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In Memory . . . Grant F. Haskell (1915-2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Reverend Grant F. Haskell died on March 3, 2010, at the St. Paul’s Nursing Home in Greenville, Pennsylvania. He was 94 years old.

Rev. Haskell was born on July 14, 1915, in Beverly, Massachusetts, to Frederic W. Haskell and Helen (Haskell) Haskell. He attended Crane Theological School of Tufts College in Medford, Massachusetts and graduated from Canton Theological School of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York in 1942. He was ordained in January 1943 by the Unitarian Association at the Unitarian Church in Milford, New Hampshire where he served until 1945.

In addition to serving in Milford, New Hampshire, Rev. Haskell was called to the following churches: the First Congregational Unitarian Church in Littleton, Massachusetts; the Universalist Church in Biddeford, Maine; the Universalist Church of Medford, Massachusetts; and Community Unitarian Church in White Plains, New York.

During several summers in the 1940’s, Rev. Haskell with his wife, Betty Haskell, directed youth work camps for the Unitarian Service Committee. He was active with the Red Cross and with the Red Feather campaign which raised funds for community organizations during and after World War II. He also taught and called square dancing at the All Star Family Conference at Star Island in the 1950’s.

After he left the full-time ministry, Rev. Haskell worked as Youth and Camping Director for the YMCA in Watertown and Elmira, New York and as Executive Director of the YMCA in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In semi-retirement he drove a school bus for 10 years, mostly so he could be around the children. He helped start the BuxMont UU Fellowship in Warrington, Pennsylvania and a second Fellowship near his home in Leesburg, Florida. There he continued his ministry by performing marriages, christenings, and funerals.

Rev. Haskell loved camping, working with kids and teenagers, and fixing things around the house. In addition to his wife, Betty Haskell of Clifton Springs, New York, he is survived by two sons, Richard A. Haskell of Alamogordo, New Mexico, and Jonathan F. Haskell of Newark, New York.; a daughter, Beth M. Haskell of Brook lyn, New York; two sisters, Helen Gately of California and Barbara Lampey of Knoxville, Tennessee.; and his grandsons, Kenneth Haskell of Brooklyn, New York, and Grant W. Haskell of Baltimore, Maryland.

A private memorial service is being planned. Contributions to honor the life of Rev. Haskell may be made to the Unitarian Univer salist Service Committee, P.O. Box 845259, Boston, MA 02284 or online at Please send notes of condolence to Elizabeth Haskell, 226 Ashton Court, Clifton Springs, NY 14432.

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In Memory . . . Carl Bierman (1930-2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Carl Bierman died on Wednesday, January 6, 2010, at the Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, NY. He was 79 years old.

Rev. Bierman was born on December 13, 1930, in Hannover, Germany. He immigrated to the United States at the age of five. He was a member of The Community Church of New York, active in the youth group, when he decided to become a minister. He attended Columbia University for one year and graduated from City College of New York in 1954. He earned his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1957.

Rev. Bierman was called by the First Congregational Parish, Unitarian, in Kennebunk, Maine. He was ordained and installed there in 1958. He was subsequently called to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Trenton, New Jersey; the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Springfield, Missouri; and the North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock, Vermont. His congregations in both Trenton and Springfield built new churches under Rev. Bierman’s leadership.

His denominational activities include a term as secretary of the Maine Unitarian Association and membership on the board of the Northern New England district of the AUA. In Trenton, Rev. Bierman was an active member of the Torch Club. For several years he taught courses in the Old Testament at Southwest Missouri State University. He was also active in the Civil Rights movement, traveling to Montgomery, Alabama, and to Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, DC. Rev. Bierman had a passion for history and enjoyed astronomy and playing chess.

Rev. Bierman’s survivors include his wife, Dolores Hart Bierman of Albany, New York; his daughters, Natalie Opitz (Charlie) of Springfield, Missouri, Daphne McKinney of Yucaipa, California, and Sally Diggins (Patrick) of Hoover, Alabama; his son, Andrew Bierman (Jill) of Albany, New York. He also leaves his grandchildren: Marcus, Tara, Nicholas, and Matthew Opitz; Malcolm, Alec, and David McKinney; Patrick IV, Zachary, and Henry Diggins; and Katherine and Nathan Bierman.

Private funeral services were held in Albany, New York, with interment in Albany Rural Cemetery. Donations may be made in Rev. Bierman’s name to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-2117 or Capital City Rescue Mission, PO Box 1999, Albany, NY 12201.

