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In Memory . . . William Richard Jacobsen (1932-2006)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
William Richard Jacobsen died at home on November 2, 2006 at the age of 74. He was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada to immigrants Jacob Jacobsen (Denmark) and Alfhild Larson Jacobsen (Norway) on January 28, 1932. 

Bill took an early interest in the church and as a teenager began studying to become a Lutheran Minister in the Missouri Synod. He graduated from Concordia College in 1953 (BS). By then he had found the Unitarian tradition to be more in line with his evolving beliefs and attended Meadville/Lombard at the University of Chicago, 1959 (BD). He was ordained in 1959. He served as Unitarian Minister in Brooklyn, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Canton, MA, and Bloomington, IL before moving to Palo Alto, CA, in 1974. He served the Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist Church for 16 years. After his retirement in 1990, he went on to serve as Executive Director of the Humanist Community in Palo Alto.

Bill had a keen sense of humor and a true joy for life. He had an ongoing enthusiasm for knowledge. He was an avid reader and enjoyed sharing his extensive knowledge of the many subjects he studied for his sermons over the years. He was a truly gifted speaker. An enthusiastic participant in life, Bill believed in social change as a way to benefit all of humanity. Bill loved nature and hiked all over the Bay Area. He was particularly fond of Mount Montara in Pacifica.

He is survived by his daughter, Juli Jacobsen (Joe Corollo) of San Lorenzo; his son, Eric Jacobsen of Pacifica; and former wife and dear friend, Dianne Jacobsen, of Palo Alto. He also has family in Canada.

A memorial service will be held at 7:30 pm, Sunday, November 19, 2006, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto. There will be a reception at the church following the service. Contributions may be made in memory of William R. Jacobsen to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

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In Memory . . . Rev. Carl Larsen Esenwein (1934-2006)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
It’s with a sense of loss that we inform you that The Reverend Carl Larsen Esenwein died Nov. 4, 2006 at his home in Normal, after a long battle with cancer. A celebration of life service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Campus Religious Center, 210 W. Mulberry St., Normal, Illinois. 

Mr. Esenwein is survived by his mother, Eleanor, of Bloomington IL; his wife, Willemina, Normal; and four children, Marc, Louisville, Colorado; Steve, Dacono, Colorado; Lori (Vaughn) Hoffman, Bloomington, IL; and Willem (Anna) Knibbe, Alameda, California. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Nick and Neil Hoffman and Elleke Knibbe. 

Mr. Esenwein was born June 7, 1934, in Flagstaff, Arizona. In his youth he spent in the Southwest, he enjoyed the outdoors, horses, and magic. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in political science. He later decided to enter the Unitarian ministry and graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary in 1966 and was ordained in 1967. He served Unitarian congregations in Benton Harbor, Michigan and Norfolk, VA from 1966-1974; and served the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bloomington, IL from 1974-1982. He then started his own company which he ran until 2001. 

Known for his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, Mr. Esenwein was instrumental in helping numerous conscientious objectors find sanctuary in Canada. He was also active in the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and organizations for prison reform. 

During his retirement, he worked tirelessly to restore his historic home to its original condition and rekindled his love of magic. He was known as "Mr. E," a magician whose sleight of hand and illusions delighted old and young. He loved classical music and had a special place in his heart for Beethoven's Ninth. 

The words "thoughtful, loving, caring, compassionate, engaged, generous, handy, funny, responsible and kind" describe Carl Esenwein. His positive and optimistic attitude was an inspiration to those who knew him and all were impressed by the courage and dignity with which he faced the end of his life. 

Memorials may be made to the New Covenant Community, 210 West Mulberry, Normal, IL 61761 or to the Community Cancer Center, 407 East Vernon Avenue, Normal, IL 61761. 

Messages of remembrance may be sent to his wife at 301 West Virginia Avenue, Normal, Illinois, 61761.

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In Memory . . . Rev. Clarke Dewey Wells (1930-2006)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Unitarian Universalist Association is sad to report the death of the Rev. Clarke Dewey Wells. Wells, 76, died at home on November 8, 2006.

