory Board member for the Natick Fair Housing Practices Committee, as a President for the Framingham Area United World Federalists, and as a Vice-president for the Greater Natick Ministers Association. Likewise, Rev. Dr. Thaw served the Unitarian Fellowship of Social Justice as a Southern New England Regional Director. Furthermore, for the Religious Arts Guild of the American Unitarian Association, he was a member of the Board of Directors, and for the Unitarian-Congregationalist retreat, he was Public Relations Director.

In 1957, Arnold was a member of the Discussion Planning Commission for Joint Biennial Conference in Atlantic City. He was also active in promoting social justice. He was Ministerial Advisor to Social Relations Committee of the Greater Natick Council of Churches. He had a keen interest in photography and enjoyed reading eastern and western mysticism, prose and poetry. Arnold was proud to have participated in the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many of his UU colleagues.

Arnold is survived by his personal assistant Paula Allen and his loving friends in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix.

A memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday 15th September at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, 4027 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.

Flowers and notes of condolence may be sent to Rev. Margret A. O’Neall, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, 4027 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.

Donations in Arnold’s memory may be made to The Arnold Thaw Memorial Water Project at


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