Helen Rice Pickett

Helen Pickett

Helen Pickett

Helen Rice Pickett, 88, the spouse of Reverend O. Eugene Pickett, died October 4 2017. After living with Alzheimer’s disease for seven years, her death at home was peaceful, with her husband and three daughters at her bedside.

Helen was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, in 1929, one of four children of Congregational missionaries.  During the Great Depression, she lived in a series of small towns in Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Oregon where her father served as minister.

Helen graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington in 1950, where she majored in biology and minored in music – both of which remained important in her life. She then attended the Chicago Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago where she met ministerial student Eugene Pickett, whom she married in 1952.

Gene and Helen went on to serve churches in the South during the Civil Rights Era including Miami, Florida; Richmond, Virginia where daughters Ann, Martha and Emily were born; and Atlanta, Georgia.

After 20 years in the South, the family relocated to the Boston area where Helen worked at Wellesley College and Gene became Director of Ministerial Education at the denominational headquarters. During this time, she was an ardent member of the Cecilia Society, one of the oldest choral groups in Boston, singing soprano and serving as its president for two years.

In 1979 Gene became Unitarian Universalist Association president and Helen became an integral part of his presidency. They traveled extensively both at home and abroad, and she is remembered for her hospitality, welcoming others who were far from home on holidays to the president’s house. When Gene became minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship in 1986 Helen joined the staff as well, and served on the CLF board. It was at this time that Helen was appointed to the UUA’s Hymnbook Commission.  This six-year project produced Singing the Living Tradition.

After retiring in 1991, Helen and Gene moved to Cape Cod. While in retirement, she edited Rejoice Together and co-edited For All That Is Our Life for Skinner House press and remained active in the League of Women Voters and her local UU church.

Notes of condolence may be sent to the Rev. O. Eugene Pickett, 912 Main Street, #201, Chatham, MA  02633-2746.

The Rev. Glyn Pruce

Glyn Pruce

Glyn Pruce

The Rev. Glyn Pruce, British sailor, parish minister, World War Two historian and devoted grandfather, died on June 1, 2015 at Mease-Country Hospital in Safety Harbor, Florida. He was 86 years old.

Glyn John Pruce was born on December 25, 1928, in London, England, to John and Ethel Pruce. When German bombs fell on London in 1940, he was one of many children moved to the English countryside during “the Blitz.”

At 16, in 1945, he signed up and joined the British Merchant Marines. His ship was headed toward the Pacific Theatre battles when the Japanese surrendered. He spent the next three years traveling with the Marines visiting China and India. The impact of seeing the human suffering in these countries led him eventually to the ministry, although he had also considered missionary work.

He received a Bachelor of Arts from the London Polytechnic Institute in 1954 and a Diploma in Ministry from Manchester College (of Oxford, England) in 1958. In 1960, he married the former Edna E. Wilson in England and became Unitarian Minister at the Hale Barnes Chapel in Cheshire. They moved from England to Boston, Massachusetts, along with their son Timothy, and lived there for 9 years, where he obtained a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) from Boston University in 1965; and a Master of Arts in Theology from Boston University in 1970.

Mr. Pruce was ordained by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in London in 1958, and received Unitarian Universalist ministerial fellowship in 1973. He served as interim minister to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA from 1974 to 1975; minister to the Lakeshore Unitarian Church of Pointe Claire, Québec from 1975 to 1978; minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, NY from 1978 to 1983; minister to The Great Meeting (Unitarian) of Leicester, UK from 1983 to 1987; minister to the Old Meetinghouse (Unitarian), Bessells Green of Kent, UK and the Maidstone Unitarian Church of Kent, UK from 1987 to 1992; and minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs, FL from 1992 to 1997.

Ward Knights recalls that he engaged in a six-month ministry exchange with Glyn and his wife Florence in about 1990; Ward and Lucy went to Maidstone, Kent and the Pruces came to Tarpon Springs, where Ward served at the time. “The Tarpon congregation was very much pleased with Glyn’s sermonic abilities,” he continues, “and subsequently Glyn came from the UK to be the settled minister in Tarpon when I moved on to another congregation.”

