Celebrating the Lives of Mathewson Street's Dearly Departed

Since 2000, Mathewson Street UMC has witnessed the passing of long-time parishioners and church volunteers Dennis Brooks, Ginnie Carr, Majorie Chute, Dolly Cullen, Mollie Del Rosso, Edith Feole, Betsy Frerichs, Ernie Frerichs, Sarah Frerichs, Michael Goodlett, Gladys Green, Hervey Green, Marion Johnston, Cynthia Lech, Phyllis Mayo, Edna May McKenzie, Elbert James Moten ("Dr. Love"), Helen Mowry, Emily Roberts, Al Seguin, Ridg Shinn, Norman Smith, Sharkey Tahakjian, George Tubman, Dick Upson, and Dorothy Webster. For more on their lives and deaths, see below ...

Clarice Wagner Shinn

July 17, 1921 – June 5, 2019 We called her wife, and mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; and teacher, doll lady and friend.  Clarice, known as Rissy to many, died in the morning of June 5. She was almost 98.  Her family gathered in ones and twos and tens and more during the days preceding her death.  She was well loved and remembered by all who knew her.  Married to Dr. Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr. for 62 years, they made a life on both coasts, met in the middle, and traveled and lived overseas extensively.  Though preceded in death by her husband, Ridg, and her eldest daughter Jenifer (Shinn) Tait, she leaves behind an extensive family: two sisters, Marjorie Cress and Ann Dimock (Bruce Dimock); her children: Ridgway Shinn III, Craig Shinn, Jeremy Shinn, and Beth Shinn; eight grandchildren; and seventeen great-grandchildren. 

Clarice Wagner Shinn, a native Californian, was born in San Jose. She grew up in Claremont, California, then a small agricultural and college town of about 3,500 people.  She was a master teacher, earning a BA at Oberlin College in 1943 and a Master of Education at Rhode Island College in 1967.  At Oberlin she met a fellow student, Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr., who became a teacher and historian.  They married in 1944, started married life in Litchfield, Connecticut and then went as teachers with the U.S. War Department to Vienna, Austria to teach children of the occupation forces between 1946 and 1948, just after World War II. They returned to Reedley, California before moving to Connecticut, New York and then Johnston, Rhode Island.

Clarice and Ridg traveled widely and lived for several periods of time in Scotland, England and Vienna, Austria.  Her travels took her through the United States, Europe, Iceland, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Jordan, Greece, Egypt, Palestine, and Israel.  Each place provided an opportunity to look at social customs, study ways of life and, especially, to acquire ethnic dolls. Her hobbies included building a Teaching and Learning Collection of International and Ethnic Dolls, a collection of over fourteen hundred dolls from around the world, with a supporting four hundred book library of research and reference materials.  Clarice was a lifetime board member of the Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr. Study Abroad Fund at Rhode Island College which has enabled ninety-seven students to study in international settings.  She enjoyed reading, knitting, indoor gardening and family.  Clarice moved to Willamette View in Oregon in 2012 from Rhode Island, her home for over fifty years.  She was well loved by all. 

Memorial gifts can be made to the Shinn Study Abroad Fund (RIC Foundation) or charities supporting children.  For more details:  https://www.stehnfuneralhomes.com/notices/Clarice-Shinn

Harry L. Cohoon, Jr.
Harry L.Cohoon, Jr., of Warwick,  left us on Veteran's Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017. He was 88. 
He was particularly proud of being a first generation US citizen born in Providence of the late Harry L. Cohoon, Sr., a tinsmith from Springhill, Nova Scotia, and the late Hazel Fraser (MacLeod) Cohoon, a farm woman from Meadowville, Nova Scotia.
For many years in the 1950s he was a prominent WHIM radio personality, teaming with prominent broadcasters including Jay Creedon, Ernie Anderson, Charlie Jeffords, Carrol Philbrook, Bruce Williamson, Art Milner, Paul Garnet, Bob LaChance, and Eddy Zack. They were at the forefront as radio evolved. The WHIM personality format was recognized nationally and prospered during the new radio era. His two daily radio shows were the highest rated in their time periods. Entering the Providence advertising and public relations industry in its infancy – after leaving WHIM where he was professionally known as Harry Case – he was a co-founder of Creamer, Trowbridge and Case, an advertising and public relations firm with roots in Providence which grew into a nationally-ranked and highly-respected firm.
A recipient of the Anthony Medal from Providence Public Schools, he later graduated cum laude from Boston University. He was the Rhode Island delegate to the Second World Conference at Christian Youth in Oslo, Norway, Past Master Councilor of Providence Chapter Order of DeMolay, a charter member of Alpha Epsilon Rho communication fraternity, past president of the Boston University Club of Rhode Island, past president of the Rhode Island Advertising Club, and was the 1978 Ad Club Advertising Man of the Year.
He was a Korean War naval veteran and served on the Board of Pocasset Cemetery and the East Greenwich Planning Board for seven years as well as a member of Mathewson Street Methodist Church in Providence for 80 years. He was an East Greenwich resident for more than 30 years, moving to Cedar Tree Point in Warwick in 1999.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Barbara (nee Farnsworth); sons Harry III of St. Charles, Missouri; Scott (wife, Jean) of Cranston, Rhode Island, and Gordon (wife, Laurie) of Sarasota, Florida, along with six grandchildren – Lincoln, Suzanne, Michaela, Brianna, James, and Chelsea.
A Graveside Service with military honors will be held Thursday, November 16, at 11 a.m., at Glenwood Cemetery – Middle and Cedar Avenues, East Greenwich. Visitation will be Wednesday evening, November 15, from 6-8 p.m. at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main Street, East Greenwich. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory to the East Greenwich Animal Protection League, P.O. 184, East Greenwich, RI, 02818 would be greatly appreciated.

