Frederick M. Elder

April 26, 2019

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Rev. Dr. Frederick M. Elder, formerly of Dighton and Taunton, passed away Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Lahey Hospital Medical Center in Burlington.  Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, he was a graduate of The Ohio State University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary and served as associate minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Maumee, Ohio, before further study at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California during the mid-1960s. From 1966 to 1968 he attended Harvard Divinity School where he was a research assistant for the Center for Population Studies before moving to Minnetonka, Minnesota where he served as minister at Faith Presbyterian Church from 1968 to 1970. While at Harvard he received his Th.M. and conducted research for his book, "Crisis in Eden: A Religious Study of Man and Environment," published in 1970. Upon relocating to Massachusetts that same year, he then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Religious Ethics at Harvard. Also in 1970, he took over as president of the Columbus Retreading Company in Columbus, Ohio, following the death of his father who founded the company in the 1950s, traveling between Massachusetts and Ohio for ten years before residing in Ohio from 1980 until closing the company in 1987. In 1988 he again returned to Massachusetts to become minister of the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Taunton until his retirement in 1998. After retirement, he remained active at the church as Pastor Emeritus, becoming just the second pastor to take that role in the church’s history. He was a lifelong student, teacher, and advocate of the preservation of the balance of the natural world and the role of human beings’ impact on that balance. He is predeceased by his wife, Barbara B. Elder. He is survived by a son, Dana Elder and his wife Nancy Mehegan and grandchildren Liam and Julia Elder of Winchester; a daughter Allison Elder and her partner Britton Boughner of Lowell; several nieces and nephews; and many friends and parishioners in the Taunton/Dighton area.  A memorial service will take place on Monday, May 20 at 2 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 45 Broadway, Taunton.  Donations in his memory may be made to the National Wildlife Federation or Mass Audubon.


Memorial Service
May 20, 2019

2:00 PM
Pilgrim Congregational Church,
45 Broadway
Taunton, MA 02780

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