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In Loving Memory of Clark B. Olsen (1933-2019)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 5, 2019
The Rev. Clark B. Olsen died on January 21, 2019 at the age of 85.

Clark was born on June 22, 1933 in Boston, MA to Arthur W. Olsen and Catherine B. Olsen. He graduated from the Oberlin College, OH with a Bachelor of Arts in 1955, following which he earned his Bachelor of Divinity from the Harvard University in 1959.

Rev. Olsen was ordained on October 28, 1959 by the UU Congregational Society of Westborough, MA (formerly the First Unitarian Society of Westborough) where he carried out his ministry from 1957 to 1962. He was then called to the Berkeley Fellowship of UUs, CA where he would serve until 1968. In that year Rev. Olsen accepted a call from the Unitarian Church in Glasgow, Scotland, and served the Scottish congregation for five months as an interim minister. Finally, from 1968 to 1978, he served the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, NJ before launching a second career as an organizational consultant to corporations, nonprofits, and churches.

Rev. Olsen carried out a great deal of services on behalf of the denomination. He was Board Member for the Pacific Central District from 1965 to 1968. He served the NY Metro District as a Board Member from 1970 to 1974, and as President of the Board from 1971 to 1973. He then functioned as a “Good Offices” person for the NY Metro District, UU Ministers Association from 1974 to 1976 and chaired the NY Metro District, R.E Committee for a year (1975-1976). In 1976, Rev. Olsen became a Theme Speaker for a week conference “Life on a Star” held in Star Island, NH. Furthermore, he was a member and Vice-chairman for the UUA Planning Committee and served the UUA’s Fulfilling the Promise Committee. Rev. Olsen functioned as Vice-President for the UUA for two years (1986-1988); he also served on the UUA’s Board (2007-2008). He was Denominational Affairs Chair (2011-2017) for the UU Congregation of Asheville, NC. Moreover, he served as a leader for numerous workshops on UU Worship for local groups, districts and for the UU Ministers Association annual meetings.

Throughout his life, Rev. Olsen was a staunch advocate for civil rights and racial justice. Upon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s call to his fellow clergy to march for African American Voting Rights in the wake of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965, Clark travelled to Selma, AL. While walking to the Brown’s Chapel to hear Dr. King speak, Clark and two other UU ministers, Orloff Miller and Jim Reeb, were beaten by four men; two days later Rev. Reeb lost his life. This incident proved to be critical to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and inspired Clark to be a more empathetic, more human, and compassionate leader in the cause of freedom and justice. Clark started speaking worldwide about the Civil Right Movements and his personal experiences. He traveled to Selma ninety times to share his story through a Sojourn Project (a California based nonprofit that takes middle and high school students to civil rights movement locations to forge understanding and awareness towards personal and civic responsibility). In 2015, UUA awarded him the UUA’s 2015 Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism.

Rev. Olsen also labored tirelessly on behalf of the communities to which he belonged. He provided Clergy Consultation Service on abortion from 1968 to the time of abortion rights legislation. He was a member of the Morris County Drug Abuse Council from 1971 to 1975 and Chairman of the Advisory committee for the Morris School District. Rev. Olsen was on the Legislative Action Committee for the State Sen. Stephen Wiley and succeeded in establishing a new bikeway planning office in the NJ Dept of Transportation. He was also on the Board for the Family Service Agency in Morristown, NJ. In his spare time, Clark enjoyed reading, listening to music, gardening, being with friends and working with tools. He had great interest in camping and travelling. He travelled extensively in the United States and had visited nearly every country in West and East Europe.

Clark is survived by his wife Anna Olsen; his children Marika Olsen and Todd Olsen; and his brother Lee. He was predeceased by his first wife Ludmilla, his sister Elaine, and his brothers Dexter and Tyler.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing as well as to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.

A celebration of Clark’s life will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Anna Olsen at 23C Trillium Ct, Asheville, NC 28805.

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In Loving Memory of Carol Fincher (1932 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 5, 2019
The Rev. Carol Fincher died on December 22, 2018 at the age of 86.

Carol was born on December 25, 1932 in Fairfax, OK to parents Ed Armel Fincher and Dorothy Ellen Fincher. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Southern Connecticut State University, CT in 1980 following which she earned her Master of Divinity from the Starr King School for Ministry, CA in 1986.