Clarke Wells was a graduate of the University of Chicago and Meadville Lombard Theological School, and was ordained in 1956 and served actively in ministry over fifty years in Oklahoma City; Cincinnati, OH; Portland, OR and Newton, MA. As interim minister he served churches in Bloomington and Muncie IN, Houston, TX, Santa Barbara, Santa Paula and San Luis Obispo, CA; Youngstown, OH, Pittsburgh, PA, and Asheville, NC. He also served in Lakeland, FL where he was named Minister Emeritus. Author of four books of poetry and well-known essays, Dr. Wells' reputation as a dynamic preacher and an excellent teacher led to many requests for these services following his retirement in 1995. 

Wells served on the Board of Trustees for Meadville Lombard and as adjunct faculty and chaplain. He was a Special Lecturer at Starr King School (Berkeley). In 1977 he was chosen to give the sermon at the Service of the Living Tradition at the General Assembly of the UUA. He also served as a member of the first UUA Commission on Appraisal, the Commission on the Free Church and the Commission on Common Worship. He served as Vice President of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (following merger of Unitarians and Universalists in 1961).

Dr. Wells taught classes in poetry, creative writing and the works of William Shakespeare. An avid athlete, he played football in high school and undergraduate school; he was an enthusiastic snorkeler, handball, and tennis player. 

During the Civil Rights years Clarke Wells was an activist; he was among ministers who went to Selma to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965. Dr. Wells was with his colleague, James Reeb, and his wife, Marie, at a hospital in Birmingham, AL when Rev. Reeb (also a Unitarian minister) died after being attacked while participating in the struggle for Civil Rights.

Dr. Wells is survived by his sons, Jared St. John Wells of Tucson, AZ and Garde MacKenzie Wells of Eugene, OR as well as his wife and companion, Barbara Carlson of Bloomington, IN.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2006, 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, IN, the Rev. Barbara Carlson officiating.

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In Memory . . . Rev. Brigitte Elisabeth Brunhart (1955-2006)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
We in the Ministry & Professional Leadership Group sadly announce the death of the Reverend Brigitte Elisabeth Brunhart. She died on September 28, 2006 at the age of 51. 

Rev. Brunhart was born on November 11, 1955, in Bedburg, Germany. She received a Bachelor's Degree in English and German Literature from the University of Utah in 1979 and went on to earn a Masters of Divinity degree from the Starr King School for Ministry in 1989. In 1988 she married and she and her husband moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Rev. Brunhart entered Preliminary Fellowship on February 29, 1992 and was ordained in June of that year. She served as part-time parish and religious education minister from fall, 1991 through spring, 1994 at the Olmsted UU Fellowship in Olmsted, Ohio, and during the winter of 1993 she trained Para Ministers at the Westshore UU Church of Cleveland. In the summer of 1994 she introduced members of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland to Sufism, and the aspects of Goddess worship. In February of 1995 Rev. Burnhart trained and supported Lay Ministers at First Church along with Senior Minister Reverend Bruce Marshall. 

Brigitte worked mainly in community ministry, serving as a hospital and hospice chaplain. From 1991 to 1995 she was a volunteer chaplain at the Hospice for the Western Reserve. In the fall of 1993 she held a temporary position of On-Call Chaplain at the Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland, and in 1995 Brigitte served as staff chaplain at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and also as an On-Call Chaplain at the St. Vincent Charity Hospital.

Her partner wrote this about Brigitte "Although she struggled all her adult life against debilitating illness, she pursued a career in ministry with great determination. Throughout her life, she had a powerful effect on others. She made many friends from around the world and, through her steadfastness and generosity, kept a close friendship until the end of her life."

She will be mourned by her husband John McBratney and her children Indra and Kumar Brunhart-McBratney. 

Messages of Remembrance may be sent to:

John McBratney
11516 Parkway Road
Chardon, OH 44024

A memorial service will be held at the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 10848 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland, Ohio, on Saturday, October 7, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. There will also be a second memorial at Saint Francis Chapel, John Carroll University, 20700 North Park Boulevard, University Heights, Ohio, on Sunday, October 8, 2006 at 2:00 pm.

