Ruth Elizabeth Lawrence

Ruth Lawrence

Ruth Lawrence

Ruth Elizabeth Lawrence, age 76 died July 30, 2017, in Morrisville, VT. She was the widow of the Reverend Thomas Ahlburn.

Ruth grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and attended Connecticut College, where she majored in English. She was hired by the Providence Public Library as a children’s librarian and earned her Masters in Library Science. She remained a librarian throughout her professional life, mostly in the Woonsocket, Rhode Island school system. She and her husband collected a personal library of over 10,000 titles, which included religion, poetry, biblical archeology, zoology, and astronomy. They read every book.

While living in Rhode Island, they spent their summers in Vermont, where they bought some land and built a cabin. They spent two months every summer there for 20 years. They loved the peaceful life, grew a lot of their food, cooked on a 2-burner Coleman stove, hauled water, and used kerosene lanterns.

Ruth’s home was filled with animals in need, many of which were brought in by her elementary school. Over the years, she cared for a three-legged dog, goats, a squirrel, geese, a starling, a blue jay and an ancient box turtle named Gino.

Tom and Ruth retired to Greensboro in 2000. After Tom died in 2002, Ruth invented a new life for herself in Greensboro. She was active with the Greensboro Free Library and her many new friends became a family. She moved to the Craftsbury Community Care Center several years ago, and was happy there.

Ruth is survived by her stepdaughters, Heather Emerick and Megan Ahlburn, her son-in-law, Donny Emerick and her grandchildren Winnie, Charlotte and Phoebe Emerick. She is also survived by her sisters Marjorie Seabury and Virginia Buttrum and their children.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Craftsbury Community Care Center, 1784 E. Craftsbury Road, Craftsbury, VT 05827, or the Greensboro Free Library, 53 E. Craftsbury Road, Greensboro, VT 05841.

The Rev. Edwin “Ed” A. Lane

Ed Lane

Ed Lane

The Reverend Edwin “Ed” A. Lane—dedicated parish minister, bold and passionate activist for truth and social justice, supporter and volunteer for humanitarian causes, and devoted servant of liberal religion—died in hospice care on July 19, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio, at the age of 89.

The Rev. Mr. Lane was socially active throughout his life in a multitude of causes, ranging from civil rights to the environment. He protested against the Vietnam War and joined many of his colleagues in the 1965 Selma march. He actively supported women’s rights, abortion rights, and same sex marriage, and fought for income equality and environmental protections. His piece on gun control legislation won the Skinner Award for “Most Significant Sermon of Social Concern” in 1967. Twice he travelled to Africa to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. “Life is a gift of grace,” Ed Lane once wrote, “not something we have earned. We have a responsibility to use it with wisdom and to share it with love.”

Edwin A. Lane, born to Lester and Vera Lewis Lane on June 19, 1928, grew up on a hog farm in Kingman, Ohio. After graduation from Kingman High School in 1944 in a class of eight students, he went on to earn a B.A. from Wilmington College in 1951. Raised in the Methodist church, Ed pursued ministerial study at Drew University Divinity School but found and embraced Unitarianism while there, took his divinity degree in 1954, and was ordained on 12 May 1957 by the Church of the Unity (now UU Church of Winchendon, Mass) while serving his first ministry. He accepted a call as the first minister to the UU Church in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and in nine years there (1958-67) he helped the small fellowship grow into a thriving church with over 400 members, twelve acres of land, and four congregational buildings. The Rev. Mr. Lane went on to settlements at UU churches in Westport, CT (1967-78?), Cambridge, MA (1978-87), an interim year in Bellingham, WA, and a final call to First Parish Waltham, MA (1987), where he was named Minister Emeritus on retiring in 1996.

