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In Loving Memory of Priscilla Murdock (1931-2019)

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 11, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Priscilla “Peri” Murdock, who died on May 29, 2018, at the age of 86.

Priscilla was born in Cambridge, MA to William and Ethel (Murdock) Traunstein. She graduated from Suffolk University, MA, in 1954, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, following which she worked as a newspaper reporter, feature writer, and catalogued manuscripts at the Huntington Library. In 1962, Priscilla joined the Peace Corps and went to Manizales, Colombia where she lived with a family and increased her Spanish speaking fluency. She then received her Master of Arts in English American Literature in 1966, from Ohio Wesleyan University, before following her call to ministry. In 1985, Priscilla earned her Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School, MA.

Rev. Murdock was ordained by the UU Church of Wakefield, MA on June 9, 1985, and carried out her first ministry at the UU Meeting House of Pittsfield, ME from 1985 to 1990. In 1991, she accepted a call from the UU Church in Reston, VA where she served as an interim minister until 1992. Then over a decade and half, Rev. Murdock served in a series of parish ministries at the following congregations: First Unitarian Church, Cincinnati, OH (1992-1997); UU Church of Stockton Illinois, IL (1997-2003); and finally, at the St Paul’s Church of Palmer, MA (2003-2008). On August 31, 2008, Rev. Murdock retired from active ministry.

Outside her ministry, Rev. Murdock taught UU Polity at Bangor Seminary, ME for a year (1987). She was ministerial representative for the Central Midwest Religious Education Committee (1997-2001); Secretary-Treasurer (1997-2002) for the Stockton Ministerial Association; and director for the Midwest UU Conference (1998).

Rev. Murdock also provided her services to several community organizations. She served as a member of the Palmer Rotary Club, Stockton Women’s Club; as a board member for Sojourn House (a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility) (1998-2002); and was on the Ethics Committee of Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati (1993-1997). Furthermore, Peri taught Spanish at Wakefield High School, MA, and English and Spanish at international schools in Brussels and in Lahore, Pakistan. In her spare time, she enjoyed drama, music, reading, history and travel. She traveled extensively, to nearly fifty countries on five continents.

Peri’s friend Rev. Dr. Nina D. Grey, remembers:

“While serving in Keene UU Church, NH, I would sometimes on my days off visit Andover Newton Theological School just to get out of town! So, I would see Peri sometimes on those visits. I was blessed to be able to take two trips with her over the years, a bus tour after a Spokane GA to Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver British Columbia while I was in Keene; and a car trip to Nova Scotia while I was at Germantown in Philly. These were a long time ago! Peri’s decision to continue serving until she was 75, I believe, inspired me to do likewise!”

Peri is survived by her nieces, Leslie Garner and Debra Gerlach; her nephew, Russ Traunstein; many of her grand-nieces, nephews and cousins; and UUA Communities and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Ethel (Murdock) Traunstein, and her brothers.

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In Loving Memory of Hugo Hollerorth (1925-2019)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
We our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Hugo “Holly” J. Hollerorth, who died on September 22, 2019, at the age of 94.

Hugo was born on June 6, 1925 in Jefferson City, MO to Hugo John and Rose Johannah. He graduated from Northwestern University, IL in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science in business, following which he received his two degrees - a Bachelor of Divinity in 1949, and a Master of Arts in 1965, both from the University of Chicago, IL. In 1985, Hugo earned his Doctor of Education (EdD) from New York University. Later in 2005, Meadville Lombard Theological School awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

Rev. Dr. Hollerorth was ordained in 1949. He served as a Minister of Education at the Central Unitarian Church of Paramus, NJ, from 1959 to 1961; and as an Associate Professor of Religious Education at St. Lawrence School (Universalist), Canton, NY, from 1961 to 1965. Then in 1965, he joined the UUA as the Director of Curriculum Development, where he served until 1980. During this tenure, Rev. Dr. Hollerorth developed educational programs for children, youth and adults for use in Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships across the continent. He oversaw the work of development teams and authors, field testing programs prior to publication, editorial work, interpreting programs to local societies, and training teachers in their use.