Please send messages of condolence to Dolores Bierman, 34 Hawthorne Avenue, Albany, NY 12203.

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In Memory . . . Harry Kern Brobst (1909-2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Harry Kern Brobst died on January 13, 2010, in Joplin, Missouri. He was 100 years old.

Rev. Brobst was born on February 11, 1909, in Wilmington, Delaware, to Harry Walter and Cora Annie Kern Brobst. In 1935, he graduated from the Butler Hospital Training School for Psychiatric Nurses in Providence, RI. He supervised the Charles V. Chapin Clinic there for several years before earning an undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1939. During these years, he befriended the author H. P. Lovecraft. His memories of Lovecraft were recounted in the book, Lovecraft Remembered, in the chapter "Autumn in Providence: Harry K. Brobst on Lovecraft" by pulp fiction author, Will Murray.

Rev. Brobst attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning his Masters Degree in 1941 and his Doctorate in 1952. Both advanced degrees were in Psychology. He moved to Oklahoma State University, advancing to Full Professor of Psychology and teaching there for 28 years. While at Oklahoma State, he organized and directed the University’s Bureau of Psychological Testing.

One of the founding members in 1947 of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Rev. Brobst provided lay leadership in various roles for many years. Upon his mandatory retirement from Oklahoma State, he entered Phillips Theological Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma, and earned his Master of Divinity. He was fellowshipped in 1977 and ordained by the Stillwater congregation in the same year. He served the church he had helped found for three years before he retired.

Rev. Brobst is survived by his cousins Penni Lee, Amy, and William Fallow of Joplin, Missouri. His wife, Judith Sylvia Heideman, died 15 years ago. His memorial service, which he requested to be called, "A Gathering of Friends," was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater. Rev. Carol Fincher officiated.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stillwater, 320 South Stallard, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074 or the Humane Society of Stillwater, 1710 South Main Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074-7945.

Please send messages of condolence to his cousin, Penni Lee Fallow, 2107 Texas Street, Joplin, Missouri 64804.

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In Memory . . . John Nicholls Booth (1929-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The death of the Reverend John Nicholls Booth died on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, at the age of 97. Rev. Booth was born on August 7, 1912, in Meadville, PA, to Sydney Scott Booth and Margaret Nicholls Booth. He graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1934 and Meadville Theological School in 1942. His thesis, The Quest for Preaching Power, was published by Macmillan Company. In 1950, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from New England Law School.

In 1942, he began more than 30 years of ministry with a call to serve the Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL. He was subsequently called to the First Church of Belmont, MA; the Second Church in Boston, MA; and the UU Church of Long Beach, CA. He served as Interim at the UU Fellowship of Gainesville, FL, and the First UU Church in Detroit, MI. While in Evanston, Rev. Booth authored a 39-page pamphlet, "Introducing Unitarianism” which he updated after the merger as "Introducing Unitarian Universalism.” These pamphlets were in print for several decades.

Rev. Booth was also a professional magician, journalist, author, film producer, public speaker, and a world traveler. On sabbatical in 1948,

Rev. Booth served as Asiatic Correspondent for the Chicago Sun-Times, also representing the Christian Register on that trip. He interviewed and photographed the prime ministers of Japan, China, Thailand, and India; the governors of Hong Kong and Singapore; and the president and three former presidents of the Philippines. He described his travels in the book, Fabulous Destinations, which became a Travel Book of the Month Club #1 selection. In later years he would also write for the Boston Globe, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and the Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year.

During vacations from ministry, Rev. Booth produced eight documentary films, traveling to Africa, Asia, South America, Britain, and Spain as well as throughout the US. In the US, he filmed "The Amazing America of Will Rogers,” a biographical study of the humorist. Most of these films were presented by Rev. Booth at lecture tours he conducted in venues like Hancock Hall in Boston, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburg, and Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre, among others. His series of talks called "Looking at Life,” which dealt with philosophical, psychological, and spiritual problems, were televised on WBKB in Chicago in the 1940’s, a first by clergy in the United States.

Rev. Booth’s magic career began before his ministry and continued throughout those years and beyond. He was a well-respected mentor to others in the field. He wrote several classical books on magic, including Forging Ahead in Magic and Marvels of Mystery. In total, he published 19 books and hundreds of articles on topics as varied as conjuring, homiletics, history, and travel.