Mr. Lane gave broad service to the wider UU movement. He chaired the editorial board of the Register Leader (now UU World) from 1957 to 1963 and sat on the board of Beacon Press for ten years (1962-72). It was during his term as chair of that board (1969-71) that the momentous decision was made for Beacon Press to publish the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971, detailing the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. During the subsequent controversy and lawsuit, his telephone was found to have been tapped. Other roles included membership on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (1965-1969), Ministerial Consultant to the UU Service Committee (1961-1964), and leadership in the Massachusetts Bay Chapter of the UUMA.

Ed Lane

Ed Lane

Ed Lane wrote many articles for Church Management and edited the magazine from 1955 to 1957. As a public minister, his submissions of “letters to the editor” often appeared in The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Dedicated to the end, his final letter was published in the Times on 17 July 2017, just two days before his death.\

In retirement, as an active member of First Parish in Needham, MA, Ed often served as a guest preacher and congregational volunteer in adult religious education and on issues of social and racial justice. There he also became a model layperson, where his wildly popular homemade bread, key lime pie, and cheese pennies brought in many dollars for church fundraisers. In his spare time, Mr. Lane enjoyed acting, woodworking, bicycling, and hiking.

In their own obituary for Ed, family members recalled both his professional and personal character: “[Ed] was known as a caring, intelligent, wise, kind, loving minister with a great laugh and sense of humor. His sermons were memorable and thought-provoking. He helped nurture churches in their growth, and served as a cheerleader to those that needed it. … To his family he stands as a patient, loving, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, amazing and huggable husband, father, brother, uncle.”

Edwin Lane is survived by his wife of 28 years, Helen, two sons, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

Memorial donations are encouraged to First Parish in Needham, 23 Dedham Ave, Needham, MA 02492.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, September 30, 2017, at First Parish Needham.

Notes of condolence may be sent to and to 66 Hastings St. Apt 106, Wellesley, MA 02481.

The Rev. Sandra Gillogly Lee

The Rev. Sandra Gillogly Lee died on June 23, 2017 at the age of 74.

She is survived by spouse Don Bell and sister Marsha Green.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to NARAL Pro-Choice America, or to the charity of one’s own choosing.

A memorial service will take place on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 in Grand Junction, CO, at a venue still to be determined.

Notes of condolence can be sent to Don Bell at 315 Ouray Ave, Grand Junction, CO 81501 and at

The Rev. David V. Leonard

The Rev. David V. Leonard, 71, died on January 28, 2013. Rev. Leonard was born in Rutland, VT on January 8, 1942 to Katheryn (Campbell) and Richard Leonard. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1963. He then went on to attain a Bachelor of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1967.

Ordained by the United Methodist Church in Trivoli, IL in June, 1967, Rev. Leonard eventually decided to make a change and, in 1975, he left the Methodist Church to begin a life as a Unitarian Universalist. He immediately took steps to become a Unitarian Universalist minister, and was called to his first position at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton, PA from 1977-1984. He then went on to serve to First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, VA from 1984-1992; the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, OH from 1992-2002; the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, NY from 2002-2003; and the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ from 2003-2008.

His wife, Linda, shared,

“David Leonard was an intensely private person who was happiest either chasing trains (in order to photograph a locomotive), or walking a trail in the woods. Classical music, the deep night sky, and a win by the Detroit Tigers or Chicago Cubs also moved him deeply. So did the affection of his cats, from the illegal seminary fur brother, to the orange and black companions on the hospice hospital bed.”

Hating ceremony, David much preferred jeans to a suit. Clergy and lay people alike sometimes wondered if he really was a minister since he only wore his “uniform” when absolutely necessary.

As a person most comfortable by himself, David was uneasy with many of the tasks and expectations of the parish minister. Over the years, he learned to wear two hats: the minister’s hat and the rail fan/photographer hat. He was an excellent photographer and good at keeping his own counsel. He was also superlative at counseling others and preaching on Sunday morning.

He read theology, philosophy, science (especially paleontology), and thrillers, with Tony Hillerman and Sue Grafton being two of his favorite authors. He also liked children’s books.

