Obituaries


As testimony to our kinship in Christ and the Covenant that binds us one to another, we list below the names of those ministers known to us who have died recently. At one time or another they served in the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Please click on the name of the person from the list below for whom you would like more information.

As we receive further information (about a memorial service or an obituary, for example), we will post it. Please understand that we often have limited information about the both the lives of some of these ministers and the details of funeral/memorial services.  We look for obituaries on-line, but these are not always available.  We cannot devote inordinate amounts of time to research, but will post the information we have.   If you have information that does not appear on this site, please send it to Patti Babcock at babcockp@macucc.org.


Mr. Rufus Cushman

9/4/2017
Mr. Rufus Packard Cushman III, of Proctor, VT, died on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2017, at home, from heart and kidney failure. After "retiring" from a career in insurance and banking, Mr. Cushman spent much of the 1990s working part-time as the Massachusetts Conference’s Director of Planned Giving. He followed that by serving the Conference for another 10 years as a Stewardship Associate, and was a founding member of the Northeast Ecumenical Stewardship Council.  A Memorial Service will be held at ...

The Rev. Mr. Malcolm Cox Bertram Jr.

8/30/2017
The Rev. Dr. Malcolm C. Bertram, Jr., died on August 30, 2017 from complications of Alzheimers. He was 84. The Rev. Bertram was born in W. Springfield, MA on July 27, 1933 to Malcolm and Margaret Bertram. Mal is survived by his wife Barbara (Bruder) whom he married on June 18, 1955. He is survived by his three children: Malcolm S. Bertram of Boston, Lee R. Bertram and his wife Margaret (Santoli) of Bayport, NY and Lori Ann Bertram and her husband George Arnos of Hull, MA. He is also survived ...

The Rev. Mr. Fred W. Atwood-Lyon

8/27/2017
The Rev. Mr. Fredrick W. Atwood-Lyon passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2017 in Dover NH. The Rev. Atwood-Lyon served churches in Massachusetts, Vermont and NH.  While in Massachusetts, he served as a Conference Consultant and Chairperson of Evangelism and Church Growth Task Team. In the Ohio Conference, he served as Minister for Growth and Development, and was Associate Minister for the Eastern Ohio Association. In the Connecticut and Rhode Island Conferences, he was Office Manager for ...

The Rev. Dr. John Wightman

8/24/2017
The Rev. Dr. John Wightman passed away at home on August 24 after a long battle with cancer.  John is survived by his wife Marilyn and three children: Bruce (Tamara Davis) of Lafayette Hill, PA; Brian (Carrie Rouillard) of Barre, VT; and Catherine (Gregg Doney) of Clancy, MT.  He is also survived by four grandchildren: BenjaminWightman, Allison Wightman, Isabelle Wightman, and Haylee Doney; by his sister, Joan Haggard of Livonia, MI and her family; and his sisters-in-law: Margaret Strahl and ...

The Rev. Mr. Paul V. Varga

5/15/2017
The Rev. Paul Victor Varga, former pastor of the Belchertown United Church of Christ, died on May 15, 2017.  The Rev. Varga was active in the wider church, having served as as Moderator of both the Hampshire Association and Metropolitan Boston Association, attending general Synods of the UCC in Omaha, Boston, and St. Louis as a delegate, and training 400 volunteers for the 1991 General Synod in Norfolk, VA.  In retirement, he was a member of South Congregational Church, UCC, Concord, NH. He ...

The Rev. Mr. Tadanori Yamashita

4/5/2017
The Rev. Mr. Tadanori Yamashita passed away Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at the age of 87 in Hopkinton, following a battle with cancer. The Rev. Tadanori joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College in the department of Religion in 1963, where he conducted research on Judaic Law and Zen Buddhism in addition to teaching. Tadanori was very active in the college community, where he helped establish the Asian Studies Program, and co-founded Wa-Shin-An, a traditional Japanese tea house and meditation ...

The Rev. Dr. Richard Aubin-Fischer

3/31/2017
The Rev. Dr. Richard Aubin-Fischer died peacefully on Friday, March 31, 2017 in Westport, MA surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife Gail Aubin-Fischer of Westport, MA; daughter Julie (Fischer) Thorpe and her husband Brian of Cranston, RI; son David Fischer of Providence, RI; daughter Tina McDonald and her husband Andrew Pacheco of Tiverton, RI; and daughter Heather (McDonald) Ellis and her husband Christian of Wareham, MA. He leaves 4 grandchildren: Adam, Jocelyn, Aden, and ...

The Rev. Dr. Bruce Breuer

3/25/2017
The Rev. Dr. Bruce O. Breuer died on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from complication of Parkinson's Disease, at home surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 55 years Marilyn (Ryan) Breuer; daughter Beth A. (Breuer) Powers and her husband Daniel of Upton, MA; son Michael A. Breuer and his former wife Michelle Seremett of Spencer/Brookfield, MA; daughter Sarah R. (Breuer) Snyed and her husband Michael of Roslindale, MA; son Timothy D. Breuer and his wife Christal of Springfield, MA; and...

The Rev. Mr. Thomas P. Howard

1/8/2017
The Rev. Mr. Thomas P. Howard, 90,  passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, January 8, 2017.  Rev. Howard is survived by his life-partner Marion Harris; daughters Robbin C. Howard of Eugene, OR and Mary T. Howard and her husband Stephen E. Mooney of Brookline, MA; son Stephen P. Howard and his wife Elizabeth A. Kendall of Deale, MD, son Mark S. Howard and his partner Cristina M. Todesco of Dorchester, MA, brother Robert E. Howard and his wife Josephine of ...

The Rev. Mr. Edward J. Bernard

1/4/2017
The Rev. Mr. Edward J. Bernard passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2017.  Edd is survived by his wife Peg Bernard, his sister Judy Haglof, his children Gina Bernard, Katie Brownlee, Liz Bernard, James Bernard, and 5 step children, 12 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. He received his BA in religion from Nyack College, and attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY.  He was ordained in 1983 and became pastor of several local churches in ...

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