Rev. Dr. Hollerorth believed that the existing curricula did not “address the human situation within which children and youth will be and are living,” and launched a new curriculum series based on the discovery learning method. He wrote that this method was “grounded in the conviction that the most effective learning occurs when children have an opportunity to intuit principles for themselves from concrete experiences in their daily lives.” To aid with the discovery learning process, the curriculum “kits,” included visuals, books, filmstrips, audiotapes, puzzles, illustrations, games, music, and other materials and strategies to bring the curricula alive for children and youth with diverse learning styles. The kits whose development he oversaw included Decision Making (1968), Man the Meaning Maker (1969), Man the Culture Builder (1971), Human Heritage (1972), Person to Person Communication (1972), The Adventures of God’s Folk (1974), and Haunting House (1974, written by his wife, Barbara Hollerorth). Rev. Dr. Hollerorth was author of Freedom and Responsibility (1969); and co-author of Our Experiencing, Believing, and Celebrating (1979). The curriculum vision was to enable children and youth to, in his words, “evolve a life-enhancing orientation to the world.”

In the late 1960s, Rev. Dr. Hollerorth shepherded the creation and publication of About Your Sexuality (AYS), a sexuality education curriculum kit by Deryck Calderwood for junior high youth (grades 7 and 8). Created in response to requests from parents and religious educators for materials that would help young people navigate this area against the backdrop of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, AYS included topics which other secular curricula did not. In the curriculum description, Hollerorth wrote: “Employing the full range of human knowledge about human sexuality; creative interaction with each other in a relationship of freedom, love, sensitivity, and so on; and diversity of thought, young people attempt to evolve a life-enhancing orientation to their sexuality.” About Your Sexuality, revised and supplemented over the years, remained in print until it was replaced by Our Whole Lives. The AYS curriculum laid the groundwork for what is a vital piece of Unitarian Universalist faith development to this day.

For their contribution to Unitarian Universalist religious education, Hugo and Barbara received the Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education at the 1976 UUA General Assembly in Claremont, CA.

In addition to his ministry, Hugo belonged to several community organizations. From 1975 to 1980, he performed as a workshop leader in human sexuality for Boston Family Service and several private secondary schools. He was a member of the HEW Federal Government Task Force on Education for Human Sexuality (1977); volunteer (1977-1978) and a Chairperson (1979) for the University of Chicago Alumni Fund, Greater Boston Area. Furthermore, he functioned as a Health Curriculum Specialist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. Beginning in the 1990’s, Hugo was involved with the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council. He first served on the staff, then after retiring, he served on the Board. While on the Board he wrote “Building a Culture of Care: The Ongoing Saga of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council”, which looks at the origins, history and evolution of the organization. Hugo served the military and was an honorable discharge recipient. In his spare time, Hugo enjoyed travel, home decorating, biking, politics, and films.

After Hugo’s passing, Mr. Barb Greve, UUA Co-Moderator and a religious educator, wrote of him:
“Holly (as he preferred to be called) was a dear friend and a mentor. I grew up in the congregation he chose as his religious home (First Parish in Framingham, MA). Holly was a shy and quiet person, though in the right setting he would open up like a beautiful flower. This past summer I had the great delight to spend some time with him after services at church. He reflected on the nearing end of his own life and his amazement at how much his body and abilities were changing. His mind was quick as ever. He shared his joy and pride at helping bring AYS into being and loved that OWL was a progressive extension of that work. He marveled at how much had changed in his lifetime and how much had stayed the same. He was a dedicated steward of our faith and will be sorely missed by many.”

Hugo is survived by his daughter Rachel Buerlen; and his grandchildren Holly Buerlen, Jason Buerlen, and Nicole Hunter, and his great grandchildren Kairi and Dominic.

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In Loving Memory of Christine M Wetzel (1928-2019)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
We our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Christine “Chris” M. Wetzel, who died on October 14, 2019, at the age of 91.

