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

The Rev. Mr. Raymond Shoup

The Rev. Raymond L. Shoup, 83, who served churches in Connecticut and Indiana before retiring to Massachusetts, died peacefully on May 22, 2016. The Rev. Shoup was Pastor Emeritus at Center Congregational Church in Torrington, Connecticut, where he had served as pastor from 1970 to 1999. From 1962 to 1970, he served first as assistant pastor and then senior pastor of the First Congregational Church in Stamford, Connecticut.   “Ray Shoup had a significant influence on so many young people in the...

The Rev. Ms. Amelia Edwards

The Rev. Ms. Amy E. Edwards passed away Friday, May 13, 2016.  Born and raised in Rhode Island, Amy was the beloved wife of the late Michael J. B. Pierce, and the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Beverley Edwards and the late Charles G. Edwards, Esq.  Amy is also survived by her sister, Katherine Edwards Mullen and her husband John; her brother Mark Edwards and his wife Wanda; her stepchildren Brittany and Michael Pierce and several nieces and nephews. Amy was a graduate of Wheeler School, Union ...

The Rev. Mr. Edward B. Blackman

The Rev. Mr. Edward B. Blackman, who served as as pastor of the Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury, died on April 20, 2016. He was 81. The Rev. Blackman also served as Interim Pastor at the West Dennis Community Church from 2011-2013.  He is survived by his wife, Sandra R. Blackman, and his daughter, Rachel C. Blackman. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 11:00am at the West Yarmouth Congregational Church, 383 Route 28, West Yarmouth, MA.  In lieu of flowers, ...

The Rev. Mr. Gary W. Smothers

The Rev. Dr. Gary W. Smothers, passed away on April 1, 2016 at the age of 81.  Born in Iowa, Rev. Smothers was raised in the small town of McGregor. He graduated from the University of Dubuque, Iowa, where he met and married his wife, Delores (Dee) Kubatzke.  They were married for 60 years when Dee passed away in August 2015.  He earned his masters and doctoral degrees from Andover Newton Theological School.  After serving at churches in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, Gary was called to Winthrop ...

The Rev. Dr. Peter H. Meek

The Rev. Dr. Peter Hunt Meek, who served the Hancock United Church of Christ in Lexington for 27 years, died unexpectedly on March 12, 2016 in Cambridge. He was 72. Dr. Meek was born in Bangor, Maine, and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Amherst College in 1965, having developed a particular love for the writings of TS Eliot.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Seminary in 1968, and was awarded a Doctor of ...

The Rev. Mr. Gordon R. Naser

The Rev. Gordon R. Naser died on Saturday, March 12, 2016, at Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland VT.  He was 87.  He was predeceased by his wife Janet (Sullivan) Naser on June 23, 1999; and a brother Robert A. Naser on Feb. 15, 2015.  He is survived by a daughter Ada-Marie Naser, a son Eric Naser, a sister Lucina Sekulski, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He graduated from Castleton State College, Bangor Theological Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary.  He was a pastor at ...

The Rev. Dr. Meredith B. Handspicker

The Rev. Dr. Meredith Brook “Jerry” Handspicker passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2016.  Dr. Hanspicker grew up in Malden, graduated from Bates College and Yale Divinity School.  He was ordained into the United Church of Christ in 1957, and spent 34 years as a teacher at  Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA. Following his retirement, he filled longer term interim roles at churches in Rutland, VT, Pittsfield, MA, and Williamstown, MA. A service in celebration of Jerry’s life will ...

The Rev. Mr. Roger Jack Whitehead

The Rev. Mr. Roger Jack Whitehead (Jack) died on Saturday, February 27, 2016.  He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis, their children, Diane and Steven and their spouses Paul and Linda, and seven grandchildren. Rev. Whitehead received both a B.A. and an M.A. in Music for Voice and Choral Conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.  He received his M.Div from Bangor Theological Seminary, and was ordained in June 1963.  Rev. Whitehead served as pastor in four New England ...

The Rev. Mr. Joseph A. C. Wadsworth III

The Rev. Mr. Joseph Allison Cannon Wadsworth III, 59, of Florence, Alabama passed away on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.  Rev. Wadsworth is survived by two sisters, Martha W. Haley of Scottsdale, AZ and Mary W. White (Tom) of Florence, AL.  He received a BS in Economic Theory from Hampden-Sydney College, Farmville, VA, and an M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, MA.  He served the Union Congregational Church in Maynard, MA, Second Congregational Church, Stafford, CT, and then ...

The Rev. Mr. Robert W. Gardiner

The Rev. Mr. Robert W. Gardiner passed away on Saturday, February 6, 2016 surrounded by his family.  Rev. Gardiner is survived by his wife Lorraine Gardiner.  A Memorial Service for Rev. Gardiner will be at West Parish of Barnstable, 2049 Meetinghouse Way, West Barnstable, MA on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 2:00pm. More details will be posted here when available.

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