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. Robert F. Fenby

The Rev. Robert F. Fenby died peacefully on September 24, 2017 at Saint Francis Home in Worcester, MA.  Bob's warm, welcoming spirit and gentle smile will never be forgotten and will be missed by many, including his loving and devoted wife of 61 years, Leona F. (Ciardelli) Fenby; his daughter, Pamela A. Lazerick and her husband, John and their two children, Zachary Robert and Gabriel John Lazerick of Auburn.  Bob was born and raised in Quincy and graduated from Quincy High School, New England ...

Mr. Rufus Cushman

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 was held at the ...

The Rev. Mr. Malcolm Cox Bertram Jr.

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

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

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. Dr. Stephen V. Weaver

The Rev. Dr. Stephen V. Weaver died in Concord, NH on June 13, 2017 after a period of failing health.   He is survived by two sons, Stephen V. Weaver Jr. and his children, Shannon Day and Stephen E. Weaver; and Mark Weaver and his wife, Heidi Duncanson, and their children, Andrew and Hope Weaver; and one daughter, Deborah Wesoja, and her children, Alex and Kristen Wesoja, and one great-granddaughter Johanna. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University, and a Master of Divinity degree ...

The Rev. Dr. Ronald J. Sloan

The Rev. Dr. Ronald John Sloan died at the age of 81 on June 3, 2017 in his South Wellfleet home with his wife Sue Anne Jackson Sloan and companion dog ‘Pippin’ at his side.  He is survived by his wife Sue;  son John Harrison Sloan III and wife Janice Marie Powers of Indianapolis, IN; son Scott Jackson Sloan and wife Clayton Price Maxwell of Austin, TX; and son Andrew MacKinnon Sloan of Miami, FL; and grandchildren John Harrison Sloan IV, Claire Hannah Sloan, Mark Thomas Sloan, Carlisle Maxwell ...

The Rev. Mr. Paul V. Varga

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

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

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 ...

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