Rev. Fincher was ordained on April 27, 1986 by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica, NY. Following her ordination, she served the Unitarian Church of Charlotte, NC as a Summer Minister from June 1986 to August 1986, and ministered at the Amarillo UU Fellowship in Amarillo, TX for two years. In the year 1988, she was called to the UU Church of Stillwater, OK where she would serve from 1988 until 1994. Then for nearly half a decade, Rev. Fincher performed a series of Parish ministries at three congregations: the UU Society of Mill Creek, Newark, DE (1994-1995); the May Memorial UU Society, Syracuse, NY (1995-1996); and finally, at the Community UU Congregation, Tulsa, OK (1996-1998).

Rev. Fincher carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. She was on Board for the Southwest UU District for three years and Chair for the 1994 Nominating Committee of the Board. She functioned as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association and the Liberal Ministers of the Delaware Valley (Unitarian Universalist). Furthermore, Rev. Fincher served as a Convener for the UU Ministerial Group in Tulsa, OK.

Outside her denominational work, Carol belonged to several community organizations. She was member of the Delaware Nature Society; the National Conference on Christian and Jews; the Alban Institute; and the Interfaith Interim Ministers Association. She served on the Board for the Neighborhood Nursery, an organization that provided low cost childcare to the low-income families. She also wrote a column for the Southwest Women in Religion Newsletter and had numerous of her articles published in the Hockessin Community News. One of her pieces, “Unitarian and Universalist: History, Beliefs, Rites of Passage” was published by the Stillwater News and Press. In her spare time, Carol enjoyed jewelry making, paper making, photography, music and ballet.

Carol is survived by her sister Dorothy Davis; her children Dennis DeGraad (Jeanne) and Ellen DeGraad; her grandchildren Kevin DeGraad, Derek DeGraad (Caitlin) and Jack DeGraad (Faith); and her several nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the UU Church of Stillwater, 320 S Stallard St, Stillwater, OK 74074.

A celebration of Carol’s life took place at 3 pm on Saturday, January 12th, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater, 320 S Stallard St, Stillwater, OK 74074.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Ellen DeGraad at 829 N Burdick St Apt A, Stillwater, OK 74075.

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In Loving Memory of Cynthia J. Edson (1945 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 14, 2019
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia J. Edson died on October 6, 2018 at the age of 73.

Cynthia was born on July 26, 1945 in Weymouth, MA to William Gordon Edson and Catherine Jane (Wishart) Edson. She graduated from the University of Connecticut, CT in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, following which she earned her Master of Theology from the Boston University, MA in 1970. In 1972, Cynthia received her Doctor of Ministry from the Andover Newton Theological School, MA.

Rev. Dr. Edson was ordained on May 24, 1970 by the First Parish UU Church at Saugus, MA where she carried out her ministry from 1969 to 1971. She was then called to the UU Church of Berks County in Reading, PA where she would serve from 1973 until 1977. On September of 1977, Rev. Dr. Edson accepted a call from the Unitarian Church of Bangor, ME and ministered to the Bangor congregation for two years. Over the next decade, Rev. Dr. Edson carried out series of interim and called ministries at the following congregations: the First Parish Church in Beverly UU, Beverly, MA (1983-1985); the First Parish Church of the Presidents, Quincy MA (1986); the Anchorage UU Fellowship Inc., Anchorage, AK (1987-1988); the UU Fellowship of Fayetteville, Fayetteville, NC (1988-1989); the Unitarian Coastal Fellowship, Morehead City, NC (1988-1991); the UU Congregation of Greenville, Greenville, NC (1988-1991); the UU Church of Weymouth, Weymouth, MA (1991-1992); and finally at the Emerson UU Church, Canoga Park, CA (1993).

Rev. Dr. Edson carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. She served the UU World as a Managing Editor from 1970 to 1972 and as President for the Joseph Priestley District from 1973 to 1976. She was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation; co-editor for the UUMA’s newsletter during 1977 to 1979; and secretary for the Ferry Beach Park Association beginning 1981 to 1982.

Outside her denominational work, Cynthia belonged to several community organizations. She functioned as an environmental chair for the League of Women Voters, and as a steering committee member for the Ministerium (Ecumenical) Social Action Cabinet. She was advisor for People Against Rape, as well as clergy advisor to Planned Parenthood, Maternal Health Service of NE PA, and School Health Education Advisor for the Bangor city, ME. Furthermore, she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries. Cynthia was also a dedicated writer. Her writings appeared in the Journal of Pastoral Care; the Journal of Psychical Research; and the Haiku Foundation. She showed a lifelong interest in antiques, art and architecture, bibliomania, folklore, and enjoyed tennis.

