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(from http://theatrewomen.org/news/in-memoriam-laurie-james/)

LJLaurie James was born in Portland, Oregon on January 31, 1930 to Vernon and Welles Harper, with sister Gwen. From an early age Laurie was modeling and acting with The Portland Children’s Theatre and at school.

Following High School came to New York to pursue her dream of acting, and attended the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. She also attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland where she studied poetry and drama (she later received an honorary degree.in the Arts). She then returned to the East Coast where she apprenticed and then starred in many Summer Stock productions. It was there that she met Clifton James, her future husband. Summer ended and she returned to New York, married and had 5 children: Mike, Winkie, Hardy, Lynn and Mary, and step-daughter Cory . While raising five children she continued her creative ambitions including creating her own program called “Poetry Listen-In” which brought poetry to life for the children and which she performed it throughout New York.

A historian and researcher in heart she focused on women’s neglected place in history, notably Margaret Fuller but all women s place in shaping our society and world. Years of research and study produced a wealthy body of work on the forgotten life of this historic figure by Laurie. Four books: “Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller”, “The Wit and Wisdom of Margaret Fuller Ossoli”, “Why Margaret Fuller Ossoli is Forgotten” and “How I Got to Harvard, Off and On Stage with Margaret Fuller”. She also wrote “Outrageous Questions, Legacy of Bronson Alcott and America’s One-Room Schools.

Across the country and Asia she offered her award-winning one woman presentation about the life and influence of Margaret Fuller entitled “Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller. Other plays Laurie wrote and performed are: “Yellow Wallpaper”, based on an early feminist work by Charlotte Gilman, “O, Excellent Friend” on the friendship of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, “Winter Wheat” an original work on Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Many other plays, including “Numb is a Freezing Point”, were written. Her final work “Heartblood” being one she was most proud of, dealing with the human rights issue of female genital mutilation was presented by the Actors’ Chapel at St. Malachy’s Church in June with a fall production scheduled for London.

Many will remember Laurie’s gifts as an actress, playwright and historian as well as her warmth, creatively and caring presence. She was a member of The Dramatists Guild, The Actors Studio P/D Unit, The American Renaissance Theater, The League of Professional Theater Women and the UU Women Organization [UUW&R core group and NY Metro].

Laurie passed away in her beloved New York City on July 22, 2015, leaving a rich legacy of a brilliant body of work, and a beloved family including her husband, her children, 14 grand-children and 4 great-grand-children who are blessed with the gift of having shared their lives with her.

Celebration Service for Laurie James
Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 1:30 PM
The Community Church of New York
40 East 35th Street – New York, NY 10016

Betty Hoskins from 1st U WorcesterWe mourn the passing of UU activist Betty B Hoskins on June 20, 2015. A member of First Unitarian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, Betty was a bioethicist and tireless worker for reproductive justice.

She had been an active layperson in Unitarian Universalist congregations in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas, and also held leadership and planning positions in the UU Women’s Federation, Women and Religion, UUs for Right Relations, Second Circle workshops, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the UUA Pamphlet Commission, the Skinner Sermon Award Committee, and past president of UU Collegium.

Read more: http://www.uuwf.org/who-we-are/foremothers/


Betty with Nancy Rogers at the UUWR booth at General Assembly 2014

Helen-Elizabeth-HughesAs you may know, last week Helen Hughes passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Belfast, ME.  Many people at the UU Church in Park Forest, Illinois remember her dearly and wish to share memories with one another.  There will be a memorial celebration to honor her on Saturday, June 20th at 2pm at UUCC.  Our CUUPs chapter will follow the memorial with a Summer Solstice Celebration.  You are invited to attend both of these events.  We look forward to seeing you.  If you cannot attend, please keep her in mind at that time, perhaps by lighting a candle for her.

Helen Elizabeth Hughes, PhD

Helen was born April 23, 1922, in Damariscotta, ME, the last of 10 children, to the Rev. Thomas Bennett Hughes (1865-1957) and the Rev. Sarah Barbara Mayhew Hughes (1876-1972). She died in Belfast, May 26, 2015. She was 93.

Cochairs-Joanne-and-Pat-with-Thankyou-giftsJoanne "Della" Fought, 83, of Peoria passed away Thursday, February 19, 2015.

Joanne was a leader at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, serving as President of the Board, Chair of Social Action, on two ministerial search committees, the Building Committee, as well as district and national groups like UU Women's Connection, UU Women's Federation and UU Women and Religion.

She is pictured here (on left) at Central Midwest District WomanSpirit in 2005, which she co-chaired with Pat Goller (on right)

Rosemary-Matson-2007SeptRosemary Matson — A Woman Without Fear
Rosemary Matson passed away peacefully on September 27, 2014 at her long-time home in Carmel Valley, California. Born on September 20, 1917 as Rosemary Ann Thompson at her family farm in Geneva, Iowa, she was 97 years old. She modeled living by a set of values that included: insisting on equal opportunity and an institutional voice for women; putting a face on the enemy; demonstrating world peace is possible; and standing with workers demanding fair treatment by employers. And, she deeply loved cats, having many close furry friends during her long life.

Rosemary adored grassroots organizing. Over many years she was active in every facet of the Unitarian Universalist denominational Women & Religion activities, from advocating for passage of the 1977 Women and Religion Resolution at General Assembly (she was appointed co-chair of the Continental Committee on Women and Religion) to the 2001 formation of the UUA Women and Religion affiliate. During this period the activities to rid the denomination of sexist practices were vibrant, including: revisioning theology (thealogy), correcting sexist language in hymns and readings, and exposing and transforming sexist attitudes regarding leadership capabilities.

Rosemary was in the thick of it.


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