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In Memory . . . Rev. Walter Andrew Moulton (1936-2006)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Thursday, May 13, 2010
Updated: Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Office of Ministry and Professional Leadership regrets to inform you that the Reverend Walter Andrew Moulton died on November 5, 2006 at his home in Kennebunk, Maine, at age 70 years. His loving wife Paula was at his side. 

Rev. Moulton was born on March 19, 1936 in Kennebunk, Maine. He earned an AB in Government at Tufts University in 1958, and a Counselor Education from the University of Southern Maine in 1979. After marrying Paula Thayer in 1959, he served in the Navy, and then taught civics and history at Kennebunk High School for 22 years. Retiring from teaching, he attended Andover Newton Theological Seminary where he completed his M.Div in 1989 and was ordained at The First Parish Unitarian Univeralist Church in Kennebunk, Maine in March, 1987. From 1987-93 he served as Minister at the Spindletop Unitarian Church in Beaumont Texas. He then served the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton, New Brunswick and the First Church of Houlton, Maine as Interim Extension Minister for a year.

He was Interim Minister at the First Parish of Groton Mass. from 1994 to 1996 and served as Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia, PA. from 1996 to 1997. In 1997 he became Interim Minister at the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church of Kirkland, Ohio, and in 1998 was called to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Watertown, NY. He retired from the ministry in 2003, after which he and Paula returned home to Kennebunk. 

Rev. Moulton focused on assisting congregations to develop their churches as communities in which those who dedicate their lives to nurturing others may come to be nurtured themselves. He was alert to both the needs and contributions of the frail and elderly. He was active in peace activities and a supporter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). In 1992 while Rev. Moulton was Minister at the Spindletop Unitarian Church in Beaumont, Texas, his congregation established their AIDS Care Team. Rev. Moulton was a board member for the Triangle AIDS network, the AIDS Consortium of Southeast Texas and the Triangle Interfaith Network. 

Rev. Moulton read and wrote poetry for his own enjoyment, published several poems in the Coast Singer of the York County Coast Star in Kennebunk, and collected old-time gospel tapes. He was active in the outdoors, gardened and enjoyed visiting his grandchildren. 

Walter Moulton is survived by his brothers and their wives, John and Fran Grace of Kennebunk and Jim and Louise Moulton of Wells; his wife Paula of Kennebunk; his daughter Valerie Berg and her husband Tom of Vienna, Virginia, and granddaughters Elizabeth Ann Berg, Kristina Marie Berg, and Teresa Lynn Berg; his daughter Barbara Moulton and her husband Jim Hannawalt of San Francisco, CA., and grandson Jesse Forrest Hannawalt and granddaughter Madelyn Grace Moulton; and many beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. 

Rev. Moulton's memorial service was held November 11, 2006 in Kennebunk.

Messages of Remembrance may be sent to:

Paula Thayer-Moulton
3 Hidden Lane
Kennebunk ME 04043

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About this Blog & FAQ

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Thursday, May 13, 2010
This blog was created in December 2006 by Rev. Thom Belote, who holds the Publications / On-line Communications portfolio on the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee and the Department of Ministry have wanted for there to be an on-line presence memorializing colleagues who served the UU ministry. This is an attempt to make that desire a reality.

How far back will this project go?
We are going to begin by posting notices from the UUA Department of Ministry & Professional Leadership about deceased colleagues from the Fall 2006. We might add notices from earlier as the project continues.

Can I help?
Yes, you can leave a comment about your memory of the colleague who passed away. You can also submit a picture, additional information, or a copy of the eulogy by emailing If you are interested in being a content or style contributor to this page, please also contact us.

I see a factual error or want to make a suggestion.
We apologize for the error. Please send us your corrections. This blog is managed by volunteers. We will make every attempt to correct the blog in a reasonable amount of time.

Thank You.

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