Roy D. Knight

Roy D. Knight, 90, passed away on Monday, June 5, 2017 at Steere House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Providence, RI. Born in Providence, RI, he was the son of the late William A. Linwood and Mabel (Rhodes) Knight and adopted stepson of Herbert Knight.  He was the brother of the late Thurston Linwood and Hope Linwood-Nolan and is survived by several friends, including Bill Rose and Susan Dorrance-Paul. Roy was a dedicated parishioner of both Trinity Church and Mathewson Street Church and an avid follower of the local church and regional sports teams. 

The funeral will be held 10:30 AM on Saturday, June 10 at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home, 659 East Greenwich Avenue, West Warwick, RI followed with burial in North Burial Ground, Providence, RI. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 AM prior to the service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mathewson St. United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 134 Mathewson Street, Providence, RI 02903.

Dorothy L. Webster

Long time MSUMC parishioner Dorothy L. Webster, most recently of Ossipee, NH, passed away at the age of 102 on November 23rd, 2016. She was born Dec. 28, 1913, in Woodbury, Vermont, the daughter of Edwin and Edith (Lawson) Webster. She graduated in 1933 from Cabot High School and in 1937 from Mary Fletcher School of Nursing in Burlington. Ms. Webster was employed by Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, for over 41 years, retiring in 1979. She was a member and past matron of Signet Chapter #21 Order of the Eastern Star in Cranston, Rhode Island. She enjoyed crocheting, tatting and traveling throughout the United States and abroad. Survivors include a sister, Phyllis Mercurio of Ossipee, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Sister MSUMC parishioner Theil Ramsbey signed the obituary guestbook with this loving comment: “Dorothy was always such a lovely, gentle person when I knew her ...”

Edna May McKenzie
Longtime MSUMC parishioner Edna May McKenzie, age 96, of Coventry, passed away on February 13, 2016, surrounded by her loving family.  Born in Providence, RI, she was the daughter of the late Walter and the late Addie (Hoxsie) Curry. She was the beloved wife of the late Hamiliton McKenzie. She was employed by the State of Rhode Island as a manager at the unemployment office. Edna is survived by three sons: William McKenzie and his wife Joan of Sterling, MA, David McKenzie and his wife Susan of Brewer, ME, and Douglas McKenzie and his wife Cathy of Bethlehem, PA. She also leaves four grandchildren, Jennifer McKenzie, Jeffrey McKenzie, Tom McKenzie and Matt McKenzie; and three great grandchildren, Brooke, Hamilton and Domenic Rogers. She was predeceased by a sister Hope (Curry) Hallock.

Dick Upson
MSUMC office worker and church volunteer Dickinson “Dick” Murray Upson of Rehoboth, an adjunct college professor and former disc jockey, passed away on September 27th, 2015, at Rhode Island Hospital. He was 66. Born in Waterbury, Conn., Mr. Upson was a longtime resident of Rehoboth. He was a 1967 graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon High School. He later graduated from Oberlin College and Kent State University. Mr. Upson worked as an adjunct professor of communications at Roger Williams University, as well as at Fisher College and Bristol Community College. He was a former disc jockey at WHJY, a screenplay writer and assisted with the Rhode Island Film Festival and at Roger Williams University’s radio station. He served as a member of the Liberal Arts Council and was the executive director of the United Jewelry Show for 10 years. Husband of the late Jeraldine Jane (Warsyk), Mr. Upson is survived by two daughters, Caitlin Q. and Brooke W., both of Rehoboth; two brothers, Thomas Tim F. of Waterbury, Conn., and Warren Terry T. of Naples, Fla.; and several nieces, nephews and friends.

Dolly Cullen

Long-time MSUMC parishioner Dolly (Mary) Elizabeth Cullen (Beaulieu), 83, passed away on Sunday, Juine 29, 2014.  Born in Peabody, Massachusetts April 2, 1931, she lived most of her adult life in Cranston RI before moving to Henniker, New Hampshire to enjoy her “golden years.”


She was employed more than 30 years by Rolo Jewelry, a Providence manufacturer, first as a linker, then as manager of the sample room.  As a member of MSUMC, she was designated “Official Sunday School Grandmother” in 2006. After moving to New Hampshire in 2007, she attended the Henniker Congregational Church, and enjoyed volunteering at senior meals sponsored by White Birch Community Center. Most recently she was a resident at Pleasant View Center.


She was pre-deceased in 2000 by her husband of 29 years, Walter Cullen. She is survived by her daughter Carolynne Shinn and husband Jeremy, of Weare, NH; a son, Wayne Lightowler, of Providence RI; granddaughter Courtenay Hatton and husband Bob, grandson Wesley Shinn and wife Shannon, great grandchildren, Scarlett and Zephyr Shinn, all of Portland, Oregon; brother Roger Bouchard of Warwick, RI; brother Al Bouchard of California; sister Rose De Simone of Cranston, RI, and many loving nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews in RI.


Her remains were buried at Pawtuxet Memorial Park in Warwick RI.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to the Henniker Congregational Church, 114 Maple Street, Henniker NH 03242 or White Birch Community Center, PO Box 2035, Henniker, NH 03242.