Cynthia is survived by her longtime friends, Nancy and Ross Edwards, Rosemary Jenkes, Mary Lou Rogers, Carol X (PA), Barry and Kenneth Glover.

A memorial service is being planned for the spring.

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In Loving Memory of Raymond G. Manker (1925 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 14, 2019

The Rev. Dr. Raymond “Ray” G. Manker died on December 16, 2018 at the age of 93.

Raymond was born on April 6, 1925 in Santa Monica, CA to Rev. Charles C. G. Manker and Annie Marie Fehn. He graduated from the College of Mines and Metallurgy, University of Texas, TX in 1945 with a Bachelor of Arts, following which he earned his Bachelor of Divinity from College of the Bible, Transylvania University, KY in 1948. In 1974, the Starr King School for Ministry, CA honored Ray with the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.

Rev. Dr. Manker was ordained on July 13, 1948 by the Pilgrim Church (Congregational-Unitarian) in El Paso, Texas. He served the First Unitarian in Toledo, OH from 1949 to 1950. In that year he was called to the First Parish in Wayland, MA where he carried out his ministry for five years. Then, over the next three and half decades, Rev. Dr. Manker executed his parish ministry at the UU Church of Riverside, Riverside, CA (1955- 1963) and the UU Congregation of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, AZ (1963-1990). He retired from the active ministry in 1990, at which time the Phoenix congregation elected him their Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Dr. Manker carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. He was an Associate Director for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Work Camp in 1951 and an Executive Secretary for the Pacific South West District, UUA, Pasadena, CA from 1958 to 1963. He functioned as a Superintendent for the California Universalist Convention from 1961 to 1963, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Unitarian Sunday School Society. He also served the UUA Curriculum Development Committee in 1980 and the UUSC in various positions: as a member of the Board of Directors in 1985, and as Vice-President from 1988 to 1989.

Beyond his ministry and denominational work, Ray actively served the communities to which he belonged. He was on the Central Chapter Board for the Arizona Civil Liberties Union from 1964 to 1985. In 1973, the Union awarded him, “the Distinguished Citizen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Civil Liberties.” Furthermore, Ray served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Sanctuary Defense Fund in 1980, and also for the Arizona Center to Reverse the Arms Race from 1983 to 1985. In 1987, the Greater Phoenix Chapter, United Nations Association, bestowed Ray and his wife Gretchen, the “Recognition of Distinguished Service in the Cause of Human Rights” award. Likewise, in 2003, Ray received the annual MLK Diversity Award from the Town of Paradise Valley, AZ. 

In his spare time, Ray enjoyed nature study, travel, gardening, reading, art, music and history.

Ray’s daughter Rev. Susan had these thoughts to share in remembrance of her father:

Dad met mom in 1948 at the Unitarian Summer Camp in Ardmore, OK, and they married a year later. Their passion for UU conferences and camps led them to create and actively support Camp de Benneville Pines in CA as well as the Sierra Ancha Wilderness Unitarian Universalist Religious Association, the wilderness retreat in AZ. Both David and I followed dad into the UU Ministry. 

Ray is survived by his wife Gretchen; his children and their spouses Katherine (Bruce Gardner), Raymond Jr (Patti Atchley), Susan (Curtiss Seale), and David (Larry Purifory); his four grandchildren Tiffany Brock, Nicholas Manker, Benjamin Manker-Seale, and Kat Choyguha; his three great grandchildren; and his several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Charles Manker Jr., sister Pauline Gay and son Wendell.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing as well as to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, AZ or the American Civil Liberties Union.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, 4027 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Gretchen Manker at 1650 W Glendale Ave Apt 2123, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

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In Loving Memory of Bjarne O. Kjelshus (1923 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 10, 2019
The Rev. Bjarne “Ben” O. Kjelshus died on November 9, 2018 at the age of 95.

Bjarne was born on March 9, 1923 in Hanska, MN to parents Benjamin Kjelshus and Ovidia Kjelshus Levine. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, MN in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts, following which he earned his Bachelor of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School, University of Chicago, IL in 1954. Ben then attended University of Missouri, MO, graduating in 1957 with a Master of Social Work in Community Organization.

