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. Dr. Philip H. Mitchell

The Rev. Dr. Philip H. Mitchell passed away on Friday, June 22, 2018 at his home in Orleans, MA.  He was the husband of the late Barbara Fay (Madden) Mitchell, and the father of Christi Ann Mitchell and the late Timothy Paul Mitchell, as well as other beloved family. Rev. Mitchell graduated from Amherst  High School in 1949, started college at Amherst College and then joined the Army during the Korean War.  After two years of military service, he returned to school, graduating from the ...

The Rev. Ms. Linda J. Reilly

The Rev. Ms. Linda J. Reilly passed away on Monday, June 18, 2018, after a brief illness, with her son and husband by her side.  She leaves behind her husband, Barry J. Reilly, and son Shaun Reilly, daughter-in-law Megan and granddaughters Madelynn and Elizabeth of Newton, MA. Raised in Ashburnham, she graduated from Cushing Academy summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy from UMass Lowell, and a Masters of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. She devoted her personal and ...

The Rev. Dr. William R. Loesch

The Rev. Dr. William R. Loesch died at his home in Dorchester on Saturday, June 16, 2018.             He is survived by his three daughters and son: Melanie Loesch; Cathy Loesch; Cynthia Loesch-Johnson (and husband Jeffery Johnson); Christopher (and wife Shannon), and their four children. He is also survived by his former wife, Martha Sanchez, of Dorchester, the mother of their children, and his twin brother, Rev. Dr. Robert Loesch, a United Church of Christ clergy living in Springfield, MA, ...

The Rev. Ms. Judith Lydiard Kinley

The Rev. Ms. Judith Lydiard Kinley passed away peacefully following an extended illness. She was a resident of Brattleboro, VT.  She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Dr. Donald L. Kinley. She leaves behind five children; Heather (Craig) Sherman of Redding, CA; Bonnie Kinley of Rutland, VT; John (Heidi) Kinley of Guilford, VT; Arthur Luhn of Randolph, MA; and Anne (Kelsey) Kinley, of Westminster, CO. Judith was born in Peekskill, New York, the daughter of Captain Charles Williams Lydiard ...

The Rev. Dr. Merle R. Jordan

The Rev. Dr. Merle R. Jordan passed away on March 25, 2018.  He is survived by his wife Barbara; son Christopher Jordan and wife Elaine Kubota of HI; daughter Marcia Ann Jordan and husband Mark Huston of WA; and son Ross A. Jordan and wife Patricia Dennehy Jordan of Plymouth, MA; and grandchildren Thomas, Brianna and Bailey. Born in Portland, Maine the son of Everett C. Jordan and Ida Mae Moore, who died of scarlet fever when Merle was 51/2 weeks old. He was raised by his father and loving step ...

The Rev. Mr. Jeffrey T. Belcher

The Rev. Jeffrey T. “Jeff” Belcher of Rockland, Maine - who served UCC churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts - died on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. He was 78. The Rev Belcher  worked at United Shoe Company before entering Bangor Theological Seminary where he got his Masters of Divinity. While finishing his work there he held the pulpits at the Orrs and Bailey Islands and United Church of Christ congregations in Maine. In 1969, he took the Associate Pastorate at the First Church of Christ ...

The Rev. Mr. Herbert I. Schumm

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

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

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.

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....

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