Rev. Booth is survived by his daughter, Barbara Booth Christie, of Wilbraham, MA, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Edith, died in 1982 after 40 years of marriage.

Services of remembrance were held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, CA, and the Adventurer’s Club in Los Angeles, CA. Additionally, a Broken Wand Ceremony took place at his Magic Ring 96.

Please send messages of condolence to Barbara Booth Christie, P.O. Box 55, Wilbraham, MA 01095-0055.

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In Memory . . . William J. Metzger (1936-2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Dr. William J. Metzger died on Jan. 30, 2010, in Denton, Texas. He was 73 years old.
Rev. Metzger was born on December 23, 1936, in Mitchell, South Dakota, to William J. and Tillie Metzger. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1958 with a degree in Journalism. After a career as reporter and editor with newspapers in Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, he joined United Migrant Opportunity Services. There he worked to improve conditions for migrant workers and taught English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education. He was a co-founder and partner of Organization Training Associates, Inc. in Milwaukee, which designed adult education programs for individuals and organizations. Among these were programs on organizational development and conflict management offered to area businesses, government organizations, and churches in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis. During those years, he served as a member of the Greater Milwaukee Conference on Religion and Urban Affairs and on the Waukesha Board of Education. Additionally, he became increasingly involved in the leadership of the Unitarian Church West in Brookfield, Wisconsin, eventually determining to become a UU minister.

In 1979, Rev. Metzger earned a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago and a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville Lombard Theological School. He was ordained in 1978 at the Unitarian Church West in Brookfield, WI, before being called to the UU Church in Elgin, IL, where he served for 7 years. He joined the staff of the Theosophical Society in America and served as editor of The American Theosophist, their monthly journal, and founding editor of the society’s magazine, Quest – a quarterly journal of philosophy, religion, science, and the arts.

After 10 years with the Society, Rev. Metzger joined the professional interim ministry program for the Unitarian Universalist Association and served the following congregations: First Unitarian Universalist Society, Marietta, GA; First Universalist Church, Rochester, NY; Unitarian Universalist Church, Huntsville, AL; Third Unitarian Church, Chicago, IL; Countryside Church UU, Palatine, IL; The First UU Church of Nashville, TN; and First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, PA. In 2007, he served as co-minister with his wife, Rev. Diana Heath, at the Denton, Texas UU Fellowship, where he served until his retirement in April 2009.

Rev. Metzger leaves his wife, Rev. Diana Heath; his son, David Metzger of Elgin, Illinois, daughter-in-law, Jessica, and grandson Nick; his daughter, Christine Dziawura of Phoenix, Arizona, son-in-law Mark, and grandsons Connor and Cole; and sister, Dorothy Johnson of Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his spouse of 37 years, Sarah Castle, and his sister, Donna.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Living Tradition Fund which provides scholarships for seminary students. You may send contributions to UUA Living Tradition Fund, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108.

A memorial service was held at the Denton UU Fellowship, Denton, Texas, Rev. Davidson Loehr officiating, with Rev. Dennis Hamilton, on behalf of Southwest UUMA colleagues. A second memorial service took place at the UU Church of Elgin, Illinois, Rev. Dan Brosier officiating.

Please send notes of condolence to Rev. Diana Heath, 1111 Cordell Street, Denton, Texas 76201.

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In Memory . . . Robert Sumner Wolley (1927-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

It is with a sense of loss that the Ministry and Professional Leadership Staff Group informs you of the death of the Reverend Robert Sumner Wolley. He died peacefully on December 25, 2009. He was 82 years old.

Rev. Wolley was born on July 23, 1927, in Medford, Massachusetts to Sumner and Gladys Wolley. He spent most of his boyhood summers on Cape Cod in Wellfleet. He attended Tufts University but his education was interrupted by a paralyzing back injury. Told he might never walk again, he not only walked but had brief careers in baseball and hockey. He returned to school at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in ministry.

Rev. Wolley served churches in Winchester, MA; Henderson, NY; Parishville, NY; and Hopkinton, NY, before his graduation from St. Lawrence. After graduation, he was called to the Universalist Church in Swampscott, MA, where he was ordained in 1951. The Swampscott church later merged with the First Universalist Parish of Lynn, MA. In 1954, he was called to the Second Universalist Church in South Weymouth, MA, and served there for four years until being recruited for the position of Director of Extension for the Universalist Church of America. He held this position for three years until the Unitarian and Universalist merger, then for eight additional years for the UUA. During his years as Universalist Extension Director, he also served as Superintendent to churches in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Quebec.