Rev. Kjelshus was ordained on May 1st, 1955 by The Universalist Church of Webster city, IA, where he carried out his ministry from 1954 to 1956. He was then called to the First Universalist Church in Junction city, KS where he would serve from 1957 to 1962. Finally, Rev. Kjelshus served the UU Church of Kent, OH for three years until 1965.

Rev. Kjelshus carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. From 1954 to 1956, he served as a board member for the Midwest Universalist Conference and as a member of Education Committee for the Midwest Universalist Conference in 1956. He was Acting President for the Kansas Universalist Convention beginning 1959 to 1961. During the summer of 1961, he functioned as a leader for a workcamp team sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee at the Clarence Darrow Community Center in Chicago. Ben also chaired the College Centers Committee of the Ohio-Meadville District in 1964. In the same year he served as a member of Executive Committee for the Ohio-Meadville Ministers’ Association. During the summer of 1965, Rev. Kjelshus participated in a program, the Unitarian Universalist Presence in Selma, Alabama and actively supported the citizens who were struggling for their human dignities at that time.

Prior to entering the ministry, Ben served the U.S Army from 1942 to 1945 and spent thirty months of his duty in Italy. He was an activist throughout his life and advocated for civil rights, mental health, environmental and food sustainability. Ben was an organizer for the Kent Inter-Faith and Community Council for Human Relations, and an organizer and the first President for the Geary County Association for Mental Health. Likewise, he served as a Secretary and Treasurer for the Geary County Council of Social Agencies and was Vice-President for the Kiwanis Club of Junction City in KS. He was cofounder of the Greater Kansas City Greens, MO and founder of the Kansas City Food Circle, MO. Ben worked for 19 years in supervisor positions for the City of Kansas City, MO including being a Development Specialist with the City Development Department. In his spare time, he enjoyed hiking and camping.

Ben is survived by his wife of 68 years, D. Carol Kjelshus; his children Jon, Karen (Hinkle) and Eric; his grandchildren Letty, JR., Amber, Mikkel, Kristin and Jennifer; and his great-grandchildren Lauren, Brian, Emma, Annie, Wyatt, Lachlan, and Sterling.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139; to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64111; to the Saint Luke’s Hospice House, 3516 Summit, Kansas City, MO 64111; to Salvation Army; and to the Harvesters-The Community Food Network.

A celebration of Ben’s life took place at 3 pm on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64111.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Carol Kjelshus at 25001 East Outer Belt Road, Greenwood, MO 64034.

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In Loving Memory of George G. Brooks (1922 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Rev. George G. Brooks died on June 18, 2018 at the age of 95.

George was born on December 14, 1922 in Pleasantville, NY to parents Leonard Brooks and Irene Huggins Brooks. He graduated from the Amherst College, MA in 1944 with a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, following which he earned his Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA in 1947. He then served as a Ministerial Assistant at the First Church in Boston until 1949. In 1951, George received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Harvard Divinity School, MA.

Rev. Brooks was ordained on June 24, 1951 by the UU Church of Danvers, MA where he carried out his ministry from 1949 to 1951. He was then called to the Second Parish Unitarian Church in Saco, ME where he would serve from 1954 until 1957. On September 1957, Rev. Brooks accepted a call from the Adams Memorial Unitarian Church in Dunkirk, NY and ministered to the NY congregation for four years. Over the next three decades, Rev. Brooks executed his Parish ministry at the following congregations: The UU Fellowship at Burlington IA, Burlington IA (1963- 1968); All Souls UU Church, Bellville, OH (1972-1976); the UU Fellowship of the Firelands, Sandusky, OH (1980-1986); the UU Church of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN (1986-1987); the UU Church, Columbia, MO (1987-1989); and finally at the UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, Port Charlotte, FL (1990-1992). In 2008, the UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, FL honored him their Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Brooks carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. He served as a member for the Unitarian Minister’s Association from 1953 to 1961, and for the UUMA from 1961. He was the State Youth Advisor for the Liberal Religious Youth in ME from 1955 to 1957, and a Secretary for the Maine Unitarian Association from 1957 to 1958. Rev. Brooks also functioned as a treasurer for the Liberal Religious Peace Fellowship (1955-1957); the U.M.A. Meadville Branch (1959-1961); and the UUMA, Ohio Meadville Chapter (1970-1972).