Al Seguin
Long-time MSUMC parishioner Al Seguin, 87, passed away on Friday, December 20, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Doris Mae (Carpenter) Seguin for over fifty-five years. Born in Warwick, he was the son of the late Mary E. (Houde) and Joseph C. Seguin. He was a long time resident of North Providence and formerly of Warwick. Al attended Aldrich High School then joined the U.S. Navy where he served aboard the USS Sandalwood AN 32 in Eniwetok (in the Pacific) during WWII. He also served aboard the USS Yosemite AD 19, USS Leyte CVS 32, Boston Reserve Fleet, USS Carleton APB 36, Helicopter Squadron 9, USS Rockbridge APA 228 and was a Fire Fighting Instructor at the Newport Naval Fire Fighting School. He retired after twenty years as a Chief Petty Officer / Damage Control.

Al was a Member of the Navy Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 42 for over forty-five years. He was Chief of the Fruit Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Lifetime Member of the North Providence West Little League, Commodore of the Quonset Pt. Navy Yacht Club, Fruit Hill Neighborhood Association, RI Fire Fighter Instructor's Association and presently an Officer at the VFW Post 10011. He attended Johnson and Wales and USAF Institute. He worked at Grinnell Fire Protection Systems, in Cranston until retirement.

He was a member of Mathewson St. United Methodist Church in Providence for decades, having served on the board of trustees for 30 years. He enjoyed boating and was an avid fisherman. Besides his wife Doris, he is survived by his five sons Albert W. Seguin Jr and wife Arlene of Cranston, Charles F. and wife Lonna Seguin of Bangor, ME, Donald R. Seguin and wife Eileen of Cumberland, Kenneth E. Seguin and wife Gabriella of Tarpon Springs, FL and William P. Seguin and wife Carole of Wakefield. He has eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brother Lawrence Seguin of Warwick, and sisters Theresa Zannella of Cranston and Jeanette Dellicarpini and Eleanor Capp of Florida. He is predeceased by his brothers Joseph, Arthur, Eugene, Raymond, Leo and sisters Alice and Rita.

 Ernie Frerichs
Long-time MSUMC parishioner Ernest S. Frerichs, 88, passed away quietly and peacefully on November 11, 2013. A native of Tottenville, Staten Island, New York, he maintained a connection with his birthplace throughout his life. He was married to MSUMC parishioner Sarah Cutts Frerichs for 59 years and had resided for 35 years in Providence and variously in Warren, North Providence, Barrington, and Cranston.

He was educated in the public school system of New York City and entered Brown University in 1942. From 1943 to 1946 he served in the United States Army as a Sergeant in the 100th Infantry Division receiving the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Bronze Star Medal for his participation in the Battle of the Vosges Mountains in eastern France. Re-entering Brown he completed an A.B. in 1948 and an A.M. in Government in the Harvard Graduate School in 1949. In 1992 the Hebrew Union College of New York conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He received an S.T.B. degree from the Boston University School of Theology in 1952 and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from the Boston University Graduate School in 1957. The School of Theology conferred in 1987 an Alumni Award for Distinguished Service and the Boston University Graduate School conferred in 1994 an Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession. He was elected to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2008.

His life was lived in three successive occupations: the professional life of the parish ministry; academic life as professional teacher, scholar, and university administrator; and philanthropic work as executive director and president of a family foundation. Ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church in 1952, he served as Associate Pastor and acting Senior Pastor at MSUMC from 1950 to 1960.

In 1953 he entered the faculty of Brown University, earning his way to full professor by 1966.  He became Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies and Judaic Studies in 1995.  From 1976 to 1982, he served as the Dean of the Brown University Graduate School. In addition to his service at Brown, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, the Boston University School of Theology, and the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He served the Albright Institute as President from 1976 to 1982. He lectured widely in European and British universities in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Brazil, England, and the former Soviet Union.

His field of scholarship was in the Hebrew Bible and the history of Biblical Interpretation. He edited , co-edited, or authored sixteen books and numerous articles. In 1995 he was invited to become Executive Director of the Dorot Foundation, a family foundation founded in 1958 and assuming its current title in 1978. A New York foundation the Dorot offices were moved to Providence in 1995. The Foundation has a long history in Jewish higher education reflected in the endowment of professorial chairs in Judaic Studies, of travel grants for American students studying in Israel, and for its fellowship program, the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, devoted to strengthening leadership in the American Jewish community.

His friends and family saw him modest, humble, compassionate, and gentle. His life is best characterized in the title of a festschrift presented to him by friends and colleagues, Hesed-ve-Emet. He was equally at home in Jewish and Christian circles. He knew no enemy, but gave great encouragement to all, especially those in need, preferring to think of himself as an enabler. 

His family was a central concern and focus of his life. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Sarah; his son John and his daughter Betsy. He is survived by his son, David, of Warren, RI, and David's wife, Barbara; grandsons David, Jr. and wife, Heather of East Providence; Justin of Los Angeles; granddaughters April of Los Angeles and Marcia Pedini of East Providence; and ten great-grandchildren.

Marjorie Chute
Former MSUMC parishioner Marjorie Pino Chute, 86, passed away quietly and peacefully on January 26, 2013. Marjorie was preceded in death by her daughter, Barbara, and son, James. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, George, and daughter, Jacqueline Chute of North Andover, Massachusetts. Marjorie also is survived by five nieces and nephews; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Marjorie was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1926. She was her class valedictorian of Hillsdale High School in 1944, and graduated in Engineering Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1949, at which time she married George. She resided mainly in Fairfield, Ohio, Pelham, NY, and Newport, RI, before coming to Grand Rapids in 2006 to be near her family. Marjorie was a high school Science Study Center Administrator before joining the engineering firm of Parsons Brinkerhoff of New York as Proposal Coordinator for projects that included the “Big Dig” of Boston, a subway in Singapore, and an airport in Hong Kong.