Chris was born on May 6, 1928 in Auburn, ME to Chester A. McKenney and H. Christine Dearing. She graduated from St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts in Greek and Religious Education, following which she earned her Certification of Religious Education from St. Lawrence Theological School in 1951. Later in 1992, Chris received her Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Rev. Dr. Wetzel was ordained on May 6, 1979 by the North Shore Unitarian Society, Plandome, NY (now UU Congregation of Shelter Rock). Prior to her ordination, she served the First UU Church, Claremont, NH, as a Director of Religious Education (DRE) (1956-1958). She then served her parish ministry at Murray UU Church, MA (1959-1970) and the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, NY as a Minister of Religious Education (1971-1992). On August 31, 1992, Rev. Wetzel retired from her ministry, and upon her retirement the Shelter Rock congregation honored her as their Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Dr. Wetzel performed an array of services to the denomination. She served on the Advisory Board for the Universalist Heritage Foundation; was a Charter member of the UUA Accreditation Committee of Religious Educators, UUA Panel on Theological Education and UUA CEPEL (a commission on grant giving for the Theological Schools). Furthermore, she functioned as a faculty for the Meadville Lombard summer schools and for the Star Island RE weeks.

In addition to her denominational service, Chris was a member of several community organizations including Planned Parenthood, the League of Women Voters, the Association of University Women and the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

In her spare time, Chris loved traveling, mainly to Greek Islands. She also enjoyed studying abroad and attended St. George’s College in Jerusalem, Manchester College in Oxford, England and several summer schools at Starr King and Meadville Lombard.

Chris is survived by her two sons Peter Wetzel, Dr. Gayle D. Wetzel and his wife Esther Spirgi Wetzel; her sister Pearl McKenney Silvernale; and her three grandchildren Benjamin Wetzel, Sabine Wetzel and Niels Wetzel.

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In Loving Memory of Gene Reeves (1933-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Gene A. Reeves, who died on May 8, 2019, at the age of 86.

Gene was born on April 2, 1933, in Franklin, NH to Eugene V. Reeves and Parmelie T. Reeves. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire, NH in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, following which he earned his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Boston University, MA in 1959. He then received his PhD in Philosophy of Religion, from Emory University, GA in 1963. In 2014, Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

Rev. Dr. Reeves was ordained on November 19, 1961, by The United Liberal Church in Atlanta, GA (now the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta). In 1962, he was called to the Crane Theological School of Tufts University, MA where he served as a Professor until 1967. From 1969 to 1979, Rev. Dr. Reeves fulfilled his Parish ministry at the First Unitarian Church, Dayton, OH, and then served the Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL for nine years as a Dean and Chief Executive Officer (1979-1988). Later, the Meadville Lombard Theological School honored him as Professor Emeritus.

During his service to the denomination, Rev. Dr. Reeves served as a Chairman of the Committee of the Crane Conference on the Ministry at Tufts University (1964). He was also a strong advocate of the civil rights causes and anti-war movements of the 60s and 70s. Dr. Reeves was one of the clergy men who answered Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to Selma, AL in 1965.

In addition to his ministry, Gene belonged to several community organizations. He served as a consultant to the Niwano Peace Foundation and functioned as chair of the planning committee for the 1987 Congress of International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) at Stanford University. He was founder of the International Buddhist Congregation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and a founding member of the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions. He also served as an advisor to the Risshō Kōsei, a Japanese new religious movement founded in 1938. Furthermore, Gene authored many articles in scholarly journals; co-edited the Process Philosophy and Christian Thought; edited A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra; and translated The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. He did extensive research on contemporary Chinese Buddhism and spoke about Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and the United States.

Throughout his life, Gene taught at various Universities in the United States, China and Japan. He was the Director of Planning and Institutional Research, and assistant to the President at Wilberforce University, OH; Professorial Lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School, IL; and taught at the Antioch College, OH; the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and the Renmin University of China. In his spare time, he enjoyed reading, art, nature, birds, golf, photography, electronics, auto repair and carpentry.