Rev. Wolley was active in denominational affairs. He served as member of the Joint Interim Commission, Council of Liberal Churches; secretary of the Joint Merger Commission; vice-president of the Universalist Historical Society and editor of its journal; director of Young Adult Conference, Ferry Beach, Maine; and many other positions.

Devoting his later years to writing, he published an adventure book trilogy, Death of the Jaguar; a fictional account of his early childhood, The Pranks an' Enlightenment of Frank an' Me; and a series of books about concerns of aging. These included Seniors in Love: A Second Chance for Single, Divorced, and Widowed Seniors and The Greatest Companion: Reflections on Life, Love, and Marriage After Sixty. His final book, Aging and Its Discontents: Finding Meaning in Your Senior Years, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2010. The books on aging were the books of which he was most proud.

Rev. Wolley is survived by his children, Cheryl Gartland, her husband, Dewey, and their daughter, Carolyn, of Brooklyn, NY; Andrea Wolley of Boston, MA; and Charles Wolley, his wife, Lauren, and their son, Jason, of Melbourne, Australia and Punta Gorda, FL. He also leaves his brother Philip Wolley of Searsport, ME. His wife, Marilyn, died in 1995. A private memorial service is planned.

Memorial contributions may be made in Rev. Wolley’s name to the Salvation Army, 615 Slaters Lane, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, VA 22313 or the World Wildlife Fund, 1250 Twenty-Fourth Street, NW, P.O. Box 97180, Washington, DC 20090-7180.

Please send notes of condolence to Cheryl Gartland, 413 Caton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218.

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In Memory . . . Marjorie Newlin Leaming (1915-2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Marjorie Newlin Leaming died peacefully at her home in Santa Paula, California, on March 19, 2010. She was 95 years old. Rev. Leaming was born on January 22, 1915, to Leo and Zillah (Stevens) Newlin in Hutsonville, Illinois. She graduated from Hutsonville High School in 1932 and Wabash Brown’s College of Commerce in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1936. She attended the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1946-1948 and the University of Chicago Divinity School from 1948-1951, receiving her Master of Arts in Religious Education in 1956. Rev. Leaming earned her Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1967 from the Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.

Reverend Leaming was ordained at the Unitarian Community Church in Santa Monica in 1967 where she served as Minister of Education from 1966 to 1968. In 1969 she was called to the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula, California, and served until her retirement in 1985 when the congregation named her Minister Emerita. In the same year she was honored with a Doctor of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard School of Divinity. Prior to her ordination, she served as Religious Education Director at Oaklandon Universalist Church and All Souls Unitarian Church both in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Rev. Leaming served on the Executive Committee of the UU Ministers’ Association and as its West Coast Conference President. She was vice president of the Meadville Lombard Alumni Association and in the 1960’s, served on the Midwestern UU Conference. She was a member of many community organizations that reflected her interest in and concern for civil rights, social justice, peace, and especially the status of women in the ministry. In 1974 she was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Sisterhood and took an active leadership role until the early 1990s.

When the UU Women's Federation surveyed the status of women in UU ministry in 1974, just 40 of 750 ministers were women and only 5 had pulpits of their own. Rev. Leaming was one of these. According to her friend and colleague, Carolyn Price, "Marjorie was one of a kind. Her fierce commitment to the UU ministry and to seeing that the worth of women clergy was recognized demanded every bit of her brilliant mind and fiery spirit. To this day, the women who comprise more than half of our current UU professional ministry owe Marjorie and her generation of UU women clergy, as well as the men who stood by their sides, a debt of gratitude.”

Memorial contributions may be made to the Marjorie Newlin Leaming Scholarship, Meadville Lombard Theological School, 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637 or the Marjorie Newlin Leaming Capital Fund, Universalist Unitarian Church, 740 Main Street, Santa Paula, California 93060-2736.

Rev. Leaming is survived by two nieces, Mary Lucile Clifton Schultz of Dana Point, CA, and Marjorie May Clifton of Sherman Oaks, CA; three grandnieces; and one grandnephew. Letters of condolence may be sent to Mary Schultz, 11 Porto Cervo, Dana Point, CA 92629.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on May 1, 2010 at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula, 740 East Main Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060-2736. The Reverends Carolyn Price, Audrey Vincent, and Bets Wienecke will officiate.