Emily Roberts
Former MSUMC parishioner Emily Roberts, 99, of Cranston, passed away Saturday, December 29, 2012. She was the wife of the late Stephen T. Roberts. Born in Providence she was the daughter of the late John and Emelia (Sundquist) Johnson. Emily was Cranston's 1st Head Elementary School Librarian and was the librarian at Hugh B. Bain for 29 years until retiring in 1972. She attended Boston University and received her Bachelor Degree from RI College. After her retirement, she was a member and past President of the Country Garden Club of Oaklawn and lifetime member of the RI Federation of Garden Clubs. She was a very active member of Mathewson Street United Methodist Church and in her later years enjoyed attending Shepard of the Valley United Methodist Church. She enjoyed traveling and tirelessly working to keep her park like yard in perfect bloom. She was the sister of the late Hazel King and Doris Angus. She is survived by her sister in law Virginia Welch of Coventry; aunt of David M. King of FL. and the late Barbara Plante. She is also survived by several great nieces and nephews and their families.

Sharkey Tahakjian
Longtime MSUMC parishioner Sharkey Tahakjian, 94, passed away on December 17, 2012, at the Scandinavian Home in Cranston surrounded by her loving family. She was a most devoted wife to her late husband Martin L. Tahakjian to whom she was married for fifty-seven years. Born in Uxbridge, MA and raised in Whitinsville, she was the daughter of the late Thomas and Azniv (Rustigian) Muradian. Sharkey graduated from Northbridge High School in 1935 with honors, and was class valedictorian. During WW-II she worked at Whitin Machine works in Whitinsville. After her marriage in 1946 she moved to Providence and then to Cranston in 1992. 

She worked for the U.S. Postal Service at the Turnkey in Providence from 1970-1983. In addition to MSUMC, she was a member of the Armenian Evangelical Church. 

Sharkey was most devoted to her family, as well as being a great cook, a talented seamstress, a lover of music and a wealth of knowledge. She was the devoted mother of Sharlene T. Moran and her husband John of Centerville, MA, Martin T.L. Tahakjian and his wife Susan of West Warwick, and Sheryl T. Lafleur and her husband Gerard of Burrillville; loving grandmother of Matthew Moran, Elizabeth (Moran) Hamel and her husband Shane, Dr. Jarret Lafleur, Justin Lafleur and Paul Tencher; loving great-grandmother of Cooper and Holden Hamel; and sister of the late Thomas Muradian, Jr. and Oscar Muradian.

Mollie Del Rosso
Longtime MSUMC parishioner Amalia "Mollie Del Rosso, 97, died July 27, 2012. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, she was a daughter of the late Rev. Vincent and Mrs. Sara (Ligrest) Del Rosso.

Mollie worked in the child welfare office for the State of Rhode Island for 29 years, retiring in 1980.

She leaves her sister, Inez DiManna, two nieces, Barbara DiManna and Elaine Tautenhan, all of North Providence, two great-nieces, one great-great niece, and four great-great nephews.

Gladys I. Green

Former MSUMC parishioner Gladys I. (Taylor) Green, 91, of Cranston, passed away on May 1, 2012. She was the wife of the late Kenneth F. Green, Sr. Born in Providence, she was the youngest child born to the late Joseph W. and Florence (Pike) Taylor. She was the beloved mother of Susan O'Keefe and her husband Kevin of Cranston and Kenneth F. Green, Jr. of Warren. Loving grandmother of Kevin, David, Eric and Brett. Cherished great grandmother of Caden, Ava, Alexander, Tayler and Sydney.



*Marian W. Johnston



Former MSUMC parishioner Marian W. Johnston, 96, of Warwick, died April 11, 2012 at the Scandinavian Home in Cranston. She was the wife of the late Thomas C. Johnston.


Born in Germany, she lived in South Attleboro, Mass. for 40 years before moving to Warwick in 2004. She was a legal secretary and at one time was the only woman in Rhode Island to hold the designation of certified professional secretary (CPS) and professional legal secretary (PLS). She was a graduate of Evanston Township High School in Illinois and at the age of 70 graduated from Providence College.


She leaves her two children, Mary M. Johnston and T. Frederick Johnston, both of Warwick, and her beloved grandson, Derek C. Johnston, a sophomore at the University of Chicago.


In keeping with her passion for learning, she donated her body to Brown Medical School.



*Dennis J. Brooks


MSUMC church member Dennis J. Brooks passed away unexpectedly at his home in Central Falls on April 21, 2012. He was a long-time employee of Martin Painting and Restoration.

Dennis was cherished by the congregation and earned its enduring respect for his dedication to his surviving daughter, Melissa Brooks. He is also survived by his sister, Patricia E. Brooks Carrier of Fall River, two nieces, and three nephews.


*Hervey Green


Longtime MSUMC church member Hervey Green passed away on September 21,2011, at home. For 61 years, he was the beloved husband of Ruth (Hilton) Green. He was born in Providence and lived in Warwick for six decades; he also had been a summer resident of Jefferson, Maine for more than 60 years.

Herve was an Army veteran and worked for New England Telephone for 30 years. He was a member of the East Greenwich Yacht Club and served as a volunteer for Mystic Seaport.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his son Richard and wife Linda of Wakefield, and was a much loved grandfather to Kayleigh and Collin. A private graveside service was held at Swan Point cemetery.