For those congregations who struggled to broaden their outlook, Rev. Reeves highlighted: “Make your tent larger. Like those Jews in their Babylonian captivity, I believe we are called today, each one of us is called, to make our tents larger, to move beyond our own tribalism, our racial and ethnic and national and class smallness, and let our vision of human wholeness become a basis for a more genuine community, a model of what can be.”

Gene is survived by his wife Yayoi Reeves; his daughters Rev. Eva Cameron (UU Minister) and Anna Kerr; his step-son Takuro Sato (Machiko Sato); his sister Joyce Reeves; his five grandchildren Peter Hochgraf, Irene Hochgraf Cameron, Kayleigh Kerr, Ella Kerr, and Momo Sato; as well as his two nephews and two nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; his former wife Joan Reeves; and his brother Richard Reeves.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the Meadville Lombard Theological School, 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605.

A celebration of Gene’s life was held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.

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In Loving Memory of Dennis Kuby (1934-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dennis G. Kuby, who died on April 23, 2019, at the age of 84.

Dennis was born on June 1, 1934 in Cleveland, OH. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Bethany College, WV in 1957, following which he received his theological training from the Oxford University in England (1960-1961). In 1962, Dennis graduated from the St. Lawrence University, NY with a Bachelor of Divinity.

Dennis was ordained on December 16, 1962 by the UU Society of Cleveland, OH where he served for five years (1962-1967). In 1967, Rev. Kuby accepted a call from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA and functioned as a Vice-President (1967-1969). He then returned to parish ministry at the UU Church of Studio City, CA (1969-1971). In 1973, Dennis was granted preliminary fellowship for Specialized Ministry in Ecology.

Rev. Kuby’s services on behalf of the denomination were remarkable. He was President for the Ohio-Meadville District of Unitarian Universalist Ministers, and secretary for the UUA Ministers Co-op. He was the Executive Director for the Ministry of Ecology Inc, CA for over four decades (1974-2019); and served the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Inc.; the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, and the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship.

Throughout his life Rev. Kuby was noted for his work on promotion of environmental theology, ecological system of ethics, and ecological liturgy. He performed ecological worship services at various churches in the Bay Area and his sermons urged development of more public transportation, replacing cars with bicycles and making ecologically sound values and lifestyles. He conducted workshops and seminars on ecology and religion and suggested ideas for environmental resource problems. He assisted churches in planning model environmental projects and appeared on various television and radio programs discussing a moral response to the energy crisis.

Furthermore, Rev. Kuby served on the board for the Americans For Democratic Action, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Committee for Civic Responsibility. He was President for the Bay Area Hemlock Society (later The Socrates Death Acceptance Fellowship); head of the Hemlock Society of California and chair for the Clevelanders for Constitutional Freedom. Dennis frequently contributed to the UU journals and publications, the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. Many of his sermons were printed in the Los Angeles Times and the San Fernando Valley News. His article Ecology Is Religion was published by the UU World.

In his spare time, Dennis enjoyed studying and mastering French cooking, he appreciated Opera (Puccini was a favorite), Duplicate Bridge, tennis and yoga. Before his ministerial journey, he served the United States Marine Corps Reserve for two years (1955-1957) and was an honorary discharge recipient.

Dennis’s son Scott shared these lines about his father: “He preferred to be remembered as a Unitarian minister committed to the philosophy of Universalism - that what truly connects and unites us is our common humanity. Three books that shaped and influenced his life were: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius; How to Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie; and The Saviors of God by Nikos Kazantzakis.”

Dennis is survived by his wife Jeanne Kuby and his son Paul “Scott” Kuby.

Memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s own choosing.

Rev. Kuby had a pre-planned memorial service attended by friends and family on his 60th birthday in Bratenahl, OH. Another memorial service will not be held.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Jeanne Kuby or Scott Kuby, at 1250 Queens Rd, Berkeley, CA 94708.