Throughout his ministry, George served as a strong advocate for mental health and human rights. He was a Director for the Southern Maine Mental Health Association and for the Chautauqua County Mental Health Association. In 1960, he functioned as a Fund Chair for the Lake Shore for Mental Health in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area in NY. Likewise, he served as a Director for the Human Rights Commission in Burlington, IA from 1965 to 1968 and chaired the Commission from 1967 to 1968. From 1968 to 1986, George served as a faculty member in the Science and Math Division of Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH, teaching physics and astronomy. He also served the Oberlin (Ohio) Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union in various positions: as a director from 1970 to 1980, as Vice-President from 1975 to 1976, as President from 1977 to 1979, and as a State Board member from 1977 to 1979. In his spare time, George enjoyed golf, tennis, swimming, and keeping abreast of the findings in Cosmology, Astronomy, Neutrino Physics and Chaos Theory, and Early Hominids. He was also a dedicated writer. One of his pieces, “The Last Event and Its Picture of God in Contemporary Accents in Liberal Religion” was published by the Beacon Press in 1958.

George is survived by his nieces Miriam E. Coe, Katherine L. Randall, Julie Fix Graves, and Karen Fix Graves; his nephews Edmund A. Jones, Carlton Parker Jones, and Leonard Brooks III; and his several grand nieces, a grandnephew and a great nephew.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UUA, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210 or to the Star Island Corporation, Morton-Benedict House, 30 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

A memorial service was held at 2 pm on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, 1532 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33952.
Notes of Condolences may be sent to Edmund A. Jones at 8 Hammond Street, Somerville, MA 02143.

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In Loving Memory of Alan L. Seaburg (1932 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 6, 2018
The Rev. Dr. Alan Leslie Seaburg died on July 22, 2018 at the age of 86.

Alan was born on February 28, 1932 in Medford, MA to Nils Henry and Eva (Gerrard) Seaburg. He received his two degrees from Tufts University, MA: a Bachelor of Arts in 1954, and a Bachelor of Divinity in 1957. Alan then functioned as an Assistant at the Tufts University Library from 1957 until 1959. In 1959, he earned his Master of Science from Simmons College, MA. Alan was later awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL in 1999.

Rev. Dr. Seaburg was ordained on Sep 15,1957 by the First Universalist Church in Medford, MA, where he carried out his interim ministry from 1958 to 1959. He then served as a Librarian at the Crane Theological School, Tufts University, MA from 1959 to 1965. Over the next three decades, Rev. Dr. Seaburg executed his community and called ministries with: the Charles Street Meeting House in Boston, MA (1965-1968); the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston, MA (1968-1970); and the Andover-Harvard Theological Library in Cambridge, MA (1970-1995). Upon his retirement in 1995, the Andover-Harvard Theological Library honored Rev. Dr. Seaburg as their Emeritus Curator of Manuscripts.

In addition to his ministry, Rev. Dr. Seaburg offered his services to the denomination. He served as a Secretary and Assistant Librarian for the Universalist Historical Society in 1959. Likewise, in 1960 he was a Book Room Manager for the Universalist Historical Society. He also functioned as a Planning Agency for the Universalist Church of America in 1960.

Outside his denominational work, Alan was a prolific writer. His writings appeared in the New York Times, the Amherst Review, and the Hawaii Review. Some of his works include The City of Love (1990); At the Fair: The Boston Immigrant Experience (1990); 52 Tavistock Square: Poems (1994); and Cambridge on the Charles (2001).

Alan is survived by his daughters, Carolyn Joy Bell and Ann Leslie Seaburg; granddaughters, Lizzie Jean Seaburg, and Sarah Grace Thomas; his nephews, David, Robert and Erik Light. He also leaves many close family and friends. He was pre-deceased by his wife Jean (Newhall) Seaburg, brother Carl G. Seaburg, and his twin sister Nancy E. Light.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Carl G. Seaburg Scholarship Fund at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Development Office, 610 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605.

A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Boston Marriott Burlington, One Burlington Mall Road, Salon F, Burlington, MA.

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In Loving Memory of William C. Saunders (1945 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 16, 2018

The Rev. Dr. William Clinton Saunders died on June 26, 2018 at the age of 73.

Will was born on March 18, 1945 in Morristown, NJ to Byron Winthrop and Miriam (Wise) Saunders. He graduated from Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH in 1967 with an A.B. in Religion and earned his B.D. from Union Theological Seminary, NY in 1970. From 1968 to 1971, Will served as a student Minister at Community Church of New York, NYC, NY. He then served as a lecturer in Religious Studies at Hunter College, NY from 1974 to 1975. In 1978, Will earned his Ph.D. in American Religious Thought from Columbia University, NYC, NY.