*Edith Feole

Edith (Winterich) Feole died at the age of 103 on May 31,2011 at Sunny View Nursing Home in Warwick. She was born in Providence on August 6,1907, the daughter of the late Bessie and John Winterich. Edith was the wife of the late Raymond Feole, and is survived by her daughter Lydia and a cousin, Elizabeth Drew of Cranston.

Edith graduated from Boston University in 1930 with a degree in Religious Music and Drama. Six weeks later, she substituted as a medical social worker at Rhode Island Hospital and stayed there for the next 40 years, working with cancer patients. Edith was a longtime member of Mathewson Street UnitedMethodist Church and belonged to United Methodist Women. She was an active member of the League of Women Voters.

Edith had many interests including travel, friendships, music, and caring for animals. Her friend, and longtime parishioner, Theil Ramsbey recounts how Edith "went along on the 1973 MSC trip to the Southwest when we slept in church basements, cooked our own food, and traveled in four green automobiles on the Navajo Reservation to help set up an outdoor worship center, in Albuquerque to paint walls at a school for Mexican American girls, among other experiences. 

She was of sound mind and participated in life with zeal right up to the last.  Lydia said she was eating supper at 6 p.m. and passed away quietly without suffering [at 7:00 p.m.]."


*George E. Tubman



George E. Tubman passed away on February 20th, 2011, at the age of 75, in his native country of Liberia.

George and his family were long-time congregants at MSUMC. After fleeing Liberia in the early 1990s as a political refugee, he and family eventually ended up in Providence, where they joined Mathewson Street UMC. When Liberia returned to a degree of stability in 2007, he returned to Monrovia, where he worked to rebuild the Port Authority for the national government.

George was a strong humanitarian; a man of faith, courage, and fortitude. He was a gentleman and a role model. An example of his humanitarian bearing was his quickness to volunteer for tasks that needed to be done at Mathewson Street, including everything from ushering to assisting in the preparations for communion.


On a much grander scale, when Liberia went through its political and social upheavals in the early 2000s, George took a strong and effective leadership role in organizing two significant humanitarian aid efforts—encouraging and pushing forward manifold efforts in the collection of thousands of pounds of books, food, medical supplies, clothing, and institutional furniture for shipment to Liberia. The shipments were made in large sea containers. To ensure its safe arrival and distribution to several hospitals, clinics, and refugee camps, he flew to Monrovia to personally oversee the first of these two aid efforts.


George was highly respected not only at MSUMC, but also by the regional Liberian community, and the community at large-- both in Rhode Island and in Liberia. Few of those who met him in Rhode Islandknew of the many accomplishments in younger life, as he was never one to boast.  But let it be known that he was a distinguished student at the University of San Francisco, where he earned his B.A. in 1961; and upon graduation, he entered the MBA program at the highly prestigious University of California, Berkeley--completely his degree in just one year (1962). George's career path included being the managing director (CEO) of the National Port Authority of Liberia during the 1970s, and the founder and owner of Transget, a West African consulting firm for the transportation industry.


George retired from the world of work in 2009, but was not satisfied to sit in a rocking chair. In the year before his death, he was trying to organize a book drive to bring business, management, and entrepreneurial college textbooks to those wanting to rebuild his home country.


He leaves his loving and devoted wife; Rachel, 4 children, 2 grandchildren, and 3 sisters. Expressions of condolence may be sent to his daughters, Georgene and Simone, and his son, George Jr. at: 59 Joslin, North Providence, RI 02911.


*Norman W. Smith




Norman W. Smith passed away on October 21st, 2010, in Scituate, at the age of 80; his loving family was by his side.

Norman and wife, Lola (Foster) Smith celebrated their 51st anniversary in August. Norman leaves sons Warren and wife Angela; Scudder and wife Joey; his daughter Rachel and husband Roger; and grandchildren Ethan, Tyler, and Sophie.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of Rev. John Chester Smith and Elizabeth (Fry) Smith. Mr. Smith earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin, and for 32 years taught history at Rhode Island College, serving as department chair for 8 years. He established the Norman Smith Library Fund at RIC. Mr. Smith was a decorated veteran of the Korean conflict and past president of Scituate Rotary.

Mr. Smith was an avid reader and book collector, as well as an accomplished listener of classical music-- with a particular fondness for opera. He found great enjoyment in outdoor activities such as stream and lake fishing, gardening, mountain climbing, bird watching, and tennis.


*Elbert James Moten (aka "Dr. Love")


Elbert James Moten (aka "Dr. Love") passed away on March 1st, 2010, in Providence. He is survived by his sister Margaret Moten; as well as by Shirley Robertson; Linda Moten; Curley, David and Stanley Moten; and many nieces and nephews. Elbert volunteered at MSUMC since 2006, and his efforts reflected his lifelong desire to be in service to others. He loved music, singing, poetry, biking, detailing cars, and cleaning things. He was a fixture at our Friday afternoon community meal, and his good cheer and assistance will be missed by that important part of our community.


*Cynthia Lech



Cynthia E. (Walker) Lech, passed away on December 1st, 2009, in Providence. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she was the youngest and the last surviving of 5 children born to Christmas (Hough) and Fred Mallet Walker. Her sister was Phyllis Gilstrap; and her brothers were Douglas, Bruce, and Ted Walker. Cynthia was a nurse in training during WWII, before marrying the late William J. Lech of Aurora, Illinois. (Her brother Ted was her husband's company commander in the Army during WWII.) She moved to Rhode Island with her family in the late 1960s. She was the mother of Peter Lech, Crim Lech-Moore, and Elizabeth Cintolo; and the grandmother of eight. She was primarily a homemaker, but when her children were grown, she was secretary of the Fine Arts Department at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) for 10 years, and a docent at RISD Museum for several years. She loved art, music, travel, and gardening, but found her greatest pleasure in the time spent with her family. She was a familiar and respected presence at MSUMC for many years, and will be deeply missed.