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In Loving Memory of Mary L. Knight (1955-2019

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 9, 2019
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Mary L. Knight, who died on May 22, 2019, at the age of 64.

Mary was born on January 30, 1955, in Pendleton, OR to William Henry Knight and Sara Lou Knight. In 1979, she received an Associate degree in Liberal Arts from Honolulu Community College, HI, following which she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in 1981. Mary became certified as a Public Health Nurse in 1986 and became licensed as a registered nurse in HI (1982), WA (1985), MN (1985), and OR (1994). She served these four states for twenty-one years as a nurse in Pediatrics and Maternal Child Health, before ensuing her call toward ministry. In 2007, Mary graduated from Marylhurst University, OR with her Master of Arts in Applied Theology.

Rev. Knight was welcomed into preliminary fellowship on May 14, 2007, and ordained on September 30, 2007, by the Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, WA (now UU Church of Vancouver). Following her ordination, she executed her community ministry as a Hospice Chaplain at the UU Church of Vancouver, WA (2008-2010); and at the UU Church of Spokane, WA (2010-2014). Rev. Knight achieved Final Fellowship in 2012.

In addition to her community ministry, Rev. Knight performed essential service to the denomination. She was a member of the UU Ministers Association; and a General Assembly Delegate (1983: Vancouver, BC) for the First Unitarian Church, Honolulu, HI. She served as a Choir Member, Care & Concerns Coordinator (1994-2002), and a Lay Minister (1996-1998), for the First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR. Furthermore, Rev. Knight served as a Music Director (2004), and as a Chaplain (2006), for the Pacific North West District Eliot Institute Winter Camp; and regularly preached at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Hood River, OR.

Throughout her life, Mary aimed at spiritual nourishment and healing for the community. She was a First Aid Staff for the International Special Olympics in MN in 1993; a painter for Habitat for Humanity Construction in 1995; and a Patient Support Volunteer for Hopewell House Hospice, Portland, OR in 1997. From 1997 to 1998, Mary served the Providence Child Center, Portland, OR in various positions: as an Interim Director of Family Resource Center; as a Coordinator of the CIRT (Community Information and Referral Team); and as a member of the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee on Staff Retention. She then functioned as a Service Excellence Diplomate (1998) for the Providence Health System, Portland, OR; and volunteered at the Portland Rose Festival Art Exhibit in 2001 and 2002. She was chaplain at the Signature Hospice, OR (2008-2010); and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital, WA. Mary also performed as a Health Consultant for the Liberty Mutual Health Company.

In her spare time Mary enjoyed watching Jeopardy (“I’m good at it”) on TV, reading, cooking, enjoying nature, hiking walking, seeing/discussing films, visiting family and friends, playing board games, water aerobics and folk dancing.

Mary is survived by her mother Sara Lou Knight; her brothers Bill Knight, Tom Knight, Joel Knight, Dee Knight, David Knight, and Jim Knight; her cousin Susan Knight, nephew Tim Knight, and niece Julie Knight Iwayama; as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews throughout Pacific Northwest, Alaska, California and Utah. She was preceded in death by her father William Henry Knight.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society), PO Box 1037, Lynwood, WA 98046.

A celebration of Mary’s life was held on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at the First Unitarian Church of Portland, 1211 SW Main St, Portland, OR 97205.

Notes of condolences may be sent to The Knight Family at PO Box 17761, Seattle WA 98127

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In Loving Memory of Dorothy Emerson (1943-2019)

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 6, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Dorothy M. Emerson, who died on May 13, 2019, at the age of 75.

Dorothy was born on November 20, 1943, in Long Beach, CA, to parents Howard Douglas Emerson and Eloise Clark Emerson. She graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, CA in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts in German Literature, following which she earned her Master of Arts in Psychology and Education, from the Humanistic Psychology Institute, CA in 1974. She then worked as a consultant for several non-profit and social service organizations before following her call toward ministry. In 1988, Dorothy received her Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School.