Rev. Dr. Saunders was ordained on October 22, 1972 by First Unitarian Church in Ithaca, NY. From 1976 to 1985, he served as Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick, ME and then for a decade until 1995 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Urbana, IL. Subsequently he carried out Interim Ministries at the Harvard Unitarian Church, Harvard, MA (1995-1996) and the Universalist Unitarian Church, Haverhill, MA (1996-1997). Rev. Dr. Saunders served as Co-Minister of South Church (Unitarian Universalist), Portsmouth, NH, 1997-2008. South Church honored him as Minister Emeritus in 2005. Finally, Rev. Dr. Saunders served as Interim Minister at the First Parish in Portland, ME from 2009 until his retirement in 2010.

Will carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. He served the Northeast District as Trustee and Extension Director from 1979 to 1982. In 1983, he was elected President of the UU Ministers Association Northeast Chapter. He served on the Board of Trustees for the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1982 to 1985 and chaired the UUA’s Young Adult Ministry Task Force from 1987 until 1990. He represented the UU Ministers Association on the Annual Program Fund Continental Committee from 1988 to 1990. From 1988 to 1992, he served as a Trustee for the Central Midwest District Board. In 1992, the UU Ministers Association in the Central Midwest District elected him Good Offices Person. For the years 1981, 1983 and 1993, Will served as Guest Lecturer at the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL.

While serving the Urbana congregation, Will was active on the Chancellor’s Task Force on Discrimination at University of Illinois. He was president of Project Harvest Hope, a foundation working to rebuild civil society in the Unitarian village of Transylvania in Romania. He was an instructor for UU theology at Bangor Theological Seminary and chaplain at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

Will was keenly interested in classical music especially chamber music. He enjoyed theatre, art, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and travelling the world. He loved officiating at weddings and spending time with friends and family. As Will fought with cancer for several years, he kept his family and close friends informed through periodic “health updates” and continued to live as actively as possible.

Will is survived by his wife Julie Draper Saunders; his sons Brynn (Kelly) Saunders and Peter (Marnie) Saunders, Julie’s sons Nicholas and Zachary Draper; his sisters Martha (Bahram) Nabatian, and Carolyn (Bert) Munger; three loving grandchildren Zoe, Zade, and Grace; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts in Will’s name may be made to Planned Parenthood of New England (www.ppnne.org/annualfund).

A memorial service was held on July 2nd for family and close friends with Rev. Dan Hotchkiss officiating.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Julie Draper Saunders, Julie_Draper@me.com

https://uurmapa.org/obituaries/

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In Loving Memory of Peter W. Webster (1951 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Rev. Peter W. Webster died on October 17, 2018 at the age of 67.

Peter was born on July 5, 1951 in Ontario, Canada to Curvin Stein and Dorothea W. Webster. He graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. In 1981, Peter received his Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.

Rev. Webster was ordained on November 1, 1981 by the First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist formerly known as the First Congregational Society (Unitarian), Jamaica Plain, MA. He was then called to serve the First Unitarian Congregational Society, Wilton Center, NH from 1983 to 1986. He then served the First Unitarian Parish in Woburn, MA (1987-1988) as an interim minister, and from (1989-1991) he served the UU Fellowship in Wilmington, NC as an extension minister.

In addition to his parish ministries, Rev. Webster carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. For the year 1983, he was the UUA’s Interim Consultant for its Development Office. He was also a coordinator for the Equal Opportunity Team for Gay and Lesbian Ministers at the UUA. Rev. Webster maintained active membership in the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association and the Woburn Clergy Association.

Outside his denominational work, Peter belonged to several community organizations. He was an active member of the Mayor’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness Committee in Woburn, MA; served as a coordinator of Special Events, Pastoral Concerns Subcommittee of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Boston; and participated in the first National March for the Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. Peter was an active volunteer at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. He was an accredited teacher of the Transcendental Meditation Program and in his spare time, Peter enjoyed free weight training and exercise, swimming, cooking and knitting.