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In Memory . . . Joseph Ira Craig (1926-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Joseph Ira Craig died on June 11, 2009 at the age of 82. Rev. Craig was born on October 9, 1926 in Youngstown, Ohio, to Ira B. and Dorothy D. Craig.  After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, Rev. Craig joined the US Army Air Force.  He served as an aerial photographer in Italy from 1944 to 1946.

After attending Youngstown University, and the University of Dayton, he graduated from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio in 1953.  He earned his Sacred Theology degree from Harvard University in 1957 and a Master in Library Science from the University of Maine in 1971.

Rev. Craig served Methodist Churches in Somerton, OH, and Enfield, NH, before being ordained at The Congregational Parish of Norton, MA (Unitarian) in 1957.  In addition to the Norton Church, Rev. Craig served the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Fitchburg, MA and All Souls Church Unitarian in Augusta, ME, before returning to school to earn his library science degree.  He worked as a librarian at the Augusta Mental Health Institute for more than 20 years.

Rev. Craig answered the call from Martin Luther King, Jr. with many other UU ministers to participate in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in 1965.  He was a member of the Maine State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights from 1962 to 1969.  He served the denomination as a member of the Unitarian Historical Society; as secretary of the Maine Unitarian Association from 1962 – 1965; and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast District of the UU Ministers’ Association from 1966 – 1968.  In 1966, he held the position of Northeast District president.

Rev. Craig’s many interests included reading, theology, history, painting, fencing, and music.  He played viola in the Augusta Symphony for many years.

Survivors include his daughter, Leslie Flores, and her husband, Rudy Flores, of Augusta, ME; his stepson, Daniel Cake, and Daniel’s companion, Karen Thompson, of Auburn, ME; his stepson, Jeffrey Cake, and Jeffrey’s wife, Laura Cake, of Bar Harbor, ME; and another stepson, Basil Cake, and Basil’s wife, Mia, of Augusta, ME.  He also is survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  He was predeceased by his parents, two sisters, five brothers, his wife, Rachel, and his ex-wife, Jacqueline.

A celebration of Rev. Craig’s life was held in July 2009 in Hallowell, ME, with Rev. Helen Zidowecki officiating.  

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In Memory . . . Arnold Farrow Westwood (1921-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Arnold Farrow Westwood died on Sunday, August 16, 2009, at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a result of injuries sustained in a fall the previous day.  He was 88. Rev. Westwood was born on May 19, 1921, in Toledo, Ohio, to Unitarian minister Rev. Horace Westwood and Elizabeth Farrow Westwood.  He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and Tufts University graduating in 1942.  He earned his STB from Crane Theological School at Tufts in 1948.

While attending Tufts, Rev. Westwood served as continental president of the Unitarian Young Peoples Religious Union.  He also served as student minister under the Rev. Harold G. Arnold at the Theodore Parker Unitarian Church (now First Parish) in West Roxbury, MA. It was there that he met Carolyn Freeman Arnold, daughter of Rev. Arnold.  They were married in 1945.

In 1944, he served as Student Minister of the First Parish (Unitarian) in Brewster and the Universalist Church in Yarmouthport, both on Cape Cod, MA.  He was ordained in 1947 in the Brewster church by both congregations. Rev. Westwood was called to the Unitarian Church of Urbana, IL, serving from 1948 to 1958.  He established the Channing-Murray Foundation at the University of Illinois, at the time one of the most active and best organized liberal religious organizations in the country.  Rev. Westwood also served the Unitarian Church of Westport, CT; the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, OH; the Unitarian Universalist Society of East Manchester, CT; and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA.    

Both the Westport and Manchester congregations built their own buildings under his leadership, the first for each congregation; in Westport he worked with the noted architect, Victor Lundy.  He served the Manchester, CT, and Amherst, MA, congregations at the same time and both named him minister emeritus upon his retirement in 1984.

In retirement, Rev. Westwood and his wife, Carolyn, operated Windfields Farm Bed and Breakfast in Cummington, MA.  In addition to hosting hundreds of guests from all over the world, they produced maple syrup which won four blue ribbons at the Cummington Fair.  Rev. Westwood also organized The Friends of Windsor, Inc., to publish the town of Cummington’s community newsletter, Windsor Now and Then, as well as the town's free annual community telephone directory. He served as editor and publisher until 2002.