*Ginnie Carr



Longtime parishioner Virginia Norma ("Ginnie") Carr entered into eternal life on Sunday, December 13, 2009.  We shall miss her optimism, her welcome to all as she served as an usher, and her lifelong service to Mathewson StreetChurch.

She was the daughter of the late Chester Albertus and Alice (Beattie) Chase. Ginnie has two daughters: Joyce A. Donaher and her husband James of Lakeville, MA; and Susan M. Warren and her husband Larry of Boise, Idaho; two sisters; Alice T. Gardiner of Warwick, Patricia Ferguson and her husband, Robert of Pascoag, a brother Chester A. Chase, Jr. of Syrma, TN; four grandchildren; James E. Donaher, III, Michael T. Donaher and his wife Amanda, Misty Gamez and Justin Yuchnitz; two great grandsons. and several nieces and nephews.

Virginia was raised in Providence, but enjoyed spending time in Esmond with her grandparents often referred to her as being a little bit country and a city girl. She graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in January, 1950. Recently she helped plan and attended her 60th class reunion. After high school she attended cosmetology school and she became a licensed hair dresser.

Virginia's career was working in management positions for the Army & Airforce Exchange Service (AAFES). She served at Homestead AFB, FL, Ft. Sumpter, SC, Ft. Clayton (Panama Canal Zone); San Louis Obispo, Sacramento, King City, CA. Her last assignment before retirement was at Elmndorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska. During her years since retirement, Virginia has resided in Smithfield-- where a joy of hers was reconnecting with friends and family she had been apart from during her years of AAFES service. She also enjoyed many craft projects and had a great love for music.


*Michael Goodlett


Michael Goodlett was born on January 2, 1953, to Horace Irving Goodlett, Sr., and the late Jessye Virginia Goodlett, and entered into eternal life on October 29, 2009. Michael was the third-born child to their union.


Michael obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from New York University and his Masters Degree from Cornell University, and he served in the United States Army.


Michael will be most remembered for his unselfish friendly personality—when you became a friend of Michael, you became a friend for life. To know Michael as a friend meant one knew a truly unique individual—a person who could take you from 100 to 1 in a matter of minutes, but at the end of the day, you had to love him for being himself.


Michael was preceded in death by his mother, Jessye Goodlett, and his brother, Horace Irving Goodlett, Jr. Michael is survived by his father, Horace Irving Goodlett, Sr., his sister, Sharon Coachman (Darryl Barnes), and his sister, Shirley Goodlett Monsanto (Steven Monsanto), three nieces, two nephews, and a host of family and friends.


The family would like to extend special thanks to Patricia Flowers, Michael’s best friend, for always being there and loving him unconditionally. Special thanks is also extended to Michael’s congregation, where he always felt at home.



*Sarah Cutts Frerichs

Following a long illness, Sarah Cutts Frerichs, Ph.D., of 229 Medway Street, Providence, died on April 10, 2008, at  the Bethany Nursing Home in Providence, RI. She was the daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Allen S.and Arrie M. Cutts. She was married for 59 years to her beloved husband, Dr. Ernest S. Frerichs.


Born in Athens, Alabama, she spent her early childhood in Moultrie, Georgia, and her adolescence in Montgomery, Alabama, and in Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida, before moving to Liberty, Missouri, where she completed her A.B. degree at William Jewell College. She entered the Graduate School of Brown University in 1947, completing A.M. and Ph.D. degrees. She became a retired member of the professorial staff in English at Bentley College, Waltham, MA in 1994. In earlier years she served on the faculties of Barrington College, Rhode Island College, and Bridgewater State College. She was a former Director of the Composition Laboratory in the General College of Boston University.


Her field of specialized knowledge was Victorian Literature, especially Victorian biography. She was well known for her publications on the work of a Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Missing Sewell, a widely published author, educator and lifelong resident of the Isle of Wight. Her professional associations included the Modern Language Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the College English Association.


Travelling abroad, especially with her family, was a favorite experience. She combined longer periods of residence in England, Germany and Israel with extensive travel in Western Europe. Additional travels included South and Central America as well as New Zealand and Australia.


Raised in the best traditions of American Southern hospitality, she opened her home frequently to students, colleagues, and friends. Of particular concern to her were the Brown international students whom she welcomed to her home for more than 35 years. Warmth, graciousness, gentleness and sincerity were hallmarks of her life.


She participated in such community activities as Women of Brown which she served twice as President and also as Coordinator of Training and Education for Volunteers-in-Action. Of importance in her life was her active participation in the life of Mathewson Street United Methodist Church. She served in various leadership roles in Mathewson Street Church, participating in numerous committees and serving as church lay leader.


She was a person intensely attached to her family including her daughters-in-law and saddened by the early loss of two of her adult children, as well as a grandchild, and a daughter-in-law. Central to the values she lived was the Christian faith in which she had been reared.  For many of her students she was a role model in her effective combination of wife, mother, and academic professional. She was devoted to the Victorian age and would have welcomed moving with her family into that era. 