He was a good father. He loved his children, his animals, the natural world, and, of course, his trains. He had a wry, Mark Twain-Ambrose Bierce sense of humor that could find the ridiculous in almost any situation. He was politically green but not without snide remarks.

In Emerson’s sense, David Leonard leaves the world a better place.

Rev. Leonard is survived by his wife, Linda Wiltz; daughter, Elisabeth Anne Leonard and her husband, Adam Hill; son Marc Leonard; brother, Richard Leonard; sister, Lucy Hill; and grandchildren, Benjamin Sage and Jaden Liana.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Linda Wiltz at 16 Genesee Ave., Binghamton, NY 13903.

He would be pleased if, in lieu of flowers, donations might be made to: any Railroad Club, the Animal Rescue League (, or the Humane Society (

The Rev. Dr. Ruppert L. Lovely

uurmapaThe Rev. Dr. Ruppert L. Lovely died on May 3, 2012. He was 78 years old. The Rev. Dr. Lovely was born in East Greenwich, RI on May 9, 1933 to the Rev. Napoleon W. and Doris Mae (Johnson) Lovely. Rev. Lovely attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in 1963 and his Bachelor of Divinity as well as his Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1966 and 1998, respectively.

Rev. Lovely was ordained by the Countryside Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Palantine, IL on October 7, 1966. There, he held the office of parish minister for 35 years, not counting the 18 months he served as a student minister prior to accepting the full-time call to the pulpit. After his retirement from Countryside, he accepted an interim position with the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, MO from 2001-2003.

Working together with Countryside UU church members to raise funds and devise a plan that resulted in the construction in of the beautiful Countryside Church in Palatine, was one of the highlights of Rev. Lovely’s working years. It was a milestone in his life and in the life of the church.

Throughout his life, Rev. Lovely was a faithful Boston Red Socks fan. No daily activity ever took precedence over watching Red Socks games during baseball season. He was also an avid reader, John Irving novels being among his favorite books. He loved music, especially classical and jazz. He was even known to leave the stereo or radio on all day so that when he returned, he would be greeted by music.

A long-time member of Prairie Group, Rev. Lovely was known, loved, and respected by many. Described as “candid, big-hearted, humorously realistic, brimming with energy and enthusiasm for the ministry,” Rev. Lovely’s “gracious and generous spirit,” as well as his “solid sense of tradition and firm voice” endeared him to many who came to call him a friend.

Rev. Lovely is survived by his wife, Patricia Mumm-Lovely; his daughter, Jessica Lovely and husband, Jason DeSwarte; daughter, Karen Lovely and husband, Michael Leach; Sister Alicia Lovely; and grandchildren, Eli Lovely; Elijah Lovely; Grace Umek; and Jordan DeSwarte. He was predeceased by son, Kirk Lovely; and brother, the Rev. Dr. Brandoch Lovely.
A memorial service for the Rev. Dr. Lovely was held at the Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church, 1025 N. Smith St., Palatine, IL 60067 on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Mrs. Patricia Mumm-Lovely, 933 W. Heritage Ct., Apt. 101, Mequon, WI 53092.

The Rev. Dr. Brandoch “Brandy” Lovely

Brandy Lovely

Brandy Lovely

The Rev. Dr. Brandoch “Brandy” Lovely, 82, died September 29, 2010. A graduate of Proctor Academy in Andover NH, he served in the US Army. He went to Harvard, earning a degree in American History and Literature, and an STB at the Divinity School. As a student he served as DRE in Winchester and West Newton, MA. He served congregations in Carlisle, Reading and Hingham, MA; Austin, TX; and Pasadena, CA. He served Neighborhood Church in Pasadena from 1969-1993. The church named him minister emeritus. He was also awarded a Doctor of Theological Studies by Starr King. He served as interim minister in Costa Mesa, Canoga Park, Santa Barbara and Riverside, CA. In 1974 he chaired the continental convocation of UU ministers, the first in 20 years. He served as MSR for the Pacific SW District, and delivered the SLT sermon at the 1979 GA. He was an active ACLU member. He is survived by his wife, Judith Howerton Lovely and six children, his brother Rupert Lovely, and his sister. (A daughter predeceased him.)