After Carolyn died in 2001, Arnold found comfort, support, and a new outlet for his talents in the West Cummington Congregational Church. He instituted the church's newsletter and annual directory, organized and ran the annual goods and services auction, and worked enthusiastically on the conversion of the parish house into a heated, year-round, handicapped-accessible center for church functions and other community events. In all these endeavors, he gathered and groomed others to take over after him. He made many beloved friends through his experience in the church, including the second love of his life, Mary Hale, with whom he loved talking, reading, traveling and just being together.

Rev. Westwood was a devoted supporter of Rowe Camp and Conference Center in Rowe, MA, where he served eight years on the board of directors, four as chair. He was an enthusiastic early supporter of Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA, and of VIA Dance Collaborative, a New York-based company founded in 2001 by his granddaughter, Adrienne Westwood. He was thrilled to witness the company's performance at Jacob's Pillow the night before he fell. Beloved by family and friends, he lived life with zest and enthusiasm and embraced death without fear or regrets.  

In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by three older siblings, Horace, who was also a Unitarian Universalist minister, Florence, and Lucy. Survivors include son John F. Westwood of Plainfield, MA; son Jefferson Westwood and his wife, Wendy, of Fredonia, NY; daughter Phoebe Bushway and her husband, Stephen, of Plainfield, MA; son Harold A. Westwood and his wife, Barbara, also of Plainfield; and seven grandchildren, Jody and Ethan Westwood; Adrienne Westwood and her husband, Seth Easter; Phoebe Westwood; Hannah Bushway and her husband, Felipe Aedo; Mason Bushway and Willow Westwood.

Please send notes of condolence to Jefferson Westwood, 53 Maple Ave, Fredonia, NY 14063.

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In Memory . . . H Kyle Nagel (1929-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend H. Kyle Nagel died on November 18, 2009, at the age of 80. Rev. Nagel was born on May 4, 1929 in Houston, Texas.  He graduated from Southwestern University in 1949 and earned his divinity degree from Duke University in 1952.  He also studied at Harvard Divinity School and Tufts University in the 1960’s. 

Rev. Nagel was ordained by the Southwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church on May 30, 1954, in San Antonio, Texas, and served congregations within the Conference from 1952 to 1962.  He entered Unitarian fellowship in 1962, serving First Church, Unitarian, in Jamaica Plain, MA, and St. Paul’s Church, Unitarian Universalist, of Palmer, MA, before moving to North Carolina in 1968.  There he served as Ministerial Superintendent of the Universalist Convention of North Carolina, Inc.  As superintendent, he ministered to several churches throughout eastern North Carolina including those in Clinton, Red Hill, Outlaw’s Bridge, and Kinston.  Later, he resigned as superintendent and ministered exclusively to the Outlaw’s Bridge and Kinston congregations. While living in Kinston, Rev. Nagel served as president of Environment Unlimited and taught World Religions and Philosophy at Lenoir Community College.   

After moving to Houston in 1974, Rev. Nagel became a financial planner as there were no suitable ministerial positions available.  However, he never stopped thinking of himself as a minister and continued his ministry through many community activities and by officiating at weddings and memorial services and occasional preaching and counseling.  He was a founding member and president of the Humanist Association of Houston and served as president of the Tomball Area Shrine Club for 5 years.

When the Outlaw’s Bridge congregation celebrated their centennial in 2006, he and his wife, Barbara, were invited to the celebration.  Although they were unable to attend, Rev. Nagel’s sermon was delivered during the service by Gerald Simmons, one of the congregants.

Rev. Barbara Cheatham, a former congregant, said of him, "Kyle was an inspiration and a role model to me… Kyle courageously practiced and preached the principles of Religious Liberalism in a part of the country which feared and denounced such principles… Every Sunday morning, no matter how many members were in the pews, he gave us all that he had to give.”

Rev. Nagel is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara, of Spring, TX; his son Louis Nagel and wife, Patsy, of Morgantown, WV; and four grandchildren, Louis Martin Nagel, Jr. of Fort Worth, TX, Daniel Scott Nagel of Morgantown, WV, Steven Lee Nagel of Houston, TX, and Karen Alicia Nagel of Baytown, TX.  His son, Curtis Lee Nagel died several years ago.

Please send messages of condolence to Barbara Nagel, 8423 Burwood Park Dr., Spring, TX 77379-5703.

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