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.


The Rev. Mr. Herbert I. Schumm

2/14/2018
The Rev. Mr. Herbert I. Schumm passed away on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his three children, L. Philip Schumm, Hannelore C. Nalesnik and Anneliese E. Pimenta, and six grandchildren. Herb recieved a BA from Anderson College and additional courses at Butler University and Garrett Biblical Institute.  He was ordained as a minister on August 14, 1951. He started as a student pastor at Congregational Christian Church in Warren, IN from 1957-1960.  In ...

The Rev. Ms. Priscilla R. Schumm

2/14/2018
The Rev. Priscilla R. Schumm passed away on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 surrounded by her family.  She died following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was married to the Rev. Herbert I. Schumm and is survived by her three children:  L. Philip Schumm and his wife, Beth Beyer, and their sons, Matthew and Liam, of Chicago, IL; the Rev. Hannelore Nalesnik and her daughters Nadia and Esperanza of Ayer, MA; and Anneliese Pimenta, RN, and her husband Victor Pimenta, and their children, ...

The Rev. Dr. Gabriel J. Fackre

1/31/2018
The Rev. Dr. Gabriel J. Fackre died in Oregon City, OR on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  His wife Dorothy predeceased him on October 13, 2017.  He is survived by his five children: Bonnie, Gabrielle (and husband Thomas), Judith, Skye (and husband Christopher), and Kirk (and wife Alice); as well as eight grandchildren and their spouses: Ben (and wife Kristin), Gil (and wife Michelle), Acacia (and husband Michael), Cole, Kyr, Charlotte, Campbell, and Casey; and one great grandson Sawyer.   Dr. ...

The Rev. Mr. Ralph Miller Cook, Jr.

1/25/2018
The R​ev. Ralph Miller Cook, Jr., who served churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts, passed away on Jan. 25, 2018. He was 91. The Rev. Cook beloved husband of the late Janet E. (Fickinger) Cook, was born May 9, 1926 in Holyoke, MA the was the son of the late Ralph M. Cook, Sr. and Marion M. (Marshall) Cook. The Rev. Cook served his country during WWII with the U.S. Army Air Corps. He graduated from University of Maine, and was a chemical engineer for several years before going into ministry....

The Rev. Dr. Guy L. Steele

1/11/2018
The Rev. Dr. Guy L. Steele died on January 11, 2018.   He was the devoted father of Guy L. Steele Jr. and his wife Barbara of Lexington, and David A. Steele and his wife Sandi of Leominster; cherished grandfather of Julia, Peter, and Matthew; and great-grandfather of Holly and Maya.  Guy was talented in many facets of life. In his early years he was an accomplished track athlete. As a man of devout faith he began his ministry as a student pastor in Montgomery City, Missouri, while studying for ...

The Rev. Dr. Richard H. Olmsted

1/5/2018
The Rev. Dr. Richard H. Olmsted passed away on January 6, 2018 at the age of 77 in Hudson, WI.  He is survived by Marjorie, his wife of 44 years; his daughter Christine; his brother Louis; and sisters, Catherine Mazzotta and Ann Pedersen.  He was predeceased by his daughter, Allison and his parents. He grew up in Connecticut and received his BA from Drew University in Madison, NJ.  He graduated from Yale Divinity School with a BD and in 1979 received his PhD from the Department of Religious ...

The Rev. Mr. Herbert Olin Kelsey Jr.

12/10/2017
The Rev. Herbert Olin Kelsey Jr. of Hartford, CT died on Dec. 10, 2017, at the age of 91.  The Rev. Kelsey graduated from Hartford Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in June of 1962 and was ordained on June 9, 1962, at the First Church of Hartland, CT.  During his 50 years as an ordained minister he served in churches in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Chingford, England, where he retired. He moved back to the states in 1996 and remained active in the United Church of ...

The Rev. Dr. John F. Messerschmitt

12/5/2017
The Rev. Dr. John F. Messerschmitt died on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 after a stroke.  John is survived by his wife, the former Carol Lynne MacDonald; his daughters, Kristin Kinsky (Greg); and Karen Lavery (Christopher); his grandchildren, Ryan and Chase Kinsky, and Trea and Aislinn Lavery; and his brother, Peter Messerschmitt (Diane).   He was born in New York City, the son of Harold and Agnes (Inman) Messerschmitt.  John graduated from CCNY in 1960 with a BS in Biology, from Union Theological ...

Ms. Sylvia Ferrell-Jones

11/29/2017
Ms. Sylvia Ferrell-Jones passed away on Wednesday, November 29, 2018 after battling cancer. Ms. Ferrell-Jones was a long time member of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Lexington and held many positions that supported the United Church of Christ including serving on the United Church Funds Board, the Massachusetts Conference Board as its Chair, Governance Task Force of the UCC, and the Andover Newton Theological Seminary Board of Trustees. Ms. Ferrell-Jones received a Bachelor’s Degree from ...

The Rev. Mr. Thomas C. Carlton

10/22/2017
The Rev. Mr. Thomas (Tim) Carlton died on October 22, 2017 after a long illness, surrounded by his family.  Tim's most recent pastorate was with the Union Church, UCC, in Ludlow where he as pastor for 27 years. He leaves his wife of 49 years, Dr. Sally Carlton (Fairbanks); son Christopher and his wife Caroline of Holyoke; daughter Laura and her husband Evan Lareau of Northampton; daughter Holly and her husband Christopher McGann of Chula Vista, CA; his two granddaughters, Nora and Ailis ...

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