Rev. Emerson was ordained on September 25, 1988, by The First Universalist Society of Wakefield, MA, where she carried out her first ministry from 1987 to 1989. From 1989 until 1991, she served the First Church in Belmont, MA, as an Interim Associate Minster. In 1992, Dorothy accepted a call to settled ministry from the UU Church of Medford, MA, where she served for six years. Over the next decade, Rev. Emerson completed parish and community ministries at three congregations: the UU Church of Weymouth, MA (1998-1999); the Unitarian Society of New Haven, CT (2003); and the First Parish Church in Billerica, MA (2008-2010).

Rev. Emerson carried out a great deal of service on behalf of the denomination. She served as an Interim Religious Education Director for the First Parish of Watertown, MA (1988-1989) and as Executive Director for the UU Women’s Heritage Society (1999-2005). She also edited several volumes of UU history including Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936 (Skinner House, 1999).

Outside of her ministry, Dorothy served as chairperson for the Black Concerns Working Group of the Massachusetts Bay District, and as a member for the NAACP, Mystic Valley Area Branch; Sustainable Business Networks of Massachusetts; and WAND, Women’s Action for New Directions. She was co-founder of Rainbow Solutions, Inc, a socially responsible investing firm in Medford, MA. Moreover, Dorothy had several books and articles published in her lifetime. Some of her works includeWomen’s History Is Political Action (1989); Glorious Women: Award-Winning Sermons about Women (2004); and Sea Change: the unfinished agenda of the 1960s (2018). In her spare time, Dorothy enjoyed being with friends and family. She loved reading mysteries by women, traveling and exploring the beauty of nature.

Dorothy is survived by her wife Donna E. Clifford; her son Damian Elrod and his wife Kathy Vlietstra; her grandson Zade Elrod; as well as her sister and two brothers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the UURMaPA’s UU Rainbow History Project. If you prefer to donate to the Rainbow Project, please make your check payable to Treasurer Dave Hunter with “In honor of Dorothy Emerson” in the memo line, and send to 535 Gradyville Road, Newtown Square, PA 19073.

A green burial took place at 3:30 pm on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Cedar Grove Burial Ground, Limington, York County, ME. A celebration of Dorothy’s life was held at 10 am on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church, 70 W Emerson St, Melrose, MA 02176.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Donna Clifford at 51 Cedar St. Apt # 4101, Woburn, MA 01801.

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In Loving Memory of William Kennedy

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 26, 2019
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. William “Bill” N. Kennedy, who died on April 28, 2019, at the age of 69.

Bill was born on June 11, 1949, in San Francisco, CA, where he grew up. He received his Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting from San Diego State University in 1972. Afterwards he worked for thirty years in TV broadcasting before heeding his call toward ministry. In 2005, Bill graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry with a Master of Divinity.

Rev. Kennedy was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, CA, on September 26, 2009, where he served as an affiliated Community Minister. Prior to his ordination, he fulfilled his parish internship at the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church, WA (2004-2005) and served the Unitarian Universalist of San Mateo, CA in 2007 as an Adjunct Minister. Rev. Kennedy retired from active ministry in 2017.

Rev. Kennedy dedicated much service to the Unitarian Universalist denomination. Prior to his ordination he served the UU Fellowship of Redwood City on the Board of Trustees, as Chair, and Chair of the Building & Grounds Committee, as well as the Worship Committee and taught Our American Roots, a History curriculum (over three sessions) in October of 2005. He was a member of the Starr King School for the Ministry Chapel Committee (2002-2004); Chair for the UU Committee on Ministry; and Chair and Co-District Networker for the Partner Church Council. Furthermore, Rev. Kennedy helped devise the theme, create and facilitate workshops for the Pacific Central District Men’s Retreat (2002-2004).

Outside his denominational work, Bill was devoted to promoting health and access to health care; he was an advocate for patients who experienced barriers to care, language, and finances. He worked with the Peninsula Interfaith Action in support of San Mateo County ACE Health Care Program for the uninsured and participated in Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in training, fundraising, advocacy and support. In his spare time, Bill enjoyed hiking and biking, particularly the coastal redwoods. In 2000, he participated in a century ride around Lake Tahoe, and raised money for blood cancer research and support.