The Rev. Felix Danford Lion

Felix Lion

Felix Lion

The Rev. Felix Danford Lion, 94, died peacefully on November 29, 2008, in Victoria, BC. Born in Massachusetts, he married Eva Hoel in 1943. A graduate of University of Chicago and Meadville Theological Seminary, he received an honorary Doctorate degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. He served congregations in MA, NY, CA and BC and was named minister emeritus by the Palo Alto and Victoria congregations. A lifelong human rights activist, he was a member of the NAACP, who helped to register blacks to vote in 1964. He participated in the freedom marches in Selma, AL and Washington, DC. He served as Chair of the Board of World Interfaith Colleges; as President of UUMA, and was a founding member of the Vancouver Island Civil Rights Coalition. He was a member of the Archeology Society of BC and of the IARF. His lifelong passions were gardening and music. At age 93 he climbed to prune the very tops of his trees. Starting in his early teens and continuing until he was 92, he played the trumpet in a variety of jazz bands and orchestras.

Eva Hoel Lion

Eva Lion

Eva Lion

Eva Hoel Lion, 86, widow of the Rev. Felix Danford Lion, died June 30, 2009. Born in Norway, she was five when her family immigrated to MA. A graduate of Wheelock College in Boston, she later took advanced courses at San Jose State College. She lived in CA, Japan, MA, NY and BC. She taught in Palo Alto, CA for more than 20 years, where she worked with Dr. William Glasser in “Schools without Failure”. She also supervised teachers at Bank Street College of Education in NYC. She enjoyed skiing into her 70’s and throughout her life did sewing, quilting and knitting. Eva had a passion for gardening, decorating and entertaining. She is survived by their three children David, Ingrid and Roger Lion, two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

Virginia Hay Leavitt

Virginia Leavitt

Virginia Leavitt

Virginia Hay Leavitt, 97, widow of the Rev. Dr. Fenwick L. Leavitt, Jr., died July 12, 2010 in Rutland, VT. The Leavitts served Universalist parishes in Middletown, NY; Barre, VT; Germantown, PA, and Lynn, MA. They reared two daughters. Following her husband‘s death in 1967, she returned to Westbrook, ME, where she was an active volunteer. An avid reader and a fan of classical music, her greatest interest lay in the life of the Universalist Church and in her many friends there. She served as the organist for the Westbrook church for many years. In October 2003, she moved to Chittenden, VT, to be near her family. She accepted many losses during her long life with grace and dignity. Her younger daughter, Meredith and a granddaughter died in 1979, and by the time of her own death, Virginia had been predeceased by her entire family except for her older daughter, Joanne Leavitt Powers. She also leaves two grandsons, David Powers and Jon Powers, a granddaughter, Erin Teare Martin and seven great-grandchildren.

The Rev. Dr. Marjorie Newlin Leaming

Marjorie Leaming

Marjorie Leaming

The Rev. Dr. Marjorie Newlin Leaming, 95, died March 19, 2010. A graduate of Meadville Lombard, she was ordained in 1967. A UUWF survey on the status of women in our ministry in 1974 found that of the 750 ministers in fellowship, just 40 were women and of these, and only five had pulpits of their own. Marjorie was one of these, and she was one of a kind. Her fierce commitment to the UU ministry and to seeing that the worth of women clergy was recognized and granted the same status as men, in those early and challenging years of women entering the ministry, demanded every bit of Marjorie’s brilliant mind and fiery spirit. She served congregations in Santa Monica, CA and then Santa Paula, CA, where she was named minister emerita upon her retirement.