The Rev. Rebecca “Becky” Morton Blodgett

The Rev. Rebecca “Becky” Morton Blodgett died on August 12, 2017 at the age of 84.

She is survived by her husband of 61 years Timothy Blodgett; children Sarah Blodgett, Amy Walker (Jonathan), Jeffrey Blodgett (Emily), and Katherine Blodgett; and eight grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main St, Concord, MA 01742, in support of children’s services.

A memorial service will be held at 11am on Friday, September 29th at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742.

Notes of condolence can be sent to First Parish in Concord (address above).

A more complete obituary will be forthcoming after biographical research has been completed.

The Rev. Edwin “Ed” A. Lane

The Rev. Edwin “Ed” A. Lane died on July 19, 2017 at the age of 89.

He is survived by wife Helen, sons Michael and John, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Parish in Needham, 23 Dedham Ave, Needham, MA 02492.

A memorial service is being planned for the fall.

Notes of condolence can be sent to his widow, Helen, at HelenBLane@gmail.com or 66 Hastings St. Apt 106, Wellesley, MA 02481.

A more complete obituary will be forthcoming after biographical research has been completed.

The Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Russell Murry

The Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Russell Murry died on July 6, 2017 at the age of 85.

He is survived by wife Barbara; sons Brian, John, and Christopher; and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the scholarship fund at Meadville-Lombard Theological School.

Plans for a memorial service are forthcoming.

Notes of condolence can be sent to the Murry Family at 701 King Farm Blvd, Rockville, MD, 20850.

A more complete obituary will be forthcoming after biographical research has been completed.

Creative Sageing Award for 2017 — Gordon Gibson

Jim Eller presenting the Creative Sage-ing Award to Gordon Gibson

Jim Eller presenting the Creative Sage-ing Award to Gordon Gibson

The Board of UURMaPA is delighted to announce that the 2017 Creative Sageing Award was given to the Rev. Dr. Gordon Gibson.  Gordon, along with his wife Judy, has been involved in organizing and leading pilgrimages to civil rights sites since 2004, and he is currently involved with the Living Legacy Project () to continue this work. He has published Southern Witness, a book about Southern UUs during the civil rights era.

In announcing the award, the selection committee (Marni Harmony, Makanah Morris and Ellen Brandenburg) lifted up some of Gordon’s accomplishments, noting that he doesn’t seem to have much use for the word retirement and continues to enrich us all by his tireless work on our history.

Ellen particularly remembers that his leadership on pilgrimages to civil rights sites in the South, as well as his other leadership roles with the Living Legacy Project (uulivinglegacy.org) since his retirement have been particularly impressive.  Makanah Morris recalls how essential his ministerial presence was to the Knoxville congregation, of which he and Judy are members, when a gunman opened fire one Sunday. His calming presence on that day and the time which followed was very healing for all ages in that church following that tragedy.

Gordon has been organizing and leading pilgrimages to civil rights sites since 2002, bringing his experience of living in Mississippi 1969-1984 when he was the UU minister in the state. In 2015, he received the UUA Presidential Award for Volunteer Service after decades of a ministry that has held racial justice at its core. Upon receiving that honor, Gordon said, “The Living Legacy Project is a circle of people who saw value in an idea my wife, Judy, and I began developing and implementing as I neared retirement. The Living Legacy Project has improved and extended what we had begun, and I have seen our civil rights pilgrimages and the recent Selma conference challenge, change, and empower people. There is something in the process of coming face-to-face with the people, places, and stories of the civil rights Movement that has changed more lives than all 50 years of my sermons.”

Anyone who has heard him speak in any venue knows that Gordon Gibson understands the value of a good story. Gordon has lived his life learning and sharing the stories of others so that, through their example, the good and the not-so-good, we all can be stronger, better, more loving people. At Gordon’s core is a passion for us all to appreciate the gifts in one another and to leave the world a kinder, gentler place.

Gordon is genuinely interested in others, and his beloved wife Judy claims that he “… has always been other-people-focused. He seems constantly ready to reach out, ready to be helpful and supportive to people around him. His favorite situations are when we get involved in interesting conversations, ideally over good food. I cannot think of a time when he retreated into a personal funk! I believe that his choice of ministry was absolutely the right direction for him.”

In retirement, Judy and Gordon live in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gordon has published Southern Witness, a book about Southern Unitarians and Universalists in the civil rights era.

Gordon and Judy Gibson

Gordon and Judy Gibson

The Creative Sage-ing Award Committee wishes they could name both Gordon and Judy for this award. But given that Judy is on the UURMaPA Board where she serves as the most amazing secretary any organization could hope for, they felt it was probably not appropriate.

But we want everyone to know that in our hearts this award goes to both Gordon and Judy. And we want to mention that in 2016, the Knoxville Urban League did it right. They bestowed that Whitney Young Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious of all Urban League Awards, on both Gordon and Judy.

The Rev. Alfred James Norman Henriksen

The Rev. Alfred James Norman Henriksen died on June 24, 2017 at the age of 95.

He is survived by wife Georgianne DeClercq; children James Peter, Carl (Beverly Thacker), and Heidi (Neal Conner); grandchildren Eric (Emily), Nini, Teddy, Becca Reeve (Alec), Rueben Conner, and Bryce Conner; stepchildren Erika Sweet (Jeff) and Renee Ackley, and their children Kevin Sweet, David Sweet, and Stephanie Ackley; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by first wife Ruth Baxter Henriksen.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pacific Unitarian Church, 5621 Montemalaga Dr, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275.

A memorial service will take place at 2pm on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Pacific Unitarian Church (address above).

Notes of condolence can be sent to Georgianne DeClercq at 435 W 8th St #210, San Pedro, CA, 90731 and at Georgianne.DeClercq@gmail.com.

A more complete obituary will be forthcoming after biographical research has been completed.