Bill’s wife noted after his death: “Bill was loved by many and is sincerely missed”.

Rev. Kennedy’s colleagues had these lovely words to offer:

Rev. Judy Welles: “Bill was a cherished colleague and longtime friend. We met on the bus in Transylvania where I first experienced his warm heart, acerbic wit, and gentle compassionate nature”.

Rev. Thomas Anastasi: “I will always remember Bill as the best intern minister you could ever have”.

Rev. Cecilia Kingman: “Bill was a gift to me and I’m so grateful we were friends”.

Rev. Theresa Hardy: “Bill was a joy, welcomed you, encouraged you, made it feel like somebody was thrilled you were there at the moment for that event, large or small”.

Bill is survived by his wife Geri; his son Adam; his daughter Amanda; and his beloved granddaughter Iola.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the International Myeloma Foundation or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or the Sempervirens Fund.

A celebration of Bill’s life took place at 2 pm on Saturday May 25, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, 2124 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94062. Notes of condolences may be sent to the Geri L. Kennedy at 7811 S. 113th St., Seattle, WA 98178.

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In Loving Memory of Edward Searl (1947-2019)

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 26, 2019
The Ministries and Faith Development staff offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Edward “Ed” Searl, who died on July 28, 2019, at the age of 71.

Ed was born on November 15, 1947, in Chester, PA, to Clinton N. Searl and Mary W. Searl. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1969, with a Bachelor of Arts in history, following which he started his graduate school at the University of Vermont in 1969. In 1970, he emigrated to Canada before finishing his graduate degree. Later in 1973, Ed received his Bachelor of Theology from McGill University, QC, Canada.

Rev. Searl was welcomed into Preliminary Fellowship on April 25, 1977, and ordained on November 8, 1977, by The First Unitarian Church, Youngstown, OH. He carried out his first ministry at the Youngstown congregation from 1977 until 1983. He then fulfilled his Parish Ministry for nearly three decades at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, IL (1983-2012). In 2012, the Hinsdale church honored him as their minister emeritus.

In addition to his ministry, Rev. Searl performed services to the denomination as a ministerial representative for the Commission Lay Leadership Program, Ohio Meadville District in 1979; and as a Secretary and Treasurer for the Ohio Meadville District Professional Religious Leaders in 1979.

Outside his denominational work, Ed belonged to several community organizations. He was Vice-President for the Mahoning County Mental Health Association, Inc. in 1977; trustee for the Mahoning County Transitional Homes, Inc. in 1978; and corresponding secretary for the Planned Parenthood of Mahoning County in 1979. Likewise, he served as a member for Commission on Human Need and for the Mahoning Valley Association of Churches; and as chair for the Juvenile Justice Team.

Ed loved writing, exploring cities and backroads, traveling, sports, and history. His first book, In Memoriam: Modern Funeral and Memorial Service was published in 1993, and the second edition in 2000. His other published writings include Shipwreck in the Mountains (1975), Beggar’s Bouquet (1979), and A Place of Your Own (1998). Ed also edited a five-book collection: Bless This Child, Coming of Age, We Pledge Our Hearts, Beyond Absence, and In Praise of Animals. He self-published several books, including If Only for the Season (2011) and Around the Delaware Arc: 101 People Places and Lore (2013).

Ed is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ellie Searl; his daughter Katie Bodnar; his brother Clint Searl; and his two grandchildren Brett and Bridget Bodnar. He was predeceased by his parents, Clinton and Mary Walter Searl.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Edward Searl Memorial Fund at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, 11 West Maple Avenue St., Hinsdale, IL 60521.

A memorial service was held at 2 pm on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, 11 West Maple Avenue, Hinsdale, IL 60521.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Ellie Searl at 7300 Johnson Farm Lane, Apt. 102, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.