She is survived by her husband, Ernest; by her son, David, of Warren; her daughters-in-law, Barbara and Pamela, by four grandchildren; Justin Allen of Los Angeles, April of Los Angeles, David, Jr., of East Providence, and Marcia of Athens, Maine; by four great-grandchildren: Justine and Jirzeel Mariella of Los Angeles and Alex and Conner of Athens, Maine. Deceased children include her son, John Allen.and her daughter, Elizabeth Ann (Betsy).


*Helen E. Mowry

Helen E. Mowry of Cranston died Thursday, January 31, 2008, on her 91st birthday at the Nancy Ann Nursing Home, Foster, Rhode Island. She was the wife of the late Leslie F. Mowry, Jr.

Mrs. Mowry was born in Fall River, MA, the daughter of the late Harold and Edith (Carter) Castle.


Mrs. Mowry was a 1938 Magna cum laude graduate of Brown University where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and was a Elisha Benjamin Andrews Scholar.  She also received a degree in Secretarial Science from Bryant College in 1939 and a Master of Library Sciences from the Universityof Rhode Island in 1969.


Mrs. Mowry worked at Brown University from 1939-1958 in the Graduate School Office as a secretary to the Dean, as Administrative Assistant and Registrar for the Summer School of Applied Mathewmatics.  She joined the Cranston School Department in 1962 teaching third grade and served as an Elementary School Librarian, Technical Services Librarian, Administror-Librarian for the Summer Library Program and coordinator of School Library programs, retiring in 1986. After retiring Mrs. Mowry served as Secretary of Meshanticut Park Baptist Church in Cranston. She enjoyed knitting, had served as treasurer of the Oak Lawn Garden Club and volunteered at the Central Library Office of the Cranston School Department.


She is survived by two sons, John L. Mowry of Cranston and David D. Mowry of Warwick and one grandson, Jason Mowry.



*Phyllis Ruth Mayo

Phyllis Ruth Mayo, 85, long-time resident of Cranston, departed this life on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at the Masonic Home in Wallingford, CT.


Phyllis was born in Providence on September 18, 1922, the daughter of the late Leland R. and Lydia K. (McKenzie) Mayo. Prior to retirement, she was a registered nurse and teacher at the Rhode IslandHospital. She earned a BS from Brown University in 1945 and an MS from Boston University. She had a life long love of Golden Retrievers and was an active member of the Providence County Kennel Club. She was also an active member of Mathewson Street United Methodist Church. She was predeceased by her brothers Leland R. Mayo, Jr. and Clyde R. Mayo. She is survived by seven nieces and nephews, and nine grand nieces and nephews.



*Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Frerichs


Betsy Frerichs, 50, of 229 Medway St., Providence, passed away on February 2, 2007, at Rhode IslandHospital. Born in Providence. She was the daughter of Drs. Ernest and Sarah Frerichs. She lived in Barrington for 22 years and in Providence for the past 28 years. 


Betsy was a Sales Representative for the Fuller Brush Co. She was educated in the public schools of Barrington with a 1975 diploma from Barrington High School. She completed in 1980 an Associate in Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Rhode Island Junior College and was subsequently graduated from the Sawyer School in Pawtucket. She was a lifelong member of the Mathewson StreetUnited Church in Providence and actively participated in its Bell Choir.


She is survived by her brother, David S. Frerichs and his wife, Barbara, of Warren; two nephews; David S Frerichs, Jr., and his wife, Heather, of East Providence, Justin A. Frerichs, and his wife, Johana, of Los Angeles; two nieces: Marcia Zell Pedini of Athens, Maine and April Frerichs of Los Angeles; two great nieces: Justine Frerichs and Jiselle Mariella Frerichs of Los Angeles; and two great nephews: Alex and Connor Pedini of Athens, ME. She was also the sister of the late John A. Frerichs of Los Angeles. 

Betsy reached out in loving concern to anyone in need, especially children as well as anyone who had been injured in the experience of life. Her friendships were international in character, and she showed an unlimited for others' joys and sorrows. Kindness and love were hallmarks of her personality, endearing her to a wide circle of persons touched by her transparent sincerity and character. Her life was marked by a fighting quality and a contagious love of life which she employed to overcome her own limitations and to embrace others needing support. 




*Ridg Shinn



Dr. Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr., husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, teacher, historian, author, musician, civic and church leader died December 14, 2006, at age 84. His family was by his side. He leaves his wife of 62 years, Clarice Wagner Shinn; his five children: Jenifer Tait, Ridge Shinn, Craig Shinn, Jeremy Shinn, and Beth Shinn; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Ridg was Professor of History at Rhode Island College and named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. He earned degrees in history at Oberlin College (BA) and at Columbia University (MA and PhD). His tenure at RIC was from 1958 to 1987. He served as the first chairman of the Department of History, the first Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1981, he was named Distinguished Service Professor of the College.

An historian with particular interests in Britain, the British Empire and Commonwealth, he taught at all levels of education in Connecticut, California, New York and Austria. He was a published author of research studies, articles, and reviews. He published a major study in 1990: Arthur Berridale Keith, 1879-1944: The Chief Ornament of Scottish Learning (Aberdeen University Press), a biography of a world authority on Sanskrit, oriental studies and the constitution of the British Empire

 was the recipient of multiple grants, awards and honors associated with his scholarship. He received grants from the Canadian government for studies in Canada, from the Scottish Arts Council, and from the Rhode Island College Faculty Research Fund. In 1982, he was named an honorary life member of Friends of Edinburgh University Library in recognition of the work he did in preparation of the Guide to Keith’s papers in that library.