The Rev. Mr. Pruce was quite active within the denomination throughout his thirty-nine years of ministry. He served various committees and organizations during his time in the United Kingdom, including the Unitarian Ministers Association and the Unitarian Commission on Society and the Family. In the United States, he served as secretary of the St. Lawrence District Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association from 1975 to 1980; and moderator of the Arlington Street Unitarian Universalist Church from 1969 to 1970.

He taught sociology at Northeastern University, in Boston, and took part in a doctoral program in the Sociology of Education at Boston University. He worked on Boston’s Redevelopment Authority, and was an avid reader and World War II history buff. He loved classical music, traveling and spending time with his granddaughter, whom he affectionately called “Mistress Eden Willow.” Glyn’s, son, Timothy, recalls that Eden was his “pride and joy, and the love of his life.”

Glyn is survived by his son, Timothy; granddaughter, Eden Pruce; companion, Constance Traycheff, and her family; stepchildren, Susan, Robert, Michael and their families; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on June 27th, 2015 in Palm Harbor, FL 34683.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Timothy Pruce and Family, 157-10 Riverside Drive West, Apt. 14Q, New York, NY 10032, and to Constance Traycheff, 2664 Pine Ridge Way South, Apt. D1, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

Barbara Ellen Pontier

uurmapaBarbara Ellen Pontier, 91, widow of Rev. Raymond J. Pontier, died October 19, 2007 in Raritan Township, NJ. A graduate of the New Jersey College for Women-Rutgers University, she retired in 1985 from Clifton, NJ High School, where she taught math. Barbara was a member of the NEA, NJEA and the NAACP. Her husband, Raymond Pontier, who predeceased her in 2004, was a minister, and together they served Reformed Church of America and Unitarian Universalist Association congregations in Berne, NY; Kingston, NY; Port Jervis, NY; Clifton, NJ; Wayne, NJ; Narrowsburg, NY and Lakeland, FL. She moved to Lambertville, NJ in 2004. She is survived by her three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

The Rev. Carolyn F. B. Podulka

uurmapaThe Rev. Carolyn F. B. Podulka, 74, died August 17. 2007. She served the Unitarian Church of Evanston as a Minister of Religious Education. She was a Pastoral Counselor at the Hospice of the Northshore in Wilmette, IL. Surviving are her husband, Gene Podulka, and her children W. David Buss of Los Angeles, CA; Dennis F. Buss of Lake Forest, IL; Timothy D. Buss of Bay City, MI; and Heidi Ann Buss of St. Paul, MN; 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Messages may be sent to Gene Podulka. A service was held Sept. 22 at the Northshore Unitarian Church, Deerfield, IL.

Margaret C. “Maggie” Pipes

uurmapaMargaret C. “Maggie” Pipes, 85. died on May 24, 2012. This summary of her life is taken from a beautiful tribute to her, written by husband, the Rev. Ernie Pipes, and delivered at the celebration of her life held on June 30th, which would have been their 63rd wedding anniversary.

Maggie grew up in a small town in Texas near the Mexican border.  She was bi-lingual, owned a horse, and was loved by parents who helped her develop a strong sense of self and confidence.  She graduated from Trinity University with a major in Theater Arts.  Her social concerns and liberal outlook took her to the Unitarian Church of San Antonio where was she active in local politics and justice issues; it was there that she met Ernie, whom she married on June 30, 1949. After Ernie’s graduate work at Harvard, he was called to his first pastorate in Albany, NY. Maggie immediately became involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, with an intense commitment to the civil rights movement.

Maggie and Ernie raised three children, moving to Santa Monica in 1956, where she continued her dedication to social action.  In the 1960s, in response to the urban crisis in LA, she helped create the Mafundi Institute, a center in Watts which taught film making, drama, dance and writing.  In 1973 Maggie began to work with Cesar Chavez, representing the UUA to the National Farm Workers Ministry and, with Howard Matson, helped establish the UU Ministry to Migrant Farm Workers.  Her work on their behalf extended over three decades.