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In Loving Memory of David Johnson (1935-2019)

Posted By Hannah A. Franco-Isaacs, Monday, August 26, 2019
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2019
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. David A. Johnson, who died on July 22, 2019, at the age of 83.

David was born on October 16, 1935, in Buffalo, NY, to Axel H. Johnson and Glenna B. Johnson. He graduated from Antioch College, OH, in 1958, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, following which he received his Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Illinois in 1961. In 1964, David earned his Bachelor of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL.

David was welcomed into Preliminary Fellowship on April 14, 1964, and ordained on October 25, 1964, by the Unitarian Society of Cleveland, OH. Following his ordination, he served the UU Church of Bloomington, IN (1964-1970), and then the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, PA (1970-1973). In 1973, Rev. Johnson accepted a call from the UU Church of Tucson, AZ; he ministered there for fifteen years, until 1988. Finally, he fulfilled his parish ministry at the First Parish in Brookline, MA (1988-2003), before his retirement in 2003.

After his retirement, Rev. Johnson was drawn to interim ministry and served as an interim minister at the following congregations: First Unitarian Church in New Bedford, MA (2003-2005); the First Parish UU Church, Bridgewater, MA (2005-2006); the Unitarian Church of Marlborough & Hudson, MA (2006-2007); the UU Meeting House, Chatham, MA (2007-2008); and the First Parish in Plymouth, MA (2008-2010). In 2010, the UU Church of Tucson, AZ, honored him as Minister Emeritus for his meritorious service to the congregation. From 2010 to 2012, Rev. Johnson served the UU Meeting House of Provincetown, MA; and finally, the United First Parish Church, Quincy, MA (2012-2014).

Rev. Johnson’s service on behalf of the denomination was extensive. He was the business manager for the First UU College Conference, Lake Forest, IL (1961); and a member and officer, for the Liberal Religious Scholars Collegium. He served as a chairman for the Ohio Valley UU Congregation (OVUUC) College Centers Committee (1964-1968), Nominating Committee (1966), and Conference (1962); and was a Host Minister in 1966. Thereafter, Rev. Johnson functioned as a member of the Advisory Committee, UUA Division of Education (1967-1969), and Division of Education & S.R. Curriculum Development Committee on UU Identity (1971-1975). He was president for the Alumni Association of the Meadville Lombard Theological School (1972-1974), and an organizer for the International Association of Religious Freedom Native American Conference (1976). From 1980 to 1982, Rev. Johnson worked as a board member for the Pacific Southwest District Board, UUA; and for the UU Support of Sanctuary as a founder and chair (1986).

Beyond his ministry and denominational activities, Rev. Johnson was affiliated with several community organizations. He was officer and committee chair for the American Civil Liberties Union; and President for the Pima Council on Aging and Tucson Interfaith Coalition on Aging. He served as a board member for the Apache Cultural History Foundation; Parents United; and United Way President’s Council. Furthermore, David chaired the Independence Citizens Committee; Tucson Unified School District; and Sanctuary Covenant Churches. In his spare time, he enjoyed skiing, sailing and writing articles on Gerontological Theology, and Universalist and Unitarian History.

David is survived by his wife Julie Coulter; his sons Kirk Johnson, Erik Johnson, and Matthew Johnson; his stepchildren James (Jim) MacDonald, Nancy MacDonald and Darren MacDonald; and his several grandchildren and a step grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association. Please address the donations to Dave Hunter, Treasurer, 535 Gradyville Road #V-211, Newton Square, PA 19073 with a note “In memory of David A. Johnson” on the memo line.

A celebration of David’s life was held at 2 pm on Thursday, August 1, 2019, at the First Parish of Brookline, 382 Walnut St, Brookline, MA 02445. Notes of condolences may be sent to Julie Coulter at 25 Allen Avenue, North Providence, RI 02911.

Please Note: The UUMA has two members named David A. Johnson. Retired Interim minister, the Rev. Dr. David A. Johnson, continues to reside in Overland Park, Kansas

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