Peter is survived by his mother Dorothea Wood Webster; brother John Webster and his wife Penny; brother Edward Webster and his wife Lisa; brother Mark Webster and his wife Marylin; sister Anne Wolfe and her husband John; sister Susan MacPhee and her husband John; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved cat, Kashi. He was predeceased by his biological father Curvin Stein and his adopted father Dr. Edward Webster.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecelia Roman Catholic Church, 18 Belvidere Street, Boston, MA, 02155 or Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, 350 South Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

A funeral mass was held at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 9, 2018 at Saint Cecelia Roman Catholic Church, 18 Belvidere St, Boston, MA 02115.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Friday, November 23, 2018 at Carleton Willard Village, 100 Old Billerica Rd, Bedford, MA 01730.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Dorothea Wood Webster at Carleton Willard Village, 100 Old Billerica Rd, Bedford, MA 01730.

https://uurmapa.org/obituaries/

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In Loving Memory of Alexander Meek (1929 - 2018)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Rev. Alexander “Scotty” Meek died on September 24, 2018 at the age of 89.

Alexander was born on June 10, 1929 in Andover, MA to Alexander Meek, Sr. and Rolina J.D. Meek. He graduated from Tufts University, MA in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, following which he earned his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Crane Theological School, Tufts University, MA in 1959.

Rev. Meek was ordained on June 14, 1959 by the First Universalist Church in Stafford, CT, where he carried out his ministry from 1957 to 1959. He was then called to the First Universalist Church of Orange in MA where he would serve from 1960 to 1963. In 1964, Alexander accepted call from the UU Church of Greater Lynn, MA and ministered to the Lynn congregation for nine years. He then served the First UU Church of Rochester in MN for a decade and then the Pacific Southwest District, UUA from 1983 to 1987. In 1987, the Pacific Southwest District, UUA elected him their District Minister Emeritus.


Drawn to interim ministry, he then carried out series of vital interim ministries at the following congregations: UU Church of Tucson, AZ (1988-1989); First UU Church of Wausau, WI (1989-1990); First Jefferson UU Church, TX (1990-1991); All Souls UU Church, MO (1991-1992) and the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, NY (1992-1994). In 1994, Alexander retired from active ministry but continued his service to the faith by further carrying out interim ministries at various congregations. After retirement he served for a year at the Bay Area UU Church; and then from 1997 to 1999, he simultaneously served two congregations: Valley UU Congregation, AZ and the UU Congregation of Green Valley, AZ. In 2000, the UU Congregation of Green Valley, AZ honored Rev. Meek for his devoted and inspirational leadership by electing him their Minister Emeritus. In 2001, he again returned to the Bay Area UU Church, TX as an interim minister and served for a year. Finally, from 2002 Rev. Meek ministered at the UU Church of Little Rock, AR until 2004, at which time the congregation honored him as their Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Meek carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. He served as a Chair for various committees including: the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, the Pamphlet Commission, the LRY Advisory Committee, and the UUA’s Nominating Committee. He was a Board Member and President for the Ferry Beach Park Association, ME. He also chaired the Interim Minister’s Advisory Committee, UUA Dept. of Ministry; functioned as Chair and Treasurer for LREDA; and President and Secretary for the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association. Rev. Meek further served as President of the Ministers and DRE Group, Prairie Star District, and as Minister-in-Residence for District Leadership School at the Pacific Southwest District.
In addition to his ministry, Scotty was engaged in service to his community. He served as Chemical Dependency Board President and chaired the RAPELINE (Sexual Violence Program) in Rochester, MN. He was the chair for School District 535 Affirmative Action Committee and member of ACLU, YMCA, and NAACP. He also authored the book “Building Family Religion at Home” (1979). Scotty was proud to have attended over fifty consecutive UUA General Assemblies. In his spare time, he enjoyed golf, cooking, doing household repairs and gardening.

Scotty is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy M Meek; his two children Stevan and Sheralyn; as well as his four loving grandchildren, Jordan, Mason, Sasha and Zoe.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to Ferry Beach Park Association, 5 Morris Ave, Saco, Maine, 04072 or the Valley Unitarian Universalist, Chandler, AZ, 85226 or the Unitarian Universalist Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA, 02210.

Short memorial services will take place at 9.15 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 18, 2018 at the Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 6400 W Del Rio St, Chandler, AZ 85226.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Ferry Beach Park Association, 5 Morris Ave, Saco, Maine, 04072 on the Labor Day weekend of 2019 (date and time to be decided).

Notes of Condolences may be sent to Dorothy M. Meek at 26231 S Lakeside Dr., Sun Lakes, AZ, 85248.

https://uurmapa.org/obituaries/

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