Maggie was also instrumental in the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s, which rescued Central Americans fleeing death squads, torture, and political repression. She inspired the Santa Monica congregation to sponsor a family from Guatemala, raising the bond money to move them out of INS detention and guide them through the process to win legal status. Outraged by the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, Maggie helped to create the Oscar Romero Spanish-speaking UU congregation at First Unitarian Church in LA, which has been active since 1982.

The riots following the Rodney King beating and trial in 1992 were in the vicinity of the First Unitarian Church. The Rev. Linnea Pearson turned to Maggie to form the UU Crisis Response Network, which became the Urban Ministry, serving the inner city through numerous community programs. Maggie served as chair from its inception in 1997.

In recognition for her many years of unheralded service in the cause of social action and liberal values, in 2002 Maggie was awarded the Unsung UU Award by the UU Association. As her health deteriorated Maggie still “worked the telephone” on issues and causes of concern to her and maintained a network of close connections with a large group of friends. What friends and family remember most about Maggie is the warmth and love which she brought to her relationships, and they were graced to have known this beautiful person.

The Rev. Roy D. Phillips

Roy Phillips

Roy Phillips

The Rev. Roy D. Phillips, 66, died of a heart attack April 24, 2008, while visiting family in Morocco. He had survived pancreatic cancer for nearly five years. Roy was ordained and installed in 1967 at what was then the UU Church of Racine and Kenosha in Racine, Wisconsin where he served until 1971, when he began his service to the Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota. The congregation named him minister emeritus 27 years later. He then served as interim minister in Cleveland, Ohio, and Pensacola and Valparaiso, Florida, before being called to the UU Church of Tucson, AZ from which he retired in 2004. He is survived by his life partner, Patricia Harmon of Tucson.

Tawnya Phifer

Tawnya Phifer

Tawnya Phifer

Tawnya Phifer, 67, wife of the Rev. Kenneth W. Phifer, died peacefully at Arbor Hospice, Ann Arbor, MI, on September 21, 2014. She died of complications from ovarian cancer.

She was born April 4, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio to Donald Elwin Fuller and Mary Lee (Ely) Fuller. The eldest of five children, she grew up in Temperance, MI, graduating as co-valedictorian from Bedford High School in 1965.

She got married and moved to Ludington, MI and then to Hawaii, with her husband, who was serving in the U.S Coast Guard. She lived there from 1968-1972, then returned to Temperance to attend college. She worked for her father as a bookkeeper during her college years. In 1974 she graduated with highest honors from Monroe Community College. Two years later she graduated, again with highest honors, from Eastern Michigan University, majoring in accounting. She earned credentials as a CPA.

She married Dave Warnock in 1978 and they had two children, Janelle and April. Tawnya often said that the best years of her life were her twelve years as a full-time mother. She enjoyed baking, sewing, helping at school, and encouraging her girls in dance and gymnastics. In 1990 she was hired by McKinley Realty, in Ann Arbor, where she worked for twelve years. She then worked at DTE Energy in the Trading Division. She retired from DTE at the end of 2012. She had married Ken Phifer in 2003.

A memorial service was held for Tawnya at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Ann Arbor on Saturday, October 11 at 11 a.m. Tawnya’s family and friends say she will be remembered as a kind, gentle, witty, intelligent, warm, courageous, and graceful woman.

Tawnya is survived by her husband, Ken; her parents; her brothers, Donald (Janis), Danny (Pam), Dane (Cathy), and David, her daughters, Janelle (Eric) and April; grandchildren: Ashlyn, Gavin, Kaleb, Kairi, Lyric and a baby girl due shortly; step-children Kathy (Donnie), Karl (Paige), and Dave; step-grandchildren Michael and Spencer, Gabriel and Paityn, Therion and Caleb; seven nephews and a niece.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to any of the following: The First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 4001 Ann Arbor Saline Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103; The Cancer Support Community, 2010 Hogback Road, Suite 3, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Arbor Hospice, 2366 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Condolences may go to: Ken Phifer, 1201 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

Wana Perry

uurmapaWana Perry died on July 13, 2012 at her home in North Las Vegas. She was 81 years old. In her younger years she was employed as a Psychiatric Technician at Greystone State Hospital, the New Jersey Diagnostic Center and Payne Whitney Clinic in New York.

After spending some ten years as a stay at home Mom she reentered the workforce as a Claims Examiner for the Prudential Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Upon moving to Philadelphia, she became Director of Admissions and then Business Manager for Friends Select School. While living in Chester, Nova Scotia she served as Coordinator for the local Hockey Rink and Curling Club. In Massachusetts she held the position of Business Manager for The Newton Wesley Weston Committee. Her final full time position was Coordinator for the Upton Council on Aging.

In her role as Minister’s wife she served as Religious Education Director for Unitarian Churches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Grafton, Massachusetts.

In her retirement she took part time positions serving as Administrative Assistant at Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, Secretary for the Fairmont Methodist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and the Redwood Middle School in Saratoga, California, and Research Assistant for the Satellite Health Corporation in Redwood City; as well as volunteer work for The Tech Museum of Innovation and the Repertory Theater in San Jose.

She loved being a Wife, Mother and Grandmother. She took joy in preparing gourmet meals. She constantly wrote poetry and prose. One of her final projects was a book filled with photos and memories, entitled This Much I Remember that she wrote and published for her children and grandchildren.

She is pre-deceased by her husband and love of her life, Rev. Richard A. Perry, and survived by four children: John Perry of Oakland, Tara Perry of North Las Vegas, Richard Perry of San Jose, and Mina Perry of Toronto; plus 7 grandchildren, Ryan, Katelyn, Nicole, Kelsey, Wana, Richard, and Jeremy; plus 2 great-grandchildren, Ender and Yanni.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nathan Adelson Hospice, Las Vegas.

The Rev. Dr. George J.W. Pennington

George Pennington

George Pennington

The Rev. Dr. George J.W. Pennington, 86, died January 10, 2012. A. native of Salem, MA, he held BA, STM, MA and DD degrees from Tufts University. He served churches in Wakefield, Norwell and Arlington, MA; Concord, NH; Springfield, MA and Montclair, NJ. After retiring he continued as a pastoral counselor with UU Counseling and Educational Service of NJ Area Council. He was a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in West Orange, NJ and White Plains, NY. He was active in the civil rights and peace movements. He served on the board of directors of the Council on Aging in Longmeadow, MA. He volunteered to nurture babies at Baystate Medical Center. He was predeceased by his wife, the Rev. Shannon Bernard, and his brother, Donald. He is survived by his life partner, Marjorie Morgan; a son, Scot and daughter-in-law, Joyce; a son Bruce; a daughter, Joy, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Phyllis Peara

Phyllis Peara

Phyllis Peara

Phyllis Peara, 83, wife of the Rev. Sir Edgar Peara, died of congestive heart failure March 6, 2011 in Eugene, OR. A graduate of the U. of Nebraska, she was a junior high school teacher. She was president of the League of Women Voters in several communities. Phyllis was named the “Outstanding Woman of the Year” in Chicago’s north suburbs. An unparalleled minister’s wife, at UU Community Church, Park Forest, IL, she was named “UU Unsung Hero.” She was an avid reader who belonged to four book clubs and was active in OLLI, the senior program at the U. of Oregon. She is survived by her husband, her children, Portia Blackman and Alan Ball of Santa Fe, NM, Leah Pahlmeyer of Durango, CO, and Sarah Taylor of North Oaks, MN, and her four stepsons: Christopher, Jonathan, Timothy and Andrew Peara, as well as her sister, Gena Sorensen, of Oakland, CA, and ten grandchildren and one great grandson.