In the mid-1960s, he was the Project Director for the Providence Social Studies Curriculum Project, curriculum research and revision from kindergarten through twelfth grade, which was undertaken with major grants from the US Office of Education (1964-65, 1966-69). This project designed a model for linking academic resources of Rhode Island College to curriculum revision and social studies content in cooperation with teachers and staff of the Providence Public Schools. The results were reported in July 1970 as “A Study of a Geo-Historical Structure for a Social Studies Curriculum” (Cooperative Research Project 6-1195-1-10-1; US Department of Education).

Ridg was a member and leader of many professional organizations and academic societies over his career including the American Historical Association, New England Historical Association (Executive Committee, 1978-81, 1986-88; Vice President and Program Chair, 1984-85; President, 1985-86; Executive Secretary, 1986-87), North American Conference on British Studies, Rhode Island Historical Society, and Rhode Island Social Studies Association (President, 1961-64). He maintained membership in Kappa Delta Pi (Education) and Phi Alpha Theta (History) honor societies.

In the community, Ridgway served in leadership roles with many boards, commissions and civic organizations including the Governing Board of the RI State Council of Churches; the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association (RI Affiliate); Cub Scouts (Cubmaster, Pack 1 Johnston, RI 1960-1963); Rhode Island State CROP, a hunger advocacy organization; Rhode Island Chamber Music Series; Dodeka; and the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth J. Johnson Pawtucket History Research Society. His leadership was widely felt in the Methodist Church locally at Mathewson Street Church, United Methodist Elder Care, and in District and national governing boards.

An accomplished organist and pianist, Ridgway studied organ at Oberlin and studied piano in Vienna for two years with Professor Paul Weingarten of the Vienna Academy of Music. He served as organist in churches in Waterbury, Connecticut; Reedley, California; Mamaroneck, New York; and most recently at Mathewson Street United Methodist Church in Providence, Rhode Island. He also served as choir master in several of these appointments. He enjoyed performing chamber music with colleagues from the music department at RIC and performing solo organ recitals.

On his retirement, he and Clarice initiated the Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr. Study Abroad Fund at Rhode Island College. Clarice and Ridgway traveled extensively in the United States and throughout the world. They personally supported children and grandchildren in foreign travel to generate an understanding of other cultures, traditions and governments. The Shinn Study Abroad Fund extends this interest and commitment to RIC students. The fund is dedicated to helping RIC undergraduates study outside the United States. To date over 44 students have studied abroad as Shinn Study Abroad Fellows, with study travel in countries spanning the globe, such as Armenia, Egypt, Chili, and Palestine. This fund is one of the designated funds for memorial donations.

Devoted to family, his 62-year marriage with Clarice became a cornerstone for his five children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The family also became a center for an extended family and many, many friends attracted to their moral and empathetic life. Clarice, an educational specialist in the area of learning disabilities, retired from the Cranston Public Schools. She is well known for her collection of over 1400 ethnic and international dolls.

Consistent with their love of travel, in 1960 they embarked on a summer-long cross country exploration of the United States in a VW bus taking all five children on a journey to California, plus their nephew, John Case, for the return trip. Family gatherings celebrated their marriage (40th in Rhode Island, 50th in Edinburgh, Scotland and 60th in Ottawa, Canada). For several years, they gathered their eight grandchildren for a week long “Cousins’ Camp” which predictably included van tours with historical lectures en route to the region’s historical, cultural and geographical landmarks.

The Ridgway Foulks Shinn, Jr. and Clarice Wagner Shinn family includes the following:

---Jenifer Ann (Shinn) (b. 8/47) is married to Russel Tait. They reside in Manchester, Connecticut. Their daughter, Charlotte Rose Tait is engaged to Seth Usher and will marry next May. They live in Riverside, Rhode Island.

---Ridgway F. Shinn, III (b. 10/48) is married to Lynne Pledger. They reside in Hardwick, Massachusetts. Their son, Newell Pledger Shinn, lives in Richmond, Indiana.  Daughter Rosa Reyna (Pledger Shinn), her husband Cory La Due, and their son, Isaac, live in Barre, Massachusetts.

---Craig Wagner Shinn (b. 9/51) is married to Kathy Shinn and resides in Canby, Oregon. Their eldest daughter Karrie Lark Pelling is married to Gartz Gould. They live on Vashon Island, Washington with their two children, Maya and Eli. Son Erin Jakob Ridgway Shinn is on a yearlong travel adventure in New Zealand. Daughter Caitlin Anne Shinn lives in Eugene, Oregon.

---Jeremy Foster Shinn (b. 9/52) is married to Carolynne Shinn and lives in Weare, New Hampshire. Their son, Wesley Graham Shinn lives in Portland, Oregon. Their daughter Courtenay Elizabeth Shinn is just returning from Peace Corps service in Madagascar.

---Beth Alison Shinn (b. 2/54) is currently pursuing a doctorate in Edinburgh, Scotland and has lived in Mexico and in Japan (18 years) as a missionary.

In the culminating four days of Ridg’s life, the children and grandchildren traveled from as far as Africa and New Zealand to be present in a vigil of music, prayer, humor and love kept by his hospice bedside. As each family member arrived, Ridge acknowledged each person with “amazing” or “wow.” Lucid and communicative to the final moments of his life, he actively participated in the decisions regarding his care and directed his attention to the timing and nature of family and community memorial services. In these last days, visits and contacts by an extensive number of friends and family and the “amazing” network of people whose lives he has touched